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Elsewhere in Michigan, Liebsch Tallies Second SISU Marathon Title

2015 SISU marathon winner Matt Liebsch. (Photo: Vince Rosetta)

2015 SISU marathon winner Matt Liebsch. (Photo: Vince Rosetta)

By Vince Rosetta

IRONWOOD, Mich. — Matt Liebsch from XC United won his second SISU Ski Fest title Saturday in Ironwood, Mich. Because of the cold temperatures at the start, race organizers decided to shorten the race from 42 kilometers to 31 k.

Liebsch held a commanding lead early on in the freestyle race and finished the shortened course in 1:32:55, racing solo for almost 15k. Second place, Adam Swank of Duluth was 3:14 minutes behind. Rounding out the podium was Cory Ellertson of the CXC Team in third, eight seconds after Swank.

The women’s race was a little closer. Middlebury alum Claire Luby was able to hold off Jan Guenther, an American Birkebeiner board member, with a late move heading into the final kilometers. Luby finished the course in 1:51:06, Guenther was only 1:42 behind. Ironwood’s own Paulette Niemi rounded out the women’s podium in third (+6:45).
Matt Liebsch (l) with his SISU marathon gold after Saturday's 31 k freestyle race in Ironwood, Mich. (Photo: Vince Rosetta)

Winner Matt Liebsch (l) and third-place finisher Cory Ellertson (CXC Team) after the SISU 31 k freestyle marathon race on Saturday in Ironwood, Mich. (Photo: Vince Rosetta)

Asked about the -6 degree temperature at the start, Liebsch said, “My body felt good. I wore two wind briefs and was totally warm, plus I used an airtime respirator to warm the air going into my lungs.

“It was really cold overnight and I was happy to see the race start delayed,” he added. “It was nice to race in the sunlight. Overall there was really good glide in slow cold snow conditions.”

The area has gotten a hefty amount of snow over the last few weeks and the course was in great shape.

“The snow was awesome and it was a virtual winter wonderland,” Liebsch said. “It is amazing to see the amount of snow in Ironwood.”

The classic race had its share of controversy. The leaders of the men’s and women’s classic elite race were given wrong directions on course from a volunteer, forcing them to do an extra loop instead of going to the finish line. As a result they finished in the middle of the pack.

At press time, no winning or finisher times had been posted yet. For race results, see the event website.

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Leccardi Victorious in 2014 Kangaroo Hoppet

Switzerland’s Valerio Leccardi posted a time of 1:20:03 in Saturday’s Kangaroo Hoppet to win the third Worldloppet race of the year by just over two minutes. The 42 k race is Australia’s premier distance race and is the last race of the Australia New Zealand Continental Cup. 

Leccardi was followed by Phillip Bellingham (+2:46) and Paul Kovacs (+5:57) both of Australia.

Valentina Shevchenko of Ukraine was the first female finisher and 12th overall with a time of 1:31:1. She was followed closely by Slovenian Barbara Jezersek, who placed only one second behind Shevchenko. Australian Esther Bottomly placed third with a time of 1:38:18.

Full Results

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Lannes, Viaña Win 28th Marchablanca, 1st Challenger Cup

From left to right: Race Director Pablo Valcheff, CAU President Dani Catania, Ma. Constanza Viaña, Carlos Lannes, and Luis Argel with the Challenger Cup held aloft. (Photo: Marchablanca Race Organization)

From left to right: Race Director Pablo Valcheff, CAU President Dani Catania, Ma. Constanza Viaña, Carlos Lannes, and Luis Argel with the Challenger Cup held aloft. (Photo: Marchablanca Race Organization)

(Marchablanca press release)

Translated by Matt Muir

The 28th Marchablanca was won by Carlos Lannes and Constanza Viaña both of whom also became the first winners of the Challenger Cup. The trophy was donated to the Marchablanca by longtime local skier Luis Argel who contributed to the formation of skiing in Tierra del Fuego.

Tierra del Fuego’s governor Fabiana Ríos, the mayor of Ushuaia Federico Sciurano, the president of the Club Andino Ushuaia Daniel Catania, Tierra Mayor matriarch “Puichi” Giró, Cerro Castor owner and Salomon representative Juan Carlos Begué, as well as representatives from sponsors Movistar and Powerade were all on hand for the traditional sounding of the bell to mark the start of the Marchablanca.

More than 500 skiers participated in the event which consisted of a 21-kilometer elite freestyle race as well as shorter citizen events. A regional institution, many of the citizen skiers complete the Marchablanca in elaborate costumes in an event that is part of a holiday weekend in Argentina characterized by family oriented festivities.

Race Director Pablo Valcheff recognized Argel just before the start of the elite race. Argel then presented the race organization with a trophy he had commissioned for the winners of the Marchablanca. The Valley of Tierra Mayor where the Marchablanca is held is relatively remote even today and Argel has lived and skied the valley for decades during which time he has come to embody a regional ideal of resilience, strength, and love for the Fuegian landscape.

Beginning in 2015, the Marchablanca will be the accessory race to the Ushuaia Loppet and part of the official Worldloppet calendar. For more information and results, see www.marchablanca.com.

Video

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Delayed Ushuaia Loppet Marked by High Winds, Wet Snow

The start of the 2014 Ushuaia Loppet in front of Centro Invernal Tierra Mayor in the Valley of Tierra Mayor outside of Ushuaia, Argentina.

