It was January 1992, Biwabik, MN, site of the U.S. Cross-Country Skiing Olympic Trials. I was ranked in the top two in the country coming into the trials, and poised to qualify for my third Olympic games. As the trials began, I was fighting a virus that I had picked up at a racing series in Canada. I was hoping that I could find the energy at the trials to qualify for my third Olympic Team, get healthy, and then ski the best I could in Albertville, France, site of the XVI Winter Olympic Games. Unfortunately, things do not always go as you plan, and I did not qualify for the team that year.
Recently I was asked this question, “How has racing shaped you as a person?” I had been ski racing since high school, and been a part of the US Ski Team for fourteen years. With three Olympic Games (‘84, ‘88, ‘94) and five World Championships to my credit, the question asked of me made me think… How has all this racing influenced me as a person?
In giving talks to audiences of all ages during my career as a ski racer, I had touched on qualities I thought were important to become the best athlete you could be. These same qualities can easily be applied to life in general, and ones I think helped me become the person I am today.
Dream Big So many Olympians say when they are little, “I want to be in the Olympics!” It is so important to dream big. With these dreams, it is important to set goals along the way that lead up to this big dream. Whether or not your dream is to become an Olympian, it is important to be able to dream big and create steps needed to reach your goal. I still find myself dreaming of things I want to do while at the same time figuring out the steps I need to take to achieve that goal.
Never Give Up After the disappointment of not making the ’92 Albertville Olympics, it would have been easy to give up. I had been on the US Team for eleven years and it would have been easy to hang up the skis and move on, but I still had a desire to keep racing so I did not give up. I kept training, traveled to Hayward, WI, and became the second American to win the 50km American Birkebeiner, the largest race in the U.S. There is a quote I like to share with people that can be applied to not only athletics, but to life in general. It is from a famous Irish runner named Eamonn Coghlan. He says, “Even though you might be facing defeat, never give up, instead fight back for an even more glorious victory!” Victory does not need to mean winning the race, but instead achieving the goals you set for yourself in life. There will be setbacks as you go through life, but remember, Never Give Up!
Work Hard Cross-country skiing is hard work. The training that is required to become a good cross-country skier is difficult. It takes determination, persistence, and a will to overcome obstacles. The spring following the ’92 Olympic Trials, I underwent heart surgery for an arrhythmia I had been struggling with for the previous couple of years. I was faced with the decision of surgery or retiring from competition. The Birkebeiner win re-ignited the spark I needed to make the decision to continue racing. It was hard overcoming that obstacle, but life is hard. There will be setbacks, obstacles to overcome, and it will take determination and persistence to reach the goals you set for yourself.
Take Chances Do not be afraid of taking chances. Whether it be the training you do, your race strategy, the wax you choose, or the job you go after, take chances and do not be afraid of failure. All athletes at some point in their careers have failed in some aspect of training or racing, but it is through these failures where character is built.
I have moved on from my international competitive years and am now teaching physical education in Alaska. I enjoy teaching my students the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. While racing, I received so much support from family, coaches, and companies that I could not have done what I had done without them. Though I still train and race when I can, I enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with kids up to the high school level while coaching skiing and running in Alaska.
The qualities I learned while ski racing helped me become the person I am today. All of these qualities can be applied to all situations outside of skiing as well. Whether you are a ski racer, student, or working a job, these qualities can have a positive influence on your life.
Chummy Broomhall Award: This award is named after Chummy, who was the Chisholm Ski Club leader for 70 plus years, 2 time Olympian, and builder of the Olympic race courses for Squaw Valley, Lake Placid and Black Mountain. He embodied the spirit of being a volunteer as he was a man who gave his time to generations. It is in this spirit that this award be in his honor for the unsung heroes of ski racing.
This year’s recipient of our NENSA 2020 Chummy Broomhall Award is Jim Rodridgues ~ posthumous
Last February, during one of our weekly NENSA staff meetings, we started talking about our NENSA Awards for 2020. Two awards were easily and unanimously decided that day – our Chummy Award and our John Caldwell Award recipients. This was just a few short weeks before Jim’s sudden and unexpected death. We wish he could be here now to receive this award – we know he would have been thrilled – for the honor, and for the association with Chummy – a dear friend of his and part of his Chisholm Ski Club.
