How fitting to be introducing the 2022-2023 NENSA Popular Race Series on the first snow of the year! There are 25 events on the calendar, which include 17 Zak Cups and seven marathons — all 25 events (and the eight Eastern Cup races) will be scored to season-long Club Cup standings. Popular races are intended to be inclusive events, with options for all skiers from the most competitive to those who might be just exploring the sport. NENSA is working with event organizers to make your experience the best it can be, from registration and promotion, to course prep, results and awards. As we continue to emerge from a pandemic climate venues are encouraged to bring back some of the festive touches that make a race experience — including music, food and robust award ceremonies.
NENSA is pleased to announce that we will have more automated scoring of both Zak and Club Cup throughout the winter and that NENSA members will receive discounted entry at many of the events. We hope individuals will consider renewing memberships early and that clubs will check in ([email protected]) and make sure their NENSA Club Membership is current. Both of these steps insure that event timers and NENSA staff will have the best data possible, which allows us to provide the best product.
Zak Cup scoring is a way for senior and master skiers to have friendly rivalries across the race series, with both age group and overall classification. At the end of the season, the top three competitors of each age group will receive a coveted NENSA mug. In the winter of 2021 the scope of Club Cup scoring was expanded to include not only Popular Races, but also the four Eastern Cup weekends in an effort to reflect the broadest club participation across all competitive events. Through the Masters and the Athletic Development Committee’s we have adopted a new point structure for this season — where the point base for any given category is 60 points for a win, then decreasing by 1 point per place. Up to three skiers per category score points for their club.
All races will score the following age groups:
U16 ages 14-15, U18 ages 16-17, U20 ages 18-19
SR ages 20-29, M1 ages 30-34, M2 ages 35-39, M3 ages 40-44
M4 ages 45-49, M5 ages 50-54, M6 ages 55-59, M7 ages 60-64
M8 ages 65-69, M9 ages 70-74, M10 ages 75-79, M11 ages 80-84
M12 ages 85-89, M13 ages 90-94, M14 ages 95-99, M15 ages 100+
We also track participation across the Marathon Races with a Challenge for skiers to complete more than half of the events. This year skiers who complete four or more of the seven marathons will receive a co-branded NENSA / LL Bean hat. We are excited to to have a range of “marathon” distances, some that are 20+ km all the way up to 50km, with a balance of both classic and freestyle.
Recent cold temperatures have allowed venues to fire up snow guns across the region and we are only 18 days from the first race of the season, the Quarry Road Opener in Waterville, Maine. That event will also be held in conjunction with our annual TD and Event Organizer Training — any event organizers are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran, a recreational skier or a junior looking for a local race there really is something for everyone on the calendar. We look forward to a long winter, and the return of the Club Relay Championships & End-of-Season Celebration at Craftsbury on March 25th. This event will be held at the end of Super Tour Finals where skiers from across North American will be present. NENSA will recognize season-long Zak, and Club awards as well as other NENSA Awards at this joyous occasion.
Think snow and reach out to [email protected] with any questions.