The start of the 2014 Ushuaia Loppet in front of Centro Invernal Tierra Mayor in the Valley of Tierra Mayor outside of Ushuaia, Argentina. (Photo: Marchablanca Race Organization)

Tough Day at The Ushuaia Loppet

Conditions make for slow, hard skiing

By Matthew Muir

Last Friday, the day before the scheduled start of the Ushuaia Loppet 42-kilometer Freestyle Marathon on Aug. 9 in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the Fueguino provincial government was closing schools and government offices due to high winds and rain.

At the same time, the Marchablanaca/Ushuaia Loppet Organizing Committee decided to postpone the race start by 24 hours, from Saturday to Sunday.  The Loppet went off on Sunday, Aug. 10, but it was still tough skiing.

High winds and steadily falling wet snow made the two 21-kilometer loops into the proverbial death march on skis.  For the entire race, skiers had to effectively break trail as new snow continued to pile up and winds blasted the landscape in the Valley of Tierra Mayor.

Federico Cichero and Carlos Lannes tied for first place in a shared time of 2:30:04.  Cichero and Lannes have both represented Argentina in the Olympics.  Cichero commented, “it was really hard, intense falling snow, lots of suction in the warm snow surface.”  Cichero added, “I am, however, sure that these events are continuing to grow.”

María Constanza Viaña, a Fueguina native, won the women’s race in 3:30:04.  Only twenty six racers managed to finish the course.  About fifty registered and about thirty five started.  Eleven registrants were from countries outside of Argentina.

Race Director Pablo Valcheff voiced a mix of emotions, “it is difficult dealing with conditions like this but now that we are joining the World Loppet there is a lot of support from the Worldloppet Organization.  The Worldloppet gives us a shared protocol for contingencies and skier safety is number one on the list so, in a way, it’s a relief for the Ushuaia Loppet to be part of a larger, professional organization.  There was no way we were going to race on Saturday.”

In 2015, the Ushuaia Loppet will be an official member of the Worldloppet and begin stamping Worldloppet Passports.  Visit http://www.worldloppet.com/ or http://www.ushuaialoppet.com/ for more information.

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Packer Describes Engadin Experience, Broken Pole for 13 k and All

Eric Packer (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) broke a pole about 7 k into Sunday's 42 k Engadin Ski Marathon. (Photo: Eric Packer/Alphafoto.com)

Eric Packer (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) broke a pole about 7 k into Sunday’s 42 k Engadin Ski Marathon and didn’t get a replacement until about 20 k. (Photo: Eric Packer/Alphafoto.com)

According to Eric Packer of the Stratton Mountain School T2 team, “the Engadin was unlike any other race I’ve done.”

One of some 80 Americans in this year’s 42-kilometer freestyle race, the 23-year-old native of Anchorage, Alaska,  competed in the world-famous marathon in Switzerland this past Sunday.

“The traffic out of the start was ridiculous with the pack constantly churning as people fought for position,” he wrote in an email. “If you weren’t actively moving forward, you were moving back.”

Eric Packer competed in a sprint the eve of the 2014 Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland. (Photo: Holly Brooks)

Eric Packer competed in a sprint the eve of the 2014 Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland. (Photo: Holly Brooks)

Packer shared lodging with a few U.S. men the weekend of the race, including Matt Gelso (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation), Pete Kling (Alaska Pacific University) and Matt Briggs of Bend, Ore., and took part in a night sprint race the evening before.

“All the U.S. guys in the elite wave did a good job staying near the front of the pack early on across the lake,” Packer wrote. “Gelso was able to recover from a fall right at the start in order to make his way back to the front.”

At 7 k, Packer’s pole snapped — unexpectedly.

“Everyone I asked refused to give me a replacement —(I can’t blame them – how would they ever get it back?) — so I ended up waving the broken stub above my head for the next 13k or so.”

Somehow, he missed the pole-service station, but “finally got a replacement entering Pontresina at the 20k mark.”

One kilometer later, Packer found Clarke Sullivan, the U.S. group’s wax tech for the event, along the course and was able to switch out his pole yet again, this time retrieving his own.

Did this incident ruin in for Packer? Not so much. “Even with the broken pole it was an awesome race.  I can’t wait to go back next year!”

Packer ended up 126th out of nearly 13,400 racers, about eight minutes back from the winner.

— Rosalie Lipfert

The start of the 2014 Engadin (Photo: http://www.engadin-skimarathon.ch/)

The start of the 2014 Engadin (Photo: http://www.engadin-skimarathon.ch/)

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Engadin Post-Race Video with Fast Big Dog and Co.

By Fast Big Dog

For the 2014 Engadin, a diverse array of 80 U.S. skiers made the trip to sunny Switzerland to compete in one of the premier Worldloppets, the Engadin Ski Marathon last Sunday. With a field of 13,395 skiers, the race featured a number of highlights, including Holly Brooks recovering from a nasty fall to place fourth, Matt Gelso also getting tangled up in the pack to ski his way back up into the lead group for a very solid 15th place and in the most colorful racer of the day, long-time U.S. Skiing supporter and Seattle Seahawks uber-fan Tony Weiderkehr ski the race in a full football uniform, including pads, as a celebration of the Seahawks Super Bowl victory.