After growing up in the city of Oakland California, Jim learned to ski when he was 18 at Yosemite National Park, and soon became a backcountry guide for 10 years. In 1985 Jim moved to New Hampshire, as the XC Ski Director at Temple Mountain in Peterborough New Hampshire, where he built ski trails, and by 1989 had a 1 km lighted loop with snowmaking. During that time he was also the Milford High School XC Ski Coach bringing the team along to five State Championship titles.
Jim was the Event Director at the New England Nordic Ski Association for 12 years, and helped create a higher standard of New England Nordic ski racing. Jim launched an annual Event Organizer Seminar to help New England race directors and venues raise the bar in their operations ranging from homologation of championship level race courses to hosting youth events. He was a tremendous regional resource, quietly helping bring premier competitions to our region. Jim has been a tireless volunteer and resource to so many individuals and organizations for over 40 years.
Janice Sibilia had the pleasure of working with Jim for ten years at NENSA. “He was a fabulous mentor and a very giving person. He expected 100% from all of us, but at the same time, had a great way of encouraging and working with each person and venue as an individual. His passion for nordic skiing and all things related, was contagious and his laugh and enthusiasm was something I will never forget. He was truly one of a kind.”
Jim was a FIS Technical Delegate (TD) at races ranging from youth events, to National and International high-level events such as NCAAs, Junior Nationals, and international roller ski races. Jim always went above the call of duty to ensure races were at the highest caliber and the best race experience for all involved. Jim’s TD resume speaks for itself with over 130 events, but what sets him apart was his constant search for ways to contribute to the Nordic community, and to offer his expertise in any capacity – officially or advisory.
Amie Smith remembers “I first worked with Jim in 2010-11 when I was the Race Director for a NENSA Eastern Cup in Boston. He then took me under his wings when I officially started working for NENSA in 2015 as the Competitive Program Director. He supported and mentored me as a TD, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Justin Beckwith adds that “Jim was able to serve any position with authority yet able to have a wicked sense of humor – he no doubt helped raise the level of New England and American events.”
Ollie Burruss thinks “Unsung hero is a great description of Jim Rodrigues. While many of us in the race organization and race official world know of Jim and his outsized contributions to our sport, he was probably unknown to most athletes, coaches, parents, wax techs, and spectators. It is one of the grand ironies of his passing that a man known for his enormous personality, warmth, and good cheer to his friends and coworkers was never recognized by much of the race community whom he served so tirelessly. Whether Jim was cracking jokes and telling stories when everything was going well, or commiserating when things were tough, he always had a positive effect on race day. New England skiing lost a real one, but his legacy will live on through those who learned from his drive and commitment to making race day the best it could be for the athletes.”
Knut Sauer remembers “Jim was a frequent TD/COC in Lake Placid where I am a long time dedicated volunteer. I had the opportunity to interact with Jim many times, and observe his work, which got me inspired to become a TD. Jim encouraged me to take the step and become a TD. I had the opportunity to shadow him, unofficially, a few times and he was a great mentor and truly a believer in the sport.“
Mike Bastisi from ORDA adds, “Jim was the one who encouraged us here at ORDA into going after bigger events again, and it was through his friendship and mentoring that I’ve been able to hone my skills as an event organizer/official in regards to Nordic competition. I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed if even for a few short years.”
Besides his multifaceted role as an official, Jim is the person to do what is needed, make the call, pick up the shovel or jump in the Pisten Bully to groom the course. Whatever questions needed to be answered and whichever tasks needed to be done, Jim was a resource, and NENSA and our entire cross country ski community was lucky to have such an outstanding individual in our ski community.
