Come experience this new teaching phenomenon IN-PERSON tomorrow at Stratton at our technique clinic and Coaches Symposium! 3 Hrs. left to register!
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! 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 our potential Fall 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 – February, 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.
NENSA just wrapped up a hybrid App Gap Challenge with invitational in-person and all-inclusive virtual components. This rollerski competition was important for both the competitors and NENSA as we start to implement protocols of how our winter events will be conducted. Athletes, parents and coaches were energized by and thankful for this iconic event. Due to the event’s success and the safety compliance of all involved, we look forward to hosting several more rollerski events this fall – stay tuned! As part of our strategy to continue fostering the competitive and social components of our programs during this health crisis, we were happy to support a strong showing of virtual competitors of all ages who were not able to physically attend – this model will remain in place until we are no longer in a pandemic.
For the in-person event, we had a total of 68 skiers from seven local teams race the 7.25k Classic App Gap Invitational over the course of 5 days within their team units. A silver lining to small teams racing over the course of a week was that all competitors competed on matched Swenor rollerskis. We had competitors from 5 local junior clubs – Stratton Mountain School (SMS), Green Mountain Vally School (GMVS), Ford Sayre, Craftsbury Nordic, and Mansfield Nordic – in addition to two professional teams – the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) and the Stratton Mountain School T2 (SMS T2) team. It was heartening and inspiring to witness the energy, excitement, and care that New England’s top junior athletes, World Cup competitors, Olympians, coaches, and family members alike brought to the event. We are grateful to everyone for carefully following COVID guidelines and helping us put on a fun and safe event.
Olympian and World Cup medalist Sophie Caldwell of SMS T2 captured the win on the open women’s side. She was closely followed by her teammates Katherine Ogden and Alayna Sonnesyn in second and third respectively. In the open men’s race, Ian Torchia, also of SMS T2, took a decisive win over CGRP’s Adam Martin. Craftsbury junior Finn Sweet had an impressive race rounding out the podium in third. For the junior women, Craftsbury’s Nina Seeman had a dominating performance taking the win by almost two minutes over her teammate Quincy Massey-Bierman in second. Hattie Barker of Mansfield Nordic placed third despite battling some wet weather on her way up the Gap. In the junior men’s race, Finn Sweet was followed by Charles Martell of Mansfield Nordic in second and SMS’s Fin Bailey in third.
Full App Gap Invitational Results HERE.
Our Virtual Challenge consisted of three categories: Climb in Time (total vertical in 30mins – 15mins for BKL), Climb over Distance (total vertical over 7.5k – 2k for BKL), and Climb the Whole Time (total vertical in two weeks). We also added a category that meshed all results across the hybrid event by comparing everyone’s average vertical feet per minute.
In the Climb in Time event, Mansfield Nordic’s Tristen Adie took the win climbing 1271 vertical feet. HSC Biathlon’s Marvin Wang placed second overall, and first for the men, ascending a total of 1216 vertical feet. In the Climb over Distance event, EMBK’s Leigh Neideck took the win in the women’s race and the BKL race climbing 185 vertical feet. On the men’s side, NWVE’s Chris Burnham outstripped the rest of the field climbing a total of 3006 vertical feet. Our impressive Climb the Whole Time winner is Peru Nordic’ Peter Minde whole climbed 10,771 vertical feet!
Full App Gap Virtual Challenge results HERE.
Top Places and Prizes:
1) Sophie Caldwell – SMS T2 – M1 – Cabot Vintage Cheddar / Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
2) Katherine Ogden – SMS T2 – SR – Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
3) Alayna Sonnesyn – SMS T2 – SR – Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
1) Ian Torchia – SMS T2 – SR – Cabot Vintage Cheddar / Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
2) Adam Martin – CGRP – SR – Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
3) Finn Sweet – Craftsbury – U20 – Burkie Insulated Fuel Belt Case
1) Nina Seemann – Craftsbury – U20 – Anti-Freeze SuperPuff with NENSA logo
2) Quincy Massey-Bierman – Craftsbury – U18 – “2020 Happened” App Gap T
3) Hattie Barker – Mansfield Nordic – U18 – “2020 Happened” App Gap T
1) Finn Sweet – Craftsbury – U20 – Anti-Freeze SuperPuff with NENSA logo
2) Charles Martell – Mansfield Nordic – U20 – “2020 Happened” App Gap T
3) Fin Bailey – SMS – U16 – “2020 Happened” App Gap T
Upcoming Rollerski Races to come – please note The Maine Event is already on the calendar for October, 25th.
