On Saturday over 170 Nordic skiers amped for winter strapped on a set of rollerskis to participate in the NENSA Rossignol Fall Rollerski Classic presented by Mansfield Nordic Club. It was a chilly morning replete with the first snow of the year on Mount Mansfield as a backdrop, but everyone in attendance was fired up and ready to race.
The day started out with U16 skiers competing in a 5 kilometer race, consisting of one short loop and one long loop around the rolling curves of the Camp Ethan Allen rollerski track. Rain drizzled on and off but that didn’t stop the U16s from making a strong showing out on the course. The podium finishers for U16 girls were Sienna Brennan of Chelsea Nordiq in 1st, followed by Mai Hadrell-Anning and Ariane Blouin also of Chelsea Nordiq in 2nd and 3rd. The U16 boys race was won by Aidan Burt of Mansfield Nordic, followed by Sam Murray of Ford Sayre in 2nd and Ry Prior of Chelsea Nordiq in 3rd.
Following the U16 race was a 10 kilometer race for U18 skiers and older. This event was unique as the top 30 in both the men’s and women’s field raced on matched Swenor Alutech Classic rollerskis. We managed a fleet of 38 – 20 from our NENSA fleet and 18 sent out to us on loan from the Midwest fleet.
The drizzle returned and the cold wind picked up, and skiers ran back and forth near the starting line to stay warm before their races began. The 10k race brought an elite field with competitors from the US Ski Team, Craftsbury Green Racing Project, SMS T2, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Colby College, UVM, and St. Michael’s College. Competition was fierce out on the track, and spectators were able to watch the strong field putting in great efforts as they passed by the starting area on the multiple loops of the course.
In the women’s race the overall winner was series leader Caitlin Patterson of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project in a time of 25:14.4, followed closely by her teammate, and US Ski Team member, Ida Sargent in 2nd. UVM’s Lina Sutro rounded out the women’s podium in 3rd.
The men’s race saw UVM skier and 2017 winner Bill Harmeyer holding off the strong competition to win with a time of 22:09.6. Bill was followed by Adam Martin of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project in 2nd, and Kyle Bratrud of SMS T2 in 3rd. Full results and series rankings are listed on our Rollerski Results page here.
After the event competitors were able to try out an exciting new agility feature, a ramp that many describe as a pump track for cross-country skis. The whole day had a carnival like feel with a balance of world class competition and camaraderie. NENSA has two more rollerski competitions before winter, culminating with the Trapp Invitational Race in Stowe, Vermont where the Overall Series winners will be awarded.
For more photo coverage of the event, check out Dave Priganc’s Flickr page.