Fred Bailey fondly recalls that “Jim always impressed upon me that we as TDs are at events to make sure they can give the user a good experience. Often this means helping the OC get ready on race morning with venue setup, particularly the mass start chevron. Sometimes it meant shoveling. Jim’s truck was always full of tools to help pull off the event. One of my funnier memories is him and Justin Easter gearing up for a night of riding the tracks pans on the snowmobile tracks to make sure we had deep set tracks for the next day. They had a good laugh about who would be the first to fall off or lose all feeling in their limbs from the cold! Jim loved ski racing and we all greatly benefitted from his passion.”
John Estle of Fairbanks AK, and fellow FIS TD sums up Jim’s volunteer spirit this way, “Jim was an active skier, but was also active in almost every aspect of the sport as a Level 3 FIS Technical Delegate, Chief of Competition for major national calendar events, mentor to organizers and officials as NENSA events coordinator for many years, designer of trails, volunteer at whatever job needed to be filled. Jim had a lasting impact on event organizers and officials throughout New England via his role as NENSA event coordinator. He used his leadership roles to mentor and teach those with whom he came in contact for the long-term improvement of our sport. There was no aspect of the sport in which he was not active and did not have extensive experience. He did all this with a smile on his face and a good sense of humor, which engaged others, assisting in the transfer of knowledge to ‘the next generation.’ “
NENSA and FIS TD Bill Rogers can still recall skiing the Holderness NH course with Jim where he emphasized the simplicity of the TD’s role – “keep the race fair and keep it safe”. Bill still thinks of this simple advice to this day when he is on an assignment.
Longtime friend Alison Weber shared this remembrance of Jim, that captures his volunteer spirit well, as he was always ahead of the curve, supporting kids of all income levels, always rooting for the under dog and the top dog. “Jim always kept up with what the younger kids were doing in their ski development and always wanted to encourage kids in their racing careers. He was always cheering on the kids at Koch League and Junior races, and kept himself really informed about how all of the kids were progressing. Jim and Chip (Woodbury) always got together when they could at races and other times to talk about skiing development and how things could be done without spending exorbitant amounts of money. Jim was one who liked to come up with new ideas and invent ways where things could be done with whatever materials they had on hand. One of the last times Chip and Jim talked…last season at the Great Glen Koch Festival, he and Chip spent hours chatting. One of the discussion points was how to use foam shipping corner protectors as trail markers! Jim always enjoyed those good times, just jawing about skiing….with his wonderful laugh.”
Brad Bates, Head of School at the Dublin School had this to say of Jim, which is reflective of so many other venues Jim worked with too: “Our Nordic Center is only six years old and we would not be anywhere close to where we are today without Jim’s wisdom, help, and confidence. Jim whipped us into shape and helped us organize and train our volunteer base. As he had done in so many towns around New England he helped us build community by making everyone feel they were important and they were valued. He had a story and ten minutes for everyone he met.
These old friendships ran deep for Jim. He is well known in the Monadnock Region for his work at Temple Mountain back in the day. He was way ahead of his time in creating a “Super Kilometer” race trail at the base of the mountain using the ski area’s snowmaking system. Those who worked with him at that time clearly had a special bond with him. Jim was not always the easiest person to work with but after a year or two, you realized his bluster was endearing, and not meant to be taken too seriously. He had opinions and was not afraid to tell you how you felt. And most of the time, despite not always wanting to agree with him, he was right! He was extremely loyal and would always defend his buddies. The Dublin XC club loved working with him and we hung on his every word. We miss him every day and will never forget what he did for skiing in our area and throughout the northeast.”
Fred Griffin shares how we all feel, that “Jim understood every aspect of nordic skiing. He was a racer, groomer, coach, event manager, Chief of Comp, official. He knew something about everything. At every level he made lasting friends. He gave all of us so much of him that his final legacy is one of warm and lasting memories. Jim, we miss you!”
“What comes to my mind when I think of Jim is that whenever I knew he was coming to Black Mountain as an official or just a club member to help, he was a person you always looked forward to seeing. He shared his knowledge in a way that made you want to do better for the sport he loved.” shared Roger Arsenault of Chisholm Ski Club.
