March 9 and 10, 2013
This year marked the 40th consecutive running of Bear Valley Cross Country’s Bjornloppet. The Bjornloppet is more than a race. Its two races over two days, two great partys, and lots of prizes for all competitors, The “Bear Run” is an opportunity to reminisce old times, support the upcoming young racers, and enjoy the competition of the friendly nordic community.
An unexpected foot of snow fell on Friday afternoon and evening. The night was cold, but dawn came calm and clear. The 10:30 race start made for a relaxed morning and perfect skiing. Most racers opted for the 20K option, but also available was a single 10K loop and a 5k loop for the junior racers. The 10 and 20k race provided rolling terrain with plenty of transitions, and the famous Bjornloppet downhill. Taking the overall honors for the day were Far West Farm Team members Spencer Eusden and Wyatt Fereday at number one and two, with Peter Hansen placing third. For the Women, Julie Young and Maryellen Benier battled for 1st and 2nd place.Truckee XC’s Laura Stern placed third. Other Truckee XC skiers in the competition were, Scott Fairman, Rick Eckert, and Val Licon.
The 10K Classic race on Sunday was run over a shortened variation of the race from the previous day. The flat portions of the train and the gradual degree of most climbs made this race a double pole delight. Winners of the race were identical to the Saturday event; Eusden, Fereday, and Hanson placed for the men, while Young, Benier, and Stern were on the podium for the women.
The Spring-like weather brought relatively straightforward waxing conditions. I had good glide with Toko HF red with red Toko Jet Stream, combined with the number 5 Finite Tool for structure. Glide wax for Sunday’s classic was identical. For kick I used two thin layers of Toko Red hard wax. While the wax was durable and had great kick the first 5K lap. I was wishing I had used a little yellow for the warmer snow found on the second lap.
A special round of applause, high five and a hearty thank you must go out to Paul and Diane Petersen for the hospitality they showed to all of us out of towners. The pride they place in race organization, course planning, grooming, start/finish set up and general all around nordic atmosphere is clearly evident. Even more remarkable is that Bear Valley Cross Country owner/director, Paul, frequently has a major hand in all aspects of the event. If you haven’t made the yearly trek to Bear Valley part of your nordic season, put it on your list for next season. The opportunity to ski at one of the states best run and well-groomed nordic areas is well worth the drive. You won’t be disappointed.