We are very excited to announce that App Gap 2020 is happening! It will come as no surprise to anyone that the format will be quite different than in previous years to ensure safety during this global pandemic. App Gap 2020 will take place between Aug 22 and 30 with multiple small physically distant in-person invitational rollerski races up the Gap for local clubs and a virtual event that is open to our whole NENSA community. While we would love to host an in-person App Gap for everyone, we simply cannot safely do that in this environment and we want our summer/fall events to be safe and successful so we can provide more opportunities this winter. We appreciate your understanding and hope you are excited to compete in the Virtual App Gap Challenge. There will, of course, be sweet prizes and the nature of a virtual event means anyone can participate regardless of their location! There are three virtual rollerski participation categories and we will be rolling out a team competition within these categories as well so stay tuned!
Climb in Time (single effort): how much elevation can you gain in 30mins (15mins for BKL)?
Climb over Distance (single effort): how much elevation can you gain over 7.5k (2k for BKL)?
Climb the Whole Time (multiple efforts): how much total elevation can you climb between Aug 22 and 30? Can you climb Mt. Everest (29,029ft)?!
Register for the Virtual App Gap here.
Current NENSA members get a discount on registration and this will be our first event that we utilize SkiReg’s data entry and leaderboard platform! We hope that wherever you are, you can get out on your rollerskis and start climbing! Please reach out to [email protected] with questions.
During the month of July NENSA was thrilled to feature and promote an outstanding virtual event to benefit the Maine Outdoor Wellness Center in honor of Roy Varney, an outstanding Maine athlete who tragically lost his life in a farming accident.
There were 111 participants by the month’s end. Participants ranged across Maine, from York to Camden, across categories, outside of Maine that reach spread out to Yukon a mere 3700 miles, or a 64 hr. drive. That team The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club nearly passed our own staff here at NENSA. It would be remiss to also not mention Mt.Blue who had a great showing. Torin La Liberté from Clarkson University set a blazing 3:16/km pace for the Rockstar (71.19km) category. Leif Harvey from Cumberland, Me rolled through the 7.1km Rollerski a hair over 21 min, then also took the 1:11:19 distance TWICE at 0:03:02/km!
Finally Jenny and Sharon Wilbraham both had a neck and neck amazing times running through over 71k on a bike loop.
You can see results HERE which includes images and tracking data. Weekly prizes included a raffle for SKIDA face masks and special goodies from Untapped Natural Athletic Fuel. These raffle winners were:
Week 1 – Skida Face Mask – Peter Minde, Peru Nordic
UnTapped Maple care pack – Dustin Williamson, Leavitt High School
Week 2 – Skida Face Mask – Ellen Chandler, Jackson XC
UnTapped Maple care pack – Brian Sprague, Mansfield Nordic Club
Week 3 – Skida Face Mask – Emily Cartwright, Cumberland County Nordic Club
UnTapped Maple care pack – Fred Call, Bethel Outing Club
Week 4 – Skida Face Mask – Thomas Lewis
UnTapped Maple care pack – Clara Sandberg
There were six categories in this Virtual Event. Each included generous prizes supplied by our supporting sponsor SIDAS and here are the lucky winners:
Rockstar – Sidas Heated Vest – Jenny Wilbraham
Speedy Repeater – Sidas Heated Gloves – Sadie Skinner
BKL/Rec: Sidas Hat & Buff Combo Pack – Saphrona Stetson
1:11:19: Sidas Custom Insoles – Brian Sprague
Art for Roy: Sidas Drop in Insoles and Gel Products – Gloria Varney
Run/Bike/Ski: Sidas Drop in Insoles and Gel Products – Nico Giangrande
Additionally $888.00 was raised in entry fees to benefit the Center, last week Dustin Williamson accepted a check on behalf of the Maine Outdoor Wellness Center. We especially want to thank all the participants that put in the miles for Roy.
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
The second annual (virtual) Roy-llerski event, held to honor Roy Varney who was a Nordic skier at Leavitt Area High School, will be held during the month of July. Participants can rollerski, run, or bike to commemorate the legacy of Roy and receive prizes.
We are thrilled to announce that the New England Nordic Ski Association ( NENSA Nordic ) and The Maine Outdoor Wellness Center will be co-hosting the second annual “Roy-llerski” fitness competition and fundraiser for the month of July.
Jenny Wilbraham, who skied for Morse High School and was a great friend of Roy created the meet-up event last year to honor Roy Varney. Several members of the Maine Nordic ski community came together to rollerski for Roy and to honor him last July. The goal was simply to bring together the nordic community for solidarity, remembrance, and be there to support one another. Roy who skied for Leavitt Area High School, was a multiple Class A state champion, a KVAC Champion, and one of the top high school Nordic skiers in Maine. He passed away in a farm accident in July of 2019.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, things will be a little different. Instead of coming together in person, NENSA and the MOWC are pleased to hold this event virtually.