Fellow TD Carlie Casey adds, “Jim was such a big-hearted and generous friend! Like most who were lucky enough to know him, I miss him.”
Justin Easter recalled “My last conversation with Jim was about keeping skiing affordable and accessible to everyone.”
Dan Warner “Mouse” of Chisholm Ski Club sums it up: “Jim was a strong leader in our community and he is missed. He would be honored to get the Broomhall award. RIP Jim!”
Jim’s good friend and fellow FIS TD Matt Pauli of Anchorage AK echoes all of our thoughts ~ “As with everything I do in skiing, Jim always comes to mind.”
Congratulations to Jim, for his many years of volunteer service to our Nordic community, and for all that he accomplished and gave to our sport over the past 40 years. The fact that Jim is not here to accept the award is heartbreaking, but his many friends and colleagues feel honored to know this Chummy Broomhall Award was bestowed upon him this year.
Being today is December 23rd, we will close with this story from Brad Bates of a time when Jim resembled Santa Claus… “During the Eastern Cup at our Nordic Center last winter I was called out to our famous “S Curves” section of the 3 km loop due to some fast and icy conditions. I kept radioing back to race headquarters for heavier duty rakes to help break up the crust. Just as I was about to panic, our groomer Steve Sanders, one of Jim’s old friends, came snowmobiling out to where we were working with Jim in tow. Without a word Jim jumped off the sled with a large bag in his hands and began spreading salt on the icy sections as if he were distributing toys to children. Within seconds, the areas that he had salted were soft enough to rake into some sweet corduroy. After a quick smile and mentioning how this same technique worked at Black Mountain in ’96 or Placid in ’88…, “he sprang to his sleigh, to [Steve] gave a whistle. And away they flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight.” Good luck to you all, and to all a good night…”
Click HERE to read and enjoy! December racing updates | NENSA’s 2020 Club of the Year Award | Year End Giving | Women’s Day postponed to 2/21/21 | BKL Youth BINGO in full swing | December Club Virtual KM Challenge reaches 10,000 km’s to date
Club of the Year: This award is given annually to honor a NENSA club that is making great strides in supporting the NENSA mission to sustain a vital and active nordic skiing community in New England.
Our NENSA 2020 Club of the Year is Holderness Nordic!
When NENSA hosts an Eastern Cup at Holderness School we know it will be both an outstanding and an inclusive event. The Holderness Nordic race organizers encourage high school racers to join, who typically may have never skied in an Eastern Cup before, as well as also having a robust Masters participation. Holderness Eastern Cups always include BKL races, and in the past few years, they have made a wonderful CXC (cross country cross) course with fun jumps, bumps, gates and tunnels to ski through, even incorporating one of those jumps into our Eastern Cup loop as an option for the older skiers! The Holderness School and the Holderness Nordic Club are intertwined – the coaches, trails, the whole infrastructure – and this full community support shines brightly at every event they do!
The Cheri Walsh Memorial Eastern Cup race, always held in February, and historically, our final race of the season, has also been the spot where NENSA typically names our Junior National Team. Holderness Head of School Phil Peck and Holderness Nordic Club Leader Peter Hendel always make sure that there is a fun raffle, filled with lots of great prizes, for ALL participants racing that day, as a fun and inclusive way to keep the celebration going before naming the New England JN Team.
“Holderness always embraced the concept of making a ski race a Festival — recent terrain park additions to BKL and top-junior racing naturally complements the vibe of their events — and helps guide XC Skiing into the future.” Justin Beckwith, NENSA Competitive Program Director
But their commitment to the Cheri Walsh Memorial Eastern Cup race is not the only reason that Holderness Nordic Ski Club rose to the top of our NENSA Club Award nominees this year. Holderness Nordic has it all – the staff, the support of the entire school community, and fun “old school” trails. But they are also looking to the future with a new John Morton homologated 2.5k loop and sprint course, snowmaking, and lights all coming to fruition this coming year, thanks to the generosity of an alum. The goal is to still keep the trails playful and fun to ski on!