WIthout a doubt though, some of the best work was done after the race in the official Engadin Beer Garden, where a nice mix of up and coming stars and aging master blasters, Matti Briggs, Eric Packer, Peter Kling, Matt Gelso, Holly Brooks, Clark Sullivan, Walter McCormack, Quique Nagle and of course the FBD, showed the world how to post-game USA style.

In short, this is a must-do event for anyone who likes skiing, sun, stunning alpine views, beer, bratwurst and just generally being awesome. Should any doubts still remain, here is a slideshow highlighting some of the beauty of this incredible event: http://www.swiss-image.ch/slideshow/#skimarathon2012

And the race results: http://services.datasport.com/2014/winter/esm/esmrang/#Marke0

Trouble viewing video? Click here

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Douglas, Johnson Win 2014 Lake Placid Loppet

By Peter Minde

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Two-time Olympic biathlete (’92, ’94) Robert Duncan Douglas, the “Jacked Up Old Man,” won the Lake Placid Loppet 50-kilometer freestyle mass start on Saturday, March 8, in 2:24:36.7.

Douglas, 48, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., beat Paul Allison, a 27-year-old Essex High School Nordic Coach from Jericho, Vt., by 0.7 seconds after gapping him in the last kilometer. Jack Cowan Steele of Middlebury, Vt., placed third in 2:33:34.

Alia Johnson of Bristol, Vt., won the women’s 50 k freestyle race in 2:51:47, followed by Abbey Alexiades of Etna, N.Y., in 3:18:56. Alicia Marie Cruz-Uribe was third in 4:12:22.

In the 50 k classic event, Nathan Underwood of Chelsea, Quebec, won in 2:58:40.  Montreal’s William Goodfellow was second, nearly 10 minutes later in 3:08:15.  Lake Placid’s Dave Steckler placed third in 3:09:23.

Annie Jean, of Chelsea, Quebec, was the first and only female in the the 50 k classic 3:26:41.

Throughout the day, the sky was overcast with a few flurries in the early afternoon. The temperature dropped a couple of degrees from freezing during the race. Conditions were fast, however, with glazing in the tracks, classic skiers had difficulty finding the best balance of adequate grip and good glide. Skiers used various combinations of hard wax and klister, with mixed success.

Full results: http://www.whiteface.com/events/lake-placid-loppet (scroll to the bottom of the page)

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Caitlin Gregg and Tom Reichelt win American Birkebeiner

HAYWARD, WI—Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) and Tom Reichelt of Germany came out on top today in the American Birkebeiner. Gregg won the 50 k skate race in 2:40:57 after skiing away from the women’s field in the first half of the race. She made her break as the elite men’s wave, who started after the elite women’s wave, began catching the women. She hung on to the passing men and ended up skiing much of the race by herself before catching another ride with Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart) in the last few kilometers of the race. Antonella Confortola Wyatt of Italy placed second, 1:16 behind Gregg, while Rosie Brennan of Alaska Pacific University (APU) placed third, 2:05 back.

Gregg, Brennan, and Laura McCabe of Winthrop, WA were the top three Americans, in that order, with McCabe finishing in fifth overall. Gregg took home $10,000 for the day: $7,500 for the win and $2,500 for the top American finish in the race.

In the men’s race, Tom Reichelt narrowly edged out Italians Simone Paredi and Sergio Bonaldi to take home the win in 2:14:29. Paredi and Bonaldi finished in second and third place, respectively, and both were within one second of the win.

Matt Gelso of the Sun Valley Gold Team was the top male American finisher in seventh overall. Lex Treinen (APU) and Matt Liebsch were the next Americans, in 10th and 12th place.

Santi Ocariz, formerly of CXC, and Russian Natalja Naryshkina (CXC) were the male and female winners in the 54 k classic race.

Times were slow on the day—copious amounts of new snow and cold conditions made for a challenging race for much of the field.

Results

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A Cold Day With a Blistering Turnout for the Gatineau Loppet 2014

The polar sun swept in for this second day of competition of the 36th edition of the Gatineau Loppet. Despite the freezing weather, the mood was upbeat both indoors and out at the starting line just outside École secondaire Mont-Bleu. All of the participants, elite as well as recreational skiers, were eager to hit the trails of Gatineau Park for the freestyle races and the very first edition of snowshoe races.

Here is a summary of the day’s results, followed by a round-up of the event.

51 KM POLAR FREESTYLE AND LONG-DISTANCE LOPPET CHAMPIONSHIP
Men
1st Place Marc-André Bédard (2:22:26.1) from Quebec City
2nd Place Steffan Lloyd (2:22:28:7)
3rd Place Vincent Blais (2:25:10.8)

 

Women
1st Place Claude Godbout (2:51:01.7) from Quebec City
2nd Place Sheila Kealey (2:51:23.3)
3rd Place Sabra Davison (2:54:25.7)

 

27 KM FREESTYLE
Men
1st Place Nicholas Pigeon (1:17:14.1) from Gatineau
2nd Place Maxime Leboeuf (1:20:30.2)
3rd Place Daniel Murray (1:22:07.5)

We would like to mention that Pierre Lavoie, the Honorary President of the Gatineau Loppet, finished the 27 km freestyle in 5th place.