Using the date of Roy’s passing (7/1/19), the challenge is to ski, run, rollerski or bike ride 71.19km OR for 71:19 (1h:11m:19s), spread over a couple of days if need be. The event is open to the public regardless of experience and age.
In the 2nd annual (virtual) Roy-llerski, there are five different competitions to enter and prizes will be rewarded! The small entry fee will go towards The Maine Outdoor Wellness’s 2020 fundraising initiative, which will be used in the development of trails for running, biking, and skiing. The MOWC is being created in Turner and will have Nordic, bike, and running trails as well as a biathlon training facility. It was Roy’s dream to have such a center in his area.
The goal is to have fun, stay safe, and take the spirit of the journey with you!! Sharing photos or GPS tracks is highly encouraged. Registration is currently open via SkiReg (https://www.skireg.com/roy-
NENSA sponsors SIDAS, UnTapped Maple and Skida have all graciously donated prizes for this July event! More info on SkiReg.com event notes
Kudos to everyone who just wrapped up #JuneTerm! This month-long event presented diverse weekly challenges designed to bring our broader ski community together with some shared training in a flexible and virtual manner. We had participants of all ages from 7 states – VT, NH, MA, MN, NY, ME, and NJ – and Canada!
It was a busy month with our youngest participants building their own agility course, sharing their favorite trail or mountain through art, going for a hike, and getting out for a fun free-choice activity every day of the final week. The popular challengers/masters crew completed a 5k run, 10k roll (or bike), a double pole challenge, and an over-distance workout. Open regional training group participants completed an over-distance workout, did a double pole test, ran up a peak, and followed the virtual Eastern Regional Elite Group (REG) camp training and testing plan for the final week. Check out the test results from our #JuneTerm participants and our REG camp attendees here. It was inspiring to see the commitment of everyone working hard and training “together” on their own this month!
A big shoutout to EnjoyWinter for the sweet prizes and raffle items from Bliz, Start, Swenor, and Anti-Freeze! Also thank you to our event partners, Green Mountain Valley School and Nordic Team Solutions. And last, but not least, a huge thank you to all our participants who got out there and tackled the challenges thrown their way!
Next up for summer programming, NENSA is partnering with the Maine Outdoor Wellness Center to host the second annual Roy-llerski. This virtual July rollerski (or even bike or run!) fundraising event honors the life of Maine skier Roy Varney. Find more info here.
Welcome to the second edition of Throwback Thursday. This week we jump into a Technique clinic article written by our own Peter Hendel titled “Kick Double Pole” published in the late fall of 1997 here is the article from NENN Vol.3 No.2
KICK DOUBLE POLE – BY Peter Hendel, Holderness Ski Coach
A poorly understood and highly underused classic technique is the kick double pole, or stride double pole. One main reason for this is that most skiers do not weight shift properly and so never benefit from the power of a properly weighted kick. This may be true even if they do weight shift well in their normal diagonal stride.
Why the confusion? I think many skiers are confused in kick double pole because they have an image of the kick leg as sliding or moving backwards during the kick phase. In fact we as coaches may contribute to this misconception by having our skiers kick double pole on dryland or in front of a video by sliding their kicking foot back, which in turn forces them to weight their glide ski! On snow this translates into a premature weight shift and poor kick.
In recent years I’ve tried a sequence of drills to counter this. [see diagrams below] First I have my skiers do #7 and #8 of the Nikolai Anikin drills (falling forward with a step and a kick) and then a double poling with relaxed arms drill. Next I have them tie these three together into the kick double pole.They should pole, weight their right foot and kick off, falling forward onto their (left) glide ski. We repeat this several times to get a feel of the dynamic kick propelling us forward.
Now we move outside and try this on skis. The timing of the arms, kick and weight shift is confusing, so I provide my skiers with verbal cues by skiing behind them and yelling “pole/(weight the)left foot/ kick, pole/(weight the) right foot/ kick,” and so on.Our skiers say that the verbal cues help them get used to the rhythm of the technique and that they really begin to feel the power of a properly weighted kick.
This exercise (No.7)will help you feel the proper motion which should occur as you lean forward and transfer weight from L ski to R ski.Do not push off the opposite leg. Instead just concentrate on letting your weight naturally fall forward. Also, pay attention to your upper body position. In the step position, you should not have excess trunk compression. The rotation happens at the ankle, thus little change will occur to your trunk angle.
(No.8) Is the same exercise as No.7 only now add the kick or push phases which will cause forward rotation of your hips and a relaxed, but straiter upper leg. The kick is very, very important. Pay attention to the strait line of the body from the head to the kicking foot. The support or gliding leg must be relaxed and notice it is relatively straight. The hips must rotate up and over the gliding ski; this is obligatory.
Photo: Nikolai Anikin