Holderness Nordic embraces their love of cross country skiing in everything they do. This New Hampshire club of about 30 BKL & middle school athletes and 20 high school athletes has a lot of history surrounding it, and the folks running it. The coaching staff, led by former U.S. Nordic Team Coach Pat Casey, is also remarkable. Current coaches include Olympian Kristina Joder Casey and NENSA trustee Peter Hendel. Head of School Phil Peck, who was also a World Cup skier and Olympic coach, makes time to ski with the team when he can as well.
Fall Training 2020
Thirty-seven years ago Phil Peck came to Holderness from coaching with the US Team. He wanted to coach young athletes and also teach. The only school in the country he wanted to work at was Holderness because of the balance of academic and snow sports excellence. Phil was blessed to coach with wonderful coaches like Dennis Donahue, Steve Gaskill, and Peter Hendel. One challenging snow year during the late 80’s Holderness hosted 3 Eastern Cup Races, the Nordic Combined Championships, and two college carnivals.
While Phil moved out of coaching at Holderness to become head of school 20 years ago, Peter Hendel has never left the program and has been the “quarterback” of 30 Cheri Walsh Memorial Eastern Cup races. Before Peter started teaching and coaching at Holderness, he led the club’s Bill Koch program. Now, in “retirement” Peter is the culture keeper of Holderness Nordic. He works with their remarkable Bill Koch Club coordinator (and Holderness graduate) Molly Whitcomb and Frosty Whitworth to support the BKL program and robust middle school program. Peter also assists the terrific Director of the Holderness Nordic Program, Pat Casey, AND he is the assistant groomer. Peter is the behind the scenes force who has given tirelessly of himself to the Holderness school and Nordic Club Program for almost 40 years.
Kristina Casey describes Peter as, “A dream – gentle, kind, gets everything done – he has such a passion for the sport”
Phil sums it up well saying, “Peter Hedel is a rock star. He loves coaching and is super excited about the middle school coaching he is now doing. Peter does not want any attention – he wants to serve.”
Coach Peter Hendel going over some logistics with his team
For the last eleven years, Peter has supported the Holderness School Nordic Head Coach Pat Casey. The Nordic program at Holderness School has a long tradition of producing world-class athletes, and Pat has been an incredible asset to that program. He and his wife, Kristina, have been especially impactful in their outreach to the local community. Working with Molly Whitcomb, they are providing training options for Holderness Nordic Club members, especially middle school and high school, year round. Pat has also played a pivotal role (working with John Morton) in helping Holderness envision how they can transform their playful “old school” trails into a world class facility that still has that Holderness feel. These new trails, and the snowmaking will all be in place for the opening of the 2021-22 ski season.
Coach Pat Casey (center) with Holderness School coaches Disney and Duran
Phil Peck comments, “What I love about Pat is that he is so capable – as a coach and leader. He is unpretentious. As the saying goes – confidence is grounded in humility – Pat exudes that! He has a huge work ethic, never draws attention to himself – it’s all about the kids and making the program better.”
Kristina Casey talks fondly about her husband Pat and Peter Hendel’s working relationship, “They work so well together – they admire each other SO much – it’s business, but it’s not. They are both psyched to being doing what they are doing”
Phil on Peter & Pat as a team: “They energize each other! Peter is continually growing and learning new things – they feed off of each other in a really positive way”
Congratulations to Holderness Nordic, your entire coaching staff and community for being the NENSA 2020 Club of the Year! Holderness Nordic truly is a community and a family affair. Here’s to your incredible past and to your future! Thank you from all of us who have benefited so greatly from your club and your events over the years. We can not thank you enough, and we can’t wait to get out and ski on those new trails a year from now!
NENSA would like to thank Marty & Kathy Hall for the wonderful opportunity they have given to NENSA, and our ski community, with the Marty & Kathy Hall $10k Challenge~ The Hall “Mark of Excellence” Award! Not only have they helped NENSA financially with a recent $10k donation, but they are also offering this additional $10k Challenge, which will support both individual athletes and the top school or club. Their generosity will add a great challenge aspect to our competitions this year!
