While not exactly racing news, many of us are aware of the tragic death of Ben Parsons in an avalanche. Please consider donating to the Go Fund Me campaign set up to support his young family: Go Fund Me
USA Race News
Wolf Creek Skimo Race – Jan 7
First we go to the US where the COSMIC series continued at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Paul Hamilton topped the podium with 2015 National Team members Scott Simmons and Billy Laird. The women’s race was not well attended but attracted the highly talented mountain runner Najeeby Quinn who took the win over Madeleine Carey of Santa Fe.
Canada Race News
Castle Mountain/Canadian National Team Trials – Jan 7/8
The fourth annual Castle Mountain Skimo Race – also serving as the Canadian National Team Trials – was held over the weekend in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Castle always attracts a decent crowd with it’s proximity to Calgary and small-town hill feel.
Saturday’s sprint was held adhering as close to the World Cup format as possible with a qualifying round and then quarter, semi, and final rounds contested in heats of four. Essentially serving as a practice event for athletes competing at the upcoming World Championships, it was a good reminder of some of the basics with a few exciting heats! Eric Carter stayed ahead of the men’s field while Kylee Ohler absolutely dominated the women’s. Special mention should go to Tom Stephens, a junior athlete, who managed to snag a spot in the men’s finals!
Despite dire weather predictions, a skiff of new snow and reasonable temperatures with low wind made Sunday’s individual race very reasonable. Racers tackled two big climbs through the ski area with excellent side-country descents. Nick Elson and Eric Carter took turns breaking trail on the first ascent before turing up the speed on the second groomed ascent where Carter broke away for the win with Travis Brown and Peter Knight rounding out third and fourth place. In the women’s race, Kylee Toth Ohler continued to ski well ahead of Michelle Katchur-Roberts and Lori-Anne Donald. A notable new face was Gary Robbins, Coastal ultra-runner and race organizer who placed a very respectable fifth in his first serious stab at skimo racing.
Glenda Zamzow Photos
Snow Trail Vertical – Dec 17/Jan 7The first two of three Vertical races organized in preparation for the Orford Snow Trail event held on March 18th in Quebec. These races feature a unique format allowing athletes to use whatever mode of human powered travel they prefer to compete to the top including by foot, snowshoe, or ski. The first even was well attended by youth athletes including two 11-year old ladies. The women’s event was won by local MTB legend Isabelle Bernier and the men’s by Mathieu Ladouceur.
The second event featured a well groomed course and despite cold temperatures, was well attended. The men’s category was won by Roger Girard while the women’s race was upset by local skimo champ, Lyne Bessette.
The winners overall of the series of 3 races will win a free registration for the Snow Trail 2017. The organization team of the Snow Trail will have a value of more than 6,000$ in prized to give to the participants during the winter. At the cost of 20$ (including a beer for after the race), there is no good reason not to take part of the preparatory series and enjoy the mountain! For more details, please visit the Endurance Aventure Website.
International Race News
Early January is designated by the ISMF as the period for National Championships to be held so throughout Europe, athletes were racing for their respective countries titles.
In Switzerland, the Individual and Sprint National Championships were held with Werner Marti and Maude Mathys (recently returning from an anti-doping violation and subsequent ban) taking the respective wins in the Individual. Super-espoir Remi Bonnet finished fifth. The Swiss king-sprinter Yannick Eccour only managed fifth in the sprint event with Iwan Arnold and Deborah Chiarello leading the podium.
Over in Italy, Roberto Antonioli and Katy Neve won the Individual National Championships with Alba De Silvestro moving into the senior Women’s ranking and taking a respectable podium position. Michelle Boscocci was the only name notably absent from the men’s race but is sure to be on top form for worlds.
Over in the Pyrenees, power-couple Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet dominated the Catalonian National Champs with Mark Pinch and Claudia Galicia Cortina comfortably taking second position.
The next bout of European racing comes on January 21st and 22nd when the World Cup commences at the wonderful Font Blanca venue in Andorra!
The skimo season is back in full swing in North America with races throughout the US and Canada on both sides of the divide. Find your closest event and get after it! Likely the biggest turnout will be at the Sunlight Heathen Challenge where US athletes will be competing for spots on the World Championships Team. The Sprint and Team’s race teams will be determined but also up in the air is the coveted fourth and final spot for both the men’s and women’s individual event.
Cosmic Series – Powderhorn Grand Mesa Grind – Jan 14
Cosmic Series – Sunlight Mountain Heathen Challenge – Jan 14/15
Skimo East Series – Trail de nuit de Stoneham – Jan 14
North East Rando Series – Berkshire East – Jan 21
Canadian Cup – Fernie Lizard Skinner Skimo Race – Jan 21
Want to contribute to SkinTrack?
We are looking for brief race report submissions from Colorado and Utah athletes, and from the East Coast as well.
Also, we would be very happy to provide more exposure to women’s races and so we are asking you ladies to submit your race reports.
Get in touch via email or comments below!