 

Women
1st Place Véronique Fortin (1:28:09.8) from Gatineau
2nd Place Karine Labonté (1:41:19.2)
3rd Place Louise Martineau (1:43:26.3)

 

10 KM FREESTYLE
Men
1st Place Evan Carr (28:37.3) from Manlius, USA
2nd Place Graham Perry (28:49.3)
3rd Place Bryce Hartman (28:54.1)

 

Women
1st Place Tove Halvorsen (33:08.0) from Chelsea
2nd Place Talia Hennessy (33:09.1)
3rd Place Alia Sanger (33:10.9)

 

5 KM SNOWSHOE RACE (PRESENTED BY RAQUETTES GV)

1st Place Men: Julien Pensonneault (26:54.7)

1st Place Women: Véronique Fortin (26:03.5)

 

10 KM SNOWSHOE RACE (PRESENTED BY RAQUETTES ATLAS)

1st Place Men: David Le Porho (49:21.8)

1st Place Women: Claire Doule (1:01:55.5)

 

We would also like to mention the hundreds of children who, accompanied by their parents, braved the cold for the 2 km Mini Sport Échange Outaouais. Pierre Lavoie joined in the fun. This untimed race is part of the Carnaval Soleil Polaire, a big party presented by municipal councillors Mireille Apollon from the l’Orée-du-Parc district, and Louise Boudrias from the Parc-de-la-Montagne-Saint-Raymond district. Entertainment for the kids, music, inflatable structures and stiltwalkers helped warm up the families and skiers.

 

A GREAT TURNOUT

This 36th edition of the Gatineau Loppet served to confirm the fact that this is indeed the biggest cross-country ski event in Canada. More than 2,750 participants, including 170 for the Chelsea Super Sprint Jeunesse, took part in the activities between Friday the 14th and Sunday the 16th. The Sprint jeunesse, classic style races, freestyle races, long-distance Loppet championship, and race for the kids all added up to something for everyone.

 

Highlights of this 36th edition:

  • A sold-out race for the 51 km linear classic, with 548 skiers registered. 
  • Nicholas Pigeon from gatineau, winner of the 27 km classic and 27 km freestyle.
  • Long-distance Loppet championship wond by Marc-André Bédard for the men and Claude Godbout for the women, both of them biathletes on the national team.
  • First edition of the snowshoe races, with 70 participants.
  • First edition of the Chelsea super Sprint jeunesse, with more than 150 participants. 
  • Pierre Lavoie, honorary president, speaker and participant (51 km classic, 27 km freestyle  and the mini Sport Échange Outaouais)

Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud wants to thank “all of the skiers, attendants, spectators, volunteers and organizers who took part in this year’s event.” The next edition of the Gatineau Loppet will take place between February 13 and 15, 2015. We hope to see you there!

 

For additional information, consult the Gatineau Loppet Web site: www.gatineauloppet.com.

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Skiers Galore for the First Day of the Gatineau Loppet

A festive atmosphere reigned today as Gatineau Park’s cross-country ski trails came alive with Gatineau Loppet racers.  Close to 1,300 of them lined up at the starting line on this first day of competition, 300 more than on the first day last year. The 51 km classic had reached its quota of 547 skiers by Friday. The excellent trail conditions and ideal temperatures made for a beautiful combination.

The first two classic styles to simultaneously kick off today’s event were the 51 km from P17 in Wakefield, and the 27 km from École secondaire Mont-Bleu. The 51 km classic was back again this year as a linear race to the great delight of all the skiers.

 

SWIX 51 KM CLASSIC RESULTS

Men 
1st Place Colin Abbott (2:35:13.6) Whitehorse, CAN
2nd Place Chris Ziegler (2:39:27.6) Winooski, USA
3rd Place James Coulton (2:42:31.2) Westmount, CAN

We would like to mention that Pierre Lavoie, the Honorary President of the Gatineau Loppet, finished the 51 km classic in 10th place.

Women
1st Place Marlis Kromm (3:03:01.7) Calgary, CAN
2nd Place Robyn Anderson (3:10:21.9) Stowe, USA
3rd Place Annie Jean (3:17:48.3) Chelsea, CAN

 

OTTO’S BMW / Subaru 27 KM CLASSIC RESULTS

Men
1st Place Nicholas Pigeon (1:30:45.2) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Eloi Lemay (1:32:28.0) Lavaltrie, CAN
3rd Place Aaron Fahey (1:32:41.5) Chelsea, CAN

Women
1st Place Sophie Carrier-Laforte (1:41:55.2) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Ellen Helker-Nygren (1:54:12.2) Toronto, CAN
3rd Place Chloe Selerier (1:57:35:.3) Gatineau, CAN

 

BFL CANADA 15 KM CLASSIC RESULTS

Men 
1st Place Sam Weichel (54:38.4) Southampton, CAN
2nd Place Bryce Hartman (54:52.5) Seranac Lake, USA
3rd Place Tony Biernacki (54:57.9) Pembroke, CAN

Women
1st Place Florence Dostie-Menard (58:42.3) Gatineau, CAN
2nd Place Zoe Williams (58:57.0) Cantley, CAN

3rd Place Laura Leclair (59 :00.2) Chelsea, CAN

 

 

METRO NEWS 5 KM CLASSIC RESULTS

Men 
1st Place Andrew Hayman (16:23.4) Dunrobin, CAN
2nd Place Mykal Bakker-Westeinde(16:26.5 Chelsea, CAN
3rd Place Philippe Turcanu (17:00.3) Ottawa, CAN 

Women
1st Place Molly Marland (17:37.2) Ottawa, CAN
2nd Place Karly Coyne (17:52.0) Canmore, CAN
3rd Place Mélanie Jones (17:58.4) Canmore, CAN

 

“We would like to congratulate the winners and thank all of the many skiers for having taken part in this first day of competition,” announced Gatineau Loppet President Yan Michaud. It is worth noting that tomorrow’s freestyle races will start at 9 a.m. from École secondaire Mont-Bleu, as will the snowshoe races, a new feature this year. There will be entertainment all day long with, among others, the Carnaval Soleil Polaire, the XC Ski Show, and a conference by Pierre Lavoie starting at 1:30 p.m.