The $10k Challenge is split into two $5k awards ~ spreading their generosity over more programs and athletes:
#1: $5000 will be awarded to the top school or club in New England based on the top 20 overall finishes (20 male & 20 female) for the App Gap Challenge and Lost Nation Roll Rollerski races, four Eastern Cup weekends, and select Popular Races. At the end of the season, the school or club with the most points will be awarded $5000 by the Hall’s.
#2: $5000 will be used for FIS podiums – NENSA will be supporting a robust FIS schedule this season and, thanks to the Halls, awarding cash prizes to top finishers similar to past U.S. & Snowboard SuperTour events and current Nordique Canada FIS events. For the first four FIS races, December – January, this Challenge will offer $1250 per race which will pay out for podiums ($300/$200/$150 per gender). While there is no national SuperTour series this winter, the Hall Challenge will offer our top New England based athletes much deserved monetary awards this season.
In the words of Marty and Kathy, “It is with great pride that we give these dollars to join the fray and journey to international success—we need help though—please join the battle!” Thank you again to the Halls for these very generous donations!
If anyone else is interested in supporting NENSA, and our programing this winter and beyond, please contact Amie Smith, Executive Director, at [email protected] or 781-864-0545.
The Covid-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to NENSA’s 2020-21 winter event schedule. We are committed to hosting races and will make every effort to safely put on events in whatever form they might take. Our first objective is to ensure the health of our community in New England. Our second objective is to host our major events: Eastern Cups, Popular Races, U16 and Eastern High School Championships, the Bill Koch Festival, and Women’s Day as scheduled. To further foster excitement and an inclusive and community-centric atmosphere around skiing, NENSA will also be organizing some new fun season long challenges and goal-oriented activities. Skiers are encouraged to limit their travel and attend events that are within their region and state.
State and regional guidelines will dictate how we conduct events. We understand that the course of this pandemic, and thus the guidelines put in place to keep us safe, might not progress linearly. While the nature of competition will remain the same, we must operate our events in a manner that ensures the safety of all athletes, volunteers, staff and the communities in which our events are held until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Below you will find detailed information about different contingency plans – please note all of these outlines require that participants abide by the New England Cross Country Promise (NECCP) – failing to follow these guidelines may warrant removal from an event and jeopardizes our community and the entire event calendar. Our goal is to be transparent and keep our community informed and up-to-date on our evolving thoughts and plans. Please note participation may be limited by what state and/or county you are coming from and the duration of your stay (ie. day trips vs. lodging).
Eastern Cup Contingencies:
Plan 1 – Individual start distance races and spreading out start times by age group to minimize the number of persons physically at the venue at any point in time following Covid guidelines and NECCP. Competitors must complete an Event Health Screen form on Wednesday night including temperature check. Upon arrival at the venue competitors must pass a verbal health screen before unloading from their vehicle. Please note spectators will be limited (or restricted to their vehicles), there could be limited coach access to courses, there will be no indoor spaces provided by the venue, wax areas will be monitored for physical distance, and bathrooms will be assigned by state. Volunteer and event staff will be reduced in number. There will be no NENSA sanctioned mass start or sprint competitions this season. We respectively ask that all persons at the venue must wear a face covering and cover their mouth and nose at all times. Athletes/coaches must cover their nose and mouth in the start and finish area and if they are within 6 ft of another individual on course.
Beginning October 1st competitors will be able to purchase their 2021 race bib and an assigned timing chip to allow for a touchless registration and timing system. There will be no day of race registration. Registration refunds will be offered until 5pm on the Friday before the event. Results will only be published online and there will be no physical award ceremonies. Events will be recorded at several locations to help facilitate spectating and provide coaches with footage for reviewing performances.
Plan 2 – Alternate dates and/or venues – moving EC’s to February or early March when we could re-emerge from potential early/mid-winter quarantine and or venue closures.
