Monday, February 28, 2011

President’s Cup Race – Feburary 21, 2011 – Auburn Ski Club

By Debbie Hakansson

Monday morning dawned clear and cold as Team Truckee XC found itself, once again, at Auburn Ski Club, this time for the annual President’s Cup race. Racing on top of seven feet of fresh snow was no problem thanks to the fabulous packing and grooming done by ASC’s Bill Clark. Two separate mass starts proved stress free due to the widest course set in history. The 5K race loop was the best ever, taking racers up Pink Lung Hill and challenging us with many thrilling ups and downs and twists and turns. Never a dull moment and the 10K racers got to ski it twice. Truckee XC men did well with Rick Reynolds finishing 5th overall and 2nd in his age class, just .4 seconds out of 1st. Daniel Buchanan was 12th overall and 1st in his age class. On the distaff side, Susan Reynolds led Truckee XC with a third place overall finish and 2nd in her age class. Laura Stern followed in 5th place, winning her age class, and Debbie Hakansson was not too far behind in 6th place, taking 3rd in her age class. Austin Meng and Beth Reid were the men’s and women’s 10K race winners. Brandon and Skyler Flora (twin brother/sister) won the 5K race. A softer flex Rossi ski with Toko HF Blue/Red and topcoat of JetStream Blue was the fastest setup for the day and our feather light OneWay poles were a joy to behold (en’ onto).

Photos courtesy of Mark Nadell

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paco’s Valentine Day Race

February 13, 2011

Rick Reynolds

Sunday in the Sierras proved to be a busy day. Tahoe Donner was the site of the inaugural “Paco’s Valentine Day Race” and Auburn Ski Club hosted a junior olympic qualifier. The combined races diluted the field at TD but by no means diluted the efforts of the racers or the race organizers. Day time temps leading up to Sunday were mid 50’s and over night temps were in the low 20‘s. Conditions were going to be firm corduroy turning wet in sun exposed areas. Conditions very similar to the BMT and I made some adjustments from what I had learned in Ketchum. I decided I wanted my stiffest skis and I wanted a wax that would give me a hard base and be resilient to dirt. My ski choice was my new Rossignol WCS2, an absolutely phenomenal ski. I waxed Toko LF moly and LF Blue first, then HF moly and HF Blue, then roto corked in moly jet stream for a fast top coat. Right before the race I rubbed on another layer of moly JS and buffed it in with a thermo pad. One issue I had to deal with was my stiff ski of choice has the cold Ultratune S2 grind on it so I used our Finite structuring tool to add some structure. I made one pass with the LO4 and one pass with the V10. One more adjustment I made was moving my binding forward one notch. I typically ski with my binding just back of center, but with the firm snow I opted for more control and to be able to get a little more from the ski when attacking. Bottom line, my skis rocked. Only problem, young guys keep getting younger!
In the men's field Tav Streit took home the gold with Michael Collins second and myself third.
Beth Reid won the women’s race, Kari Rust 2nd, Beth Thomas 3rd and Truckee XC team member Susan Reynolds 5th.

For complete race results go to:

Race Photos by Mark Nadell

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Western Regional Biathlon Championships, Soldier Hollow, Midway, UT

February 5-6, 2011
Rik Eckert
Saturday, 10K Sprint:
Dawn brought new snow to the venerable Olympic range. At 0:830 Zero Time there was three inches of wet-ishdust over old crust, and it was still snowing lightly. At the range I received a wonderful gift – Former US Biathlon Team member Casey Simons came out to help me and his college buddy Phil Violett zero rifles. All business on the Carl Zeiss scope, Casey called out sight adjustments, and I was set with only three magazines fired. I skied the punchy, soft course once to warm up – two short but steep climbs out of the stadium, a long descent to the creek bottom, then a challenging gradual climb with one steep ramp back to the range. A dream came true for me at the start gate as the clock hit zero and I kicked onto the Olympic trails… My skis ran respectably with a heavy coat of Toko HF Red on the Ultra Tune i5 grind. I felt like a champion after hitting 4/5 targets prone. Casey yelled ‘Good shootin!’ trailside and I hit the second lap hard. My standing shooting suffered for it – I came in a little too hot, and hit 1/5. I finished in 58:11, 21stoverall in the field of 46, 6th in Civilian Masters, satisfied enough, but hungry to make up some ground in the Pursuit. Marc Sheppard of West Yellowstone, MT won with a time of 45:52. My pal and Far West racer Phil Violett of Brownsville, CA was fourth at 47:27.
Sunday, 12.5K Pursuit:
Skies cleared overnight to reveal a spectacular Utah morning. Almost exactly nine years ago, I stood in this desert basin and saw the flags of many nations hanging still in the same cold air, watching as athletes and coaches spoke in languages I didn’t understand, and rowdy Norwegian fans drank American beer for breakfast… I would have scarcely believed that, years later, I’d be skiing with a rifle on my back on this perfect, firm track, warming up for a race! Phil and I set up a scope and fired at paper. My zero from Saturday held true, and I skied the course once on WCS2 skis that, with a Jetstream Red topcoat, ran like lightning! A Biathlon Pursuit is exactly what you’d imagine – a profound chase. The shooting format is PPSS (two bouts prone, two standing). You have to focus on your individual effort, in both skiing and shooting, but you’re hyper-aware of what is happening around you, especially ahead. I skied very well, chasing down 3 or 4guys that started ahead of me. My shooting was OK – 2/5, 3/5, 0/5, 3/5. At one point, I fell in the skier-cross style penalty loop, tripped by another racer, but recovered to finish 18th in the field of 43, 6th in Civilian Masters at 1:16:52. Phil Violett won with a time of 49:28.After he finished, he stood on the climb out of the range, urging me over top and helping me gain a valuable few seconds on the long descent. Congratulations to Phil for running down those three guys ahead of him… THAT’s Pursuit!
Thanks to Soldier Hollow and the US National Guard for hosting this great event, to Roger Chaney and Toko for providing wax and tools, and to Casey Simons, a real straight shooter!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Alpenglow 20K Freestyle, Tahoe XC

January 30, 2011

Laura Stern

After several weeks of sunny and dry weather, it was a treat to wake up to several inches of new snow for the Alpenglow. Suddenly it looked and felt like January again, with intermittent snow flurries continuing almost until race start. This event, hosted by Tahoe XC and sponsored by Alpenglow Sports, has long been one of my favorites. It's a 20 km single-lap course that includes some fairly sustained climbs and fast, curvy descents, as well as flat to rolling terrain with stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Waxing was straightforward, Toko HF Red finished with corked-in Jetstream Red, and our Rossi skis were running great as always! Over 100 racers lined the start, including a separate women's wave that was released 5 minutes after the men. The last-minute new snow made for slower-than-normal race conditions, and UNR coach August Teague, overall winner of the day, was the only racer to crack 1-hour this year (59:47). Former world champ Beth Reid won the women's wave, stopping the clock in 1:03:41 to place 3rd in the overall standings, and not far from 2nd! Truckee XC's Danny Buchanan and Laura Stern finished 5th in the men's and women's waves, respectively, each also taking 3rd in age group. Thanks to Kevin and Valli Murnane and their staff at Tahoe XC for preparing a great course for us and putting together this very fun day on snow (including t-shirts and post-race burgers and cider!) and to Alpenglow Sports for their generous and on-going sponsorship of this race.
Truckee's Premier Nordic Ski Team