 

For additional information, consult the Gatineau Loppet Web site at www.gatineauloppet.com.

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Weekend Roundup: Noqueman Ski Marathon, the Inaugural Stagecoach Classic, and the Venerable Marcialonga

As the days get longer, sunshine returns, and athletes have had a chance to build their hours on skis, ski marathon season returns. This weekend was a busy one, with the 50-kilometer Noquemanon Ski Marathon being hosted on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, finishing in Marquette, Michigan; the inaugural 30 k Stagecoach Classic, held in the mountains of Colorado; and the 41st Marcialonga, a 70 k classic race through the Italian Dolomites.

The Noquemanon ski marathon was held in northern Michigan yesterday in arctic conditions, with temperatures around zero Fahrenheit and winds gusting as high as 25 mph. The course is mostly flat, with a few small uphill, but drops nearly 850 feet as it descends from the start in Ishpeming to the finish in Marquette. The overall men’s winner was local Michael Brothers, taking his third consecutive title in 3:08:05; in the women’s division the surprise winner was Diana Finkel in 3:35:07. Brothers’ first title was in 2012 when he skied the 50 k course more than 45 minutes faster than on Saturday, in 2:22:13, on a year with excellent conditions. Both Finkel and Brothers were in the freestyle division and are both 42, where the 50 k classic division was won by Claire Luby, 25, in 3:45:33 and Karl Nygren, 26, in 3:08:57.

“It got snowier the further we went along, so you just had to slow down and be patient,” Nygren said in an interview with The Mining Journal.  “With the way the conditions were, I didn’t even notice it was downhill.”

See the Noquemanon Ski Marathon’s official website for complete results.

New this year was the Stagecoach Classic, a unique event linking Devil’s Thumb Ranch to Winter Park the Idlewild Ski Area in the mountains of Colorado. The race was hosted on trails groomed specially for the event, making it a one-time experience for the racers.

While many ski marathons are dominated by older skiers, this year’s Stagecoach was dominated by young skiers – the top five men were all under 25, and two of the top three women were age 21. The men’s 30 k division was won by 20-year old Moritz Madlener in 1:16:53, second was Rune Malo Oedegaard, age 22, two seconds later, and 22-year old Mads Stroem was third (+1:55). The top woman was 21-year old Elena Breed in 1:36:11, Lenka Palanova, 30, was second (+1:38), and Katie Gill, 21, took third (+1:43). See the Stagecoach Classic’s official website for complete results.

And don’t count out the 70 k Marcialonga, Italy’s premier loppet, a World Loppet event hosted Trentino, Italy. The men’s race was dominated by Norwegians, taking the top six spots. Simen Östensen won in 3:10:16, John Dahl was second (+0:12), and the 2012 and 2013 winner, Jorgen Aukland, was third (+0:13). Russian Julia Tikhonova won in 3:27:54, Switzerland’s Seraina Boner was second (+1:09) and Sweden’s Annika Löfström was third (+2:24). Complete men’s and women’s results.

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Goepferts Win Argentina’s Ushuaia Loppet

Forty-three skiers started the 3rd Annual Ushuaia Loppet 42F. (Courtesy photo)

Forty-three skiers started the 3rd Annual Ushuaia Loppet 42F on Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

(Press release)

Coldest day of the Fueguino winter for ski marathon’s third edition 

German skiers Caroline and Falk Goepfert stood on top of the Ushuaia Loppet’s podium a week after doing the same on the Marchablanca’s podium.  The third edition of the annual two-lap 42 kilometer ski marathon took place on Saturday August 24th.  The start/finish was at Centro Invernal Tierra Mayor, about a half hour outside of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Argentina’s Paralympic skier, Pablo Robledo, during the 2013 Ushuaia Loppet.

Argentina’s Paralympic skier, Pablo Robledo, during the 2013 Ushuaia Loppet.

On the men’s side, Argentina’s Federico Cichero placed second about three minutes behind Goepfert’s winning time of 2:05:43.  Local skier Walter Acuña placed third.  Caroline Goepfert won the women’s category in 2:54:05.  María Giro and María Viaña, both of Tierra del Fuego, took second and third respectively.
Conditions were a departure from typical Fueguino conditions which usually hover around 0 Centigrade.  At race start, the temperature in the Valley of Tierra Mayor was -17 C.  It never went above -5 C during the entire day.  Cichero, who has been representing Argentina internationally commented that the snow was like sandpaper at the start.
“Falk has been good competition for me.  He has been a little stronger than me but today his skis were also a little faster and I just could not stay in contact with him,” stated Cichero.  Consider it advertising for Goepfert who owns a ski wax retailer in Germany and is a wax tech for the German national team.
The Ushuaia Loppet ski marathon is the newer sibling to Argentina’s traditional Marchablanca.  The organizing Club Andino Ushuaia and Race Director Pablo Valcheff have collaborated with a host of sponsors and the Fueguino provincial government in an attempt to create a body of cross-country ski events in the region.
The “International Month of Cross Country Skiing” has incrementally aggregated several events together in August.  They include the Marchablanca, the Ushuaia Loppet, three days of FIS races at the Francisco Jerman Nordic Ski Area, and provincial funding for more regular grooming on the Marchablanca/PIPEF ski trail.  The Ushuaia Loppet is also a candidate for “associate” status within the World Loppet starting in 2014.
“Every year, a few more people come,” said Valcheff.  “On one hand, our work is meant to be a sustainable effort towards creating events of first-world quality.  On the other, over time the goal is to create a valuable resource for our society here in Tierra del Fuego.”