Plan 3 – Regional races within states in New England – states determine “Championship” Teams. We recognize that the naming of the New England Junior National Team and regional ranking are major goals of many junior competitors. Regardless of the shape our event seasons take, NENSA will make every effort to celebrate athletes as we normally do to ensure continuity and incentive to all competitors. In this vein it is important for all athletes, parents and coaches to understand that NENSA’s number one goal is to offer competition to our members and we need to work together to make it through this time of uncertainty.
Plan 4 – Events will take place over a nine day period commencing on the original scheduled date for the event. Competitors will register as normal and sign up for a timeslot to visit the venue to complete their race. Racers will wear their bib and use their own timing chips for identification. Courses, including timing implements, will be maintained and marshalled by NENSA and timing staff throughout the period. Results will be posted online and competitors will have 24 hours to file protests/corrections via email. Competitors are strongly encouraged to wear fitness trackers to monitor their efforts and ensure all competitors have skied the correct course.
NENSA feels it is important to promote local and regional racing and encourage competitors to minimize the distances they travel this winter. Many popular races traditionally have race fields less than 100 competitors and by nature allow for less skier density at a venue. With over 20 events typically on the Zak and Club Cup calendar there are “local” options for most of our skiers. Competitors should carefully evaluate inter-state travel and are encouraged to be self reliant (ie. traveling with food and limiting restaurant and convenience store visits and use of lodging outside of their state).
NENSA will work with Popular Race organizers individually to gauge safety concerns and current willingness to host events. Many of the same considerations used for Eastern Cup and our Championship events are applicable to Popular Races. Alternative formats such as the rolling start used by the Long Haul Loppet last winter should be encouraged as they reduce skier density and have proven popular with competitors for convenience and now safety!
Women’s Day, U16 Champs, EHSC, and BKL Festival: We have a detailed draft of contingency plans for each of these events that we are still fine-tuning. These plans will be published later this summer after we work out a few more details and integrate feedback from host venues.
New Community Events: These events are in the beginning phases of planning and are subject to change but we wanted to give a glimpse of what we are cooking up. Stay tuned for updates!
State Passport – Get a Cross Country Center passport for your state and see how many you can check off during the whole season! Additional challenges might include skiing a certain number of kilometers at each Center or skiing all their open trails.
Ski for Ks – See how many kilometers you can log this winter individually, as a club, and as a region. Similar challenge with elevation gained. Can NENSA members collectively ski one million kilometers this winter?
NENSA Community Time Trials – Race 5k every week throughout the winter. Anyone can participate. Self-timed, or timed as part of your own club’s citizen race series, and reported to NENSA. Course must be a loop or an out-and-back. Participation leaderboards maintained by NENSA.
From Team USA: By Peggy Shinn | July 19, 2020
Forty years ago, Judy and Carlie Geer should have been walking into the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Games Moscow 1980—the first sisters to ever row together in a double scull for Team USA.
It would have been the second Olympiad for Judy, the first for Carlie, who had never even seen crew until she had begged for time off from her camp counselor job so she could watch Judy compete in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. In those Games, Judy had rowed in the coxed four, finishing sixth, and Carlie—wanting to keep up with her big sister—said to their dad, “I’m going to row in the next Olympics with Judy.”
Instead, they stayed home. They did not know at the time that they would stick with competitive rowing through the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where Carlie would win a silver medal in the single sculls.
“I probably could not have told you right away that I was definitely going to keep training and racing for another four years,” said Carlie by Zoom from a cabin at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in northern Vermont. “All I knew was I didn’t want to stop because I was loving what I was doing.”
Judy echoed Carlie’s thoughts. She has loved rowing ever since setting foot in a practice barge at Smith College in the early 1970s.
This realization—that they were rowing because they enjoyed it, not because they coveted Olympic or world championship medals—made the devastation of the 1980 Olympic boycott easier to digest. And the lessons learned have helped Judy guide her children in their athletic pursuits. Hannah and Emily Dreissigacker competed in the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games in biathlon, respectively, and brother Ethan also competed internationally in biathlon…read full article HERE