Here’s some awesome news – popular cross country ski racing is showing steady growth!
Despite a shortened season, and with a couple of snow related hiccups early on, participation in popular races grew by 48% this winter (full 2019 – 2020 participation statistics here). Three major changes have occurred over the past two years to help fuel this growth: branding our citizen races as “Popular Races” versus “Zak Cup,” adding more races (including adding “Just Try It” or “Fun” races to existing events), and the inclusion of senior aged skiers (23-29) in our Zak Cup statistics. The goal is to create a more exciting and inclusive feel to races while honoring the traditions of the Zak and Club Cup. NENSA also introduced a free “Get Skiing” membership for any first time members this season and scored previous members to our Zak Cup standings beginning with the Craftsbury Marathon this winter. Competition draws competition and we are so happy our members are responding!
Speaking of competition – the beauty of citizen racing in New England is the robust talent present at any given race – skiers of all ages from youth in Bill Koch, to novice adult racers, junior athletes and their coaches, parents, and elite skiers past and present (including many of our ageless masters), former National Team skiers and Olympians. Popular cross country ski racing thrives because of this inclusive and diverse atmosphere.
Our masters men’s age group rankings included 229 individual skiers who collectively completed 628 races! At the end of the season, young gun, Chris Burnham (NWVE) became the first senior skier to become the Zak Overall Men’s Champion at the age of 27. Burnham and 2018 and 2019 Overall Champion, Eli Enman (NWVE/Rossignol) raced head to head 6 times this season each taking three victories in this duel – in the end Burnham prevailed, partly by completing more total races. Adam Terko of the Mansfield Nordic Club had a strong master’s career debut, and was able to secure third place overall while balancing his full time coaching responsibilities with MNC. Other notable finishes to mention: David Johnston an M8 from Mansfield, placed fourth overall, beating out 2017 Champion, Neal Graves (Stowe), and won his age group in all ten of his races! M6, Tom Thurston (NWVE), was also undefeated in age group competition winning eight of eight competitions. Also of note, the M5 and M6 categories included over 30 skiers making for deep competition.
The overall women’s field is also showing fantastic growth with 90 individual skiers who completed 220 races! These numbers are more than double those in recent history (2017 – 38 individuals, 2018 – 45 individuals, 2019 – 48 individuals). Sarah Graves of Stowe Nordic was able to regain her Zak Overall Women’s title for the first time since 2017 – completing nine races and scoring a perfect 175 points (7 best). M7, JoAnn Hanowski a perennial strength from Mansfield, was also able to sweep victories in all eight races she competed in – securing her the second step of the overall podium. Senior skier, Emily Stitt of Mansfield, reemerged on the scene this year taking multiple overall race victories and third place overall for the season.
In another measure of strength – our Marathon Challengers came out in record numbers this season – with 24 skiers completing four or more marathons. Marathon hats will be delayed because of our current situation – but have no fear you will receive them!
As we continue to weather our current health crisis we want to celebrate these incredible athletes. All of the podium position skiers listed below will be presented with a NENSA mug and our overall champions will receive Swix klister as prizes in the coming weeks. We will also be opening bids for the 2020 – 2021 season soon – giving us all something to look forward to!!
In the meantime, be well, stay safe and enjoy working out in your backyards.
If you have specific feedback please reach out to [email protected] with “Popular Racing” in the subject line.
Also if you haven’t been looking already Jamie Doucett has awesome photos from Bretton Woods, Freeman Frost White Mountain Classic, Geschmossel, Race for Snow, and the Bogburn.
Senior (23-29 years old)
|1||115||Sara Falconer||Mansfield Nordic|
|3||100||Emily Stitt||Mansfield Nordic|
|2||50||Ida Sargent||Craftsbury GRP|
|1||175||Sara Graves||Stowe Nordic|
|2||120||Elissa Bradley||Ford Sayre|
|1||95||Tristin Adie||Mansfield Nordic|
|2||70||Rosalie Wilson||Ford Sayre|
|3||50||Holly Macy||Dublin XC|
|1||127||Katie Hill||Mansfield Nordic|
|1||175||Amy Gunn||Black Water Nordic Ski Club|
|3||52||Renate Adamonwicz||Mansfield Nordic|
|1||125||Carrrie Nourjian||Stowe Nordic|
|1||75||Trina Hosmer||Stowe Nordic|
|1||100||Sara Mae Berman||CSU|
Senior (23-29 years old)
|2||137||Dennis Page||Nansen Ski Club|
|1||170||Michael Millar||Mansfield Nordic|
|2||125||Adam Terko||Mansfield Nordic|
|1||150||Neal Graves||Stowe Nordic|
|1||175||Eli Enman||NWVE – Rossignol|
|3||77||Steve Crafts||Mansfield Nordic|
|2||104||Christopher Naimie||Bow Nordic|
|3||85||Chris Bean||Stowe Nordic|
|1||165||Robert Bradlee||Wide Meadow Ski Club|
|3||101||Richard Costanza||Mansfield Nordic|
|1||175||David Johnston||Mansfield Nordic|
|2||160||Charlie Gunn||Black Water Nordic Ski Club|
|1||145||Donavon Freeman||Mt. Washington Nordic|
|3||115||John Lazenby||Onion River Nordic|
|2||55||David Hosmer||Stowe Nordic|
|3||25||Jonathan Chaffee||Ford Sayre|
|1||125||Bob Gray||Putney Ski Club|
|2||45||George Hall||Craftsbury Nordic|
|1||100||Larry Berman||Cambridge Sports Union|