More information is available at ushuaialoppet.com and facebook.com/Ushuaiaesquidefondo.

Men’s Ushuaia Loppet podium, l-r, Cichero, Goepfert, and Acuña.

Men’s Ushuaia Loppet podium, l-r, Cichero, Goepfert, and Acuña.

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Russians Top Kangaroo Hoppet Podium at Falls Creek

2013 Kangaroo Hoppet men's podium

2013 Kangaroo Hoppet men’s podium, with winner Alexander Legkov (c) and his Russian teammates Ilya Chernousov (l) in second and Alexey Chernousov in third. (Courtesy photo)

FALLS CREEK, Australia — Australia’s international ski marathon the Kangaroo Hoppet was held today at Falls Creek in north-east Victoria. In the 42km main event it was a Russian double, 2012 Hoppet winner and World Cup distance champion Alexander Legkov winning the men’s race and 2012 runner-up Marina Chernousova winning the women’s race. After snow, rain and wind in the week leading into the event the skies cleared up for a perfect race day.

The Kangaroo Hoppet is part of the Worldloppet series, which features 16 races in 16 countries and has annual participation of 135,000 skiers. Around 1000 competitors from 23 nations entered in the three Kangaroo Hoppet race distances of 42km, 21km, and 7km.

Russians brothers Ilya Chernousov and Alexey Chernousov rounded out the men’s podium, while Lauren Fritz from the USA and Chisa Obayashi from Japan were second and third women. The first Australians were Callum Watson and Esther Bottomley, both who finished fifth. The Russian team had been training at Falls Creek for the past three weeks as part of their preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The two favourites in the men’s race Legkov and Ilya Chernousov attacked early on, splitting up the main pack. Valerio Leccardi  from Switzerland and Alexey Chernousov also broke away on the “Paralyser” climb, but then were caught by Australians Watson and Alex Almoukov. This chase pack of four skied much of the race together with the top two Russians slowly extending their lead out in front. Watson attacked near the last drink station, taking Leccardi with him, then A.Chernousov bridged across as Almoukov was dropped.

Up front Legkov left his team-mate behind and skied away for a comfortable win. With a couple of kilometres to go A.Chernousov attacked and Watson was unable to follow. Leccardi skied around but couldn’t bridge the gap, taking fourth at the finish behind the Russian podium trifecta. Watson was fifth and Almoukov sixth.

The 2013 Hoppet women's podium, with winner Marina Chernousova (c), runner-up Lauren Fritz (USA), and Japan's Chisa Obayashi (r) in third.

The 2013 Hoppet women’s podium, with Swedish winner Marina Chernousova (c), runner-up Lauren Fritz (USA), and Japan’s Chisa Obayashi (r) in third.

In the women’s race Obayashi and Chernousova went out hard, leaving the rest of the women scattered amongst the men’s field. At the half-way point Obayashi held a slender lead ahead of the Russian, with Lauren Fritz and Jessica Yeaton from the USA holding third and fourth.

Kamila Borutova from Czech, winner of the this year’s Canadian Worldloppet race, held 5th ahead of Bottomley. There was plenty of action left for the second lap, as Chernousova took over the lead and Obayashi started to struggle with slower skis as the snow softened in the sun. Fritz and Yeaton began to close in on Obayashi, while Bottomley moved up into fifth past Borutova.

Chernousova went on to win by over three minutes, Fritz came through for second place, and Obayashi managed to hold on to third ahead of Yeaton. Bottomley skied in for a clear fifth ahead of Borutova.

In the 21km Australian Birkebeiner Damon Morton from Marlo came from behind to win ahead of Jackson Bursill from Canberra and Daniel Walker from Sydney. Local Mt Beauty junior Anna Trnka won the women’s event for the second year in a row ahead of Casey Wright from Melbourne and Aislinn Kildea from Wangaratta. In the 7km Joey Hoppet Liam Burton from Jindabyne and Sabrina Howell from Sydney were the winners.

