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2005 US National Masters Plug

Thu, Sep  23, 2004

This message will fall under the "shameless plug" catagory. A group of skiers in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul will be your hosts for the 2005 US National Masters XC Ski Championships. Our web site and on-line registration is now active and is located within the American Cross Country Skiers (AXCS) web site or can be accessed directly at http://www.xcskiworld.com/events/NM/NM_index.htm

Toby Markowitz is in charge of Registration, Ilene Carpenter has Host Hotel, Sponsor Expo and Banquet responsibility, Greg Fangel is a key member of the Stadium/Course team, Bill Stuber has Transportation and Brent Oja and myself are co-race directors. I intend to get Ken Salzburg involved if I can ever find him and will continue to work on Jay Tegeder, who up to this point has succesfully avoided any committment. A