820 Nordic skiers compete in event | SierraSun.com

820 Nordic skiers compete in event

Some people take a little over one hour, others about seven hours. But at the end of the day they’ve all done the same thing – completed the 30K Great Ski Race.

On Sunday, 820 Nordic skiers of all abilities competed in the West’s biggest cross-country ski race.

The course began at Lakeview Cross Country Ski Area in Tahoe City and took competitors over Starratt Pass and down Sawtooth Ridge into Truckee, finishing at the Cottonwood Restaurant.

“Good, fast snow” greeted the racers, said organizer Doug Read. “In fact, it was a little bit too fast and icy,” he said. The only problem the skiers encountered was on the last 10 km of the course, which had been “chewed up” by snowmobilers, apparently the night before, said Read.

Cory Smith of Park City was the first racer home in one hour 13.37 minutes, three minutes outside Ben Husaby’s 1996 record. Mary Hall won the women’s event in 1:27.41.

Youngest competitor honors went to nine-year-old Gabrielle Joffe who completed the race in a brisk two hours. At the other end of the age spectrum, 75-year-old Erling Myhrer finished in 3:07.25.

The event is the major fund-raiser for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue team. In an ironic turn of events, the search and rescue team got to perform a real life rescue when a snowboarder strayed from the backside of Northstar onto the race trail.

“For a while he was in danger of being run over by a skier,” said Read.

“But we snowmobiled him back to the Cottonwood and put him in a taxi and sent him back to Northstar.”

The only change to the event, an outdoor rather than an indoor party at the finish of the event, was a success, Read said. “Everything feel into place,” he said.

“We had a great local crowd supporting the event. We also had about 200 volunteers working on everything from registration to parking to looking after a road crossing. They did a great job.”

Read was unsure how much money the event had raised for the search and rescue team, but thought it would be a “reasonable amount.”

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