2013 Kangaroo Hoppet Top Results

42km Freestyle Kangaroo Hoppet

Men

  1. Alexander Legkov            RUS
  2. Ilya Chernousov            RUS
  3. Alexey Chernousov            RUS
  4. Valerio Leccardi            SUI
  5. Callum Watson            AUS
  6. Alex Almoukov            AUS
  7. Reto Burgermeister            SUI
  8. Phillip Bellingham            AUS
  9. August Teague            USA
  10. Ben Derrick            AUS

Women

  1. Marina Chernousova            SWE
  2. Lauren Fritz            USA
  3. Chisa Obayashi            JPN
  4. Jessica Yeaton            USA
  5. Esther Bottomley            AUS
  6. Kamila Borutova            CZE
  7. Aimee Watson            AUS
  8. Lucy Glanville            AUS
  9. Isabel Knaute            GER
  10. Irene Dunn            AUS

21km Australian Birkebeiner

Men

  1. Damon Morton            AUS
  2. Jackson Bursill            AUS
  3. Daniel Walker            AUS

Women

  1. Anna Trnka            AUS
  2. Casey Wright            AUS
  3. Aislinn Kildea            AUS

7km Joey Hoppet

Men

  1. Liam Burton            AUS
  2. Matt Bull            AUS
  3. Hugh Pollard            AUS

Women

  1. Sabrina Howell            AUS
  2. Gabrielle Hawkins            AUS
  3. Emma Pollard            AUS

Full results are available via the www.hoppet.com.au website.

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Auklands Tie for Årefjällsloppet Win, Boner Paces Women

Årefjällsloppet is an entirely new race and the first edition was successful with great weather conditions and perfect tracks. The peloton was gathered until the biggest uphill after 20 km. At that point the group got smaller, not surprisingly since the climb is over 250 vertical meters. Halfway into the race there were 17 skiers in the group, but then five broke away: Anders and Jørgen Aukland, Jens Eriksson (3rd place), Stanislav Rezac (4th place) and Daniel Tynell (5th). With a few kilometers to go the Aukland brothers surged away and took the first tied victory in the history of Swix Ski Classics. The Norwegians also finished first and second overall in Swix Ski Classics.

Simen Östensen won both the first and the second sprint and took a landslide victory in the sprint competition.

Boner’s fourth victory
In the women’s category, the pace was low and the group was together the first 20 km (for the first time in the Swix Ski Classics history, the women started 15 minutes ahead of the men). On the top of the hill, the group was reduced to four skiers: Seraina Boner, Laila Kveli, Riitta-Liisa Roponen and Tuva Toftdahl Staver.

When a group of men passed them half way into the race, Boner hung on to and left the other women behind to take her fourth Swix Ski Classics win this year.

Behind Boner, Kveli bested Roponen for second

Overall winners:
Swix Ski Classics champion men: Anders Aukland (Team Xtra Personell)
Swix Ski Classics champion women: Seraina Boner (Team Coop)
Swix Ski Classics sprint competition: Simen Östensen (Team Xtra Personell)
Swix Ski Classics youth men: Morten Eide Pedersen (Team Coop)
Swix Ski Classics youth women: Laila Kveli (Team Xtra Personell)

See results with splits here: http://www.emit.nu/resultat/live/130323/

Swix Ski Classics 2013:
Event 1:  Jizerská Padesatká       Czech Republic      January 13th, 2013
Event 2:  Marcialonga                   Italy                        January, 27th, 2013
Event 3:  König Ludwig Lauf         Germany                February 3rd, 2013
Event 4:  Vasaloppet                     Sweden                  March 3rd, 2013
Event 5:  Birkebeinerrennet           Norway                  March 16th, 2013
Event 6:  Swix Ski Classics Final   Sweden                 March 23rd, 2013

Source: Ski Classics

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Patterson, Anderson Win Sugarloaf Marathon

On a cold, sunny day, Scott Patterson (UVM) and Robyn Anderson (VTXC) won the Sugarloaf Marathon in Sugarloaf, Maine.  Patterson’s winning time was 1:44:53. Craftsbury’s Patrick O’Brien followed him in second at 1:46:36, with David Sinclair of Dartmouth in third place, two minutes back.  Anderson finished in 2:01:12. Anya Caldwell Bean (UNH) placed second in 2:06:26. Hallie Grossman (Bates) was the third female.

Contrasting with last year’s slushfest, conditions were cold and fast. Around 15F at the start, the temperature warmed into the low 20s by afternoon. A dusting of new snow freshened the loop without slowing it down.  A couple of the downhills had sugary, mushy spots right in the line, keeping racers on their toes.

Finishing in 59:31, Linda Danvind-Malm (UVM) was the female and overall winner of the 25 k race, followed by Jane McClelland (UVM) in 1:00:36 and Liz Hollenback (NWVE) in 1:06:58. Logan Greenblatt (Bates) was the first 25 k male finisher in 1:08:49, followed by Rene Dufour (Espresso Sports), 1:10:29, and Steven Rose (Manhattan Nordic) in 1:12:10.

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Aukland Edges Roenning For Birkebeiner Title; Boner Dominates Women’s Race

After 54 kilometers traversing the mountains of Norway’s Oppland region, Norwegians swept the podium and placed 12 in the top 13 of the Birkebeiner marathon. Anders Aukland of Team Xtra Personell took the title with a time of 2:42:38, edging out Norwegian World Cup skier Eldar Roenning, who was competing under the colors of Team United Bakeries and finished 13 seconds behind. Team COOP’s Espen Harald Bjerke finished third and Jorgen Aukland fourth, before Jorgen Brink of Sweden crossed the line as the only non-Norwegian in the top ten.

It has been a successful late season for the Aukland brothers, as Jorgen won Sweden’s Vasaloppet marathon, where Anders placed third.

Czech World Cup veteran Lukas Bauer clocked in at 14th.

Peter Kling of APU finished 95th in the elite men’s division with a time of 3:03:35. Canada’s Zoe Roy placed 39th in the women’s race with a time of 3:44:34. They were the only North Americans in the elite waves of the race.

In the women’s race, Seraina Boner of Switzerland and Team COOP dominated the scene, skiing to a time of 3:09:12 and winning by almost six minutes. Sandra and Jenny Hansson of Sweden finished second and third, separated by just eight seconds. Fellow Swede Suzanne Nystrom was fourth and Vasaloppet winner Laila Kveli of Norway fifth.

Both Anders Aukland and Boner were repeating their wins from 2012; Bjerke and Jenny Hansson also repeated their third-place finishes.

Searchable results

 

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Dewahl, Hugus, Ziegler and Cogger Win Great Bear Chase Marathon

It was a near-record year for the Portage Health Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon in Calumet, Michigan, with 493 skiers participating in Saturday’s ski race. There were also 30 people participating in the second annual snow bike race, and dozens of kids in Friday night’s Junior Bear Chase.
Overall winners included Kathleen Dewahl of Minneapolis and Ben Hugus of Marquette, Michigan in the 50k freestyle, Chandra Ziegler of Crystal Falls, Michigan and Ben Cogger of Duluth, Minnesota in the 50k classic. In the 25k races Ellen Wiitala of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Dan Wood of Houghton, Michigan won the 25k freestyle, while Nancy Uschold of Marquette and Scott Pederson of Spooner, Wis. Won the 25k classic. Hancock, Michigan natives won the 14k freestyle races with David Jaszczzk winning the men’s and Katie Holway winning the female race. Abby Scheller of Champlin, Minnesota and Daniel Pederson of Spooner, Wisconsin won the 14k classic races.
A full list of results can be found online at greatbearchase.com/results.

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France’s Guedon Wins Engadin; Roponen Top Female in 42 k

Frenchman Pierre Guedon won a sprint finish on Sunday at the Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland, completing the 42 k freestyle race in 1:28.19.6. Italian runner-up Christian Zorzi was half a second behind and Christophe Perrillat-Collomb of France placed third, one second after Guedon.

Swiss World Cup skier Remo Fischer was fourth (+1.4) and Martin Hammer of Norway took fifth (+2.0).

Finnish national-team member Riita-Liisa Roponen won the women’s race in 1:29.52.3, beating Swiss runner-up Seraina Boner by 2 minutes and 12 seconds.

U.S. biathlete Hannah Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project/USBA) placed 25th, and American Matt Liebsch (XC United) took 26th, 15.7 seconds behind the winner. XC Oregon’s Oliver Burruss finished 48th, and Craftsbury’s Nils Koons placed 54th and Peter Kling of APU was 56th.

Men’s results

Women’s results

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McKeever Wins Canadian Birkebeiner; Karen Messenger Fastest ‘With Pack’

The leading member of Canada’s Para-Nordic Ski Team, Brian McKeever won the 25th annual Canadian Birkebeiner 55-kilometer classic mass start on Saturday. Double poling most of the moderately hilly course as training, McKeever managed to beat his teammate and guide Erik Carleton by nearly three minutes in the “lite” division at the Blackfoot Provincial Recreation in Edmonton, Alberta.

Without a 5.5-kilogram (12-pound) pack to slow him down, McKeever finished in 3:19:37.7, and Carleton followed 2:59.5 minutes later. Jon Arne Enevoldsen of Oslo, Norway, was third in the “lite” race, 11:06.7 behind McKeever.

“Tough conditions for Birkie today,” McKeever tweeted. “… blowing, fresh & SLOW snow. Double poled & got the W, but We’ll see If the bod is janked tomorrow!”

Heidi Widmer of the Alberta World Cup Academy was the fastest female in 3:50:14.2. She was fifth overall and beat teammate Annika Hicks, the second woman, by 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Another Academy female, Marlis Kromm was third (+7:52.3).

Lite” 55 k results

In the 55 k “with pack” race, Karen Messenger of Canmore, Alberta, was the overall winner in 4:14.50.4. Barret Dunbar of Saskatoon was the top man and second overall, 3:15.5 back. AWCA head coach Chris Jeffries was the second man and third overall (+4:52.8).

With pack” 55 k results

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Freeman Continues New England Marathon Romp with Craftsbury Win, Curran Takes Women’s Title

US Ski Team veteran Kris Freeman (Maine Winter Sports Center), training in New Hampshire since the Tour de Ski, made his second appearance on the New England marathon circuit this weekend, easily skiing to a dominating win in the 50k classic Craftsbury Marathon in Craftsbury, Vermont.

Freeman skied a six-and-a-half minute win over Nils Koons (CGRP).

The race for second featured somewhat more drama with Koons besting teammate Bryan Cook by just a tenth of a second.

The home team Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) finished second thorugh sixth in the men’s event.

A brutal January that, featuring temperatures in the 40’s and heavy rains earlier in the week ruined any chance of the scenic point-to-point course that often highlights the event.

But the core trails at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center withstood the weather onslaught, and organizers were able to assemble a challenging 12.5k loop for the race.

In the women’s race Caitlin Curran (VTXC) skied to a clear win over Kirsten Beaudry (Dartmouth). Paige Elliott was third.

Eric Darling and Eileen Carey won the men’s and women’s 25 k event respectively.

The Craftsbury Marathon is the second stop in the New England Nordic Ski Association’s Marathon Series, following on the heels of last week’s White Mountain Classic, a race that Freeman also won.

50k Results

25k Results

Age Group Results

 

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