In response to our socially distant landscape this spring, NENSA created a virtual rollerski challenge to engage the community, give athletes added motivation to train and have some friendly competition. The format was geared so that skiers of all abilities could participate at their own pace and comfort level. From it’s introduction the concept proved popular with tens of skiers signing up in the first days and a constant stream of mentions and tags on social media. People were getting after it and they were having FUN! As the month went on we skied 5000, then 10,000, and finally over 13,000km together!
Folks could sign up as Rockstar’s and ski the full 25km in one go — or as many choose — to go further! Will Koch, Sam Murray, Jack Lange and Philip Lawson all logged 100+km skis. All told 92 skiers officially logged over 150 unique 25km (or longer skis) — putting together an impressive 4667km total for the group. Although it wasn’t intended as a competition, skiers are listed by pace per kilometer on the results page – a stat which no doubt spurred some competition.
Speedy Repeater was designed for skiers that wanted to break up 25km into more manageable pieces. The category perhaps had the broadest appeal with skiers from Taiwan, the Yukon Territories and throughout USA and the East Coast. Several skiers racked up some impressive kilometers including Sam Holt from the University of Vermont Club Team (389km) and Emma Charles from Mount Blue High School in Maine logging 123.
My Own Pace was advertised as the the touring class. It allowed for participation by anyone – by any mode. Among participants was 89 year old Martha Chandler from Laconia, New Hampshire, who walked over 50 kilometers. We were super impressed with this group and had lots of feedback and thank you’s for encouraging them out the door and back onto rollerskis. There is a stigma, which this group disproved, that rollerskiing is too hard or hardcore — give it a shot — rollerskiing in the right environment is fun, rewarding and dare we say cool!
Halfway through the month we added a fourth category! “Keep Up With Beckwith” – was a category geared towards masters skiers to keep pace with our Competitive Program Director as he successfully took aim at 200km of skiing throughout the month. All told 17 skiers combined for nearly 5000km of activity on this pursuit! For Beckwith it was motivating to take small skis nearly everyday of the month and remember how much fun rollerskiing can be – but the story was about the impressive skiing by all in the group – including 13 of the 17 who skied considerably more than Beckwith. Some standouts include Tom Thurston, who ran 615km over the month! It was Bob Witkowski from Victor, New York who skied the most – finishing the month with a 75km ski and logging 592 total km. Two women joined the fun, Tristin Adie of Mansfield Nordic and Gabriella Frittelli of Saratoga Biathlon – Tristan made her mark logging 211km and Gabriella notched 100.
Videos and pictures were encouraged with each event entry and NENSA shared lots of stories over the month – it was so cool to see folks personalities and local neighborhoods! There will be some special NENSA prizes showing up at folks houses in the next days – but the challenge was based on raffle tickets with, each entry receiving one raffle ticket (or two tickets if you had renewed your 2021 NENSA membership) towards a prize pool provided by Swix, Enjoy Winter, Swenor, and the Trapp Family Lodge. You can see winners and their awesome prizes here!
This month we ramp things up with #juneterm – which includes some more structured benchmark testing for some, a BKL component, and of course categories for taking things at your own pace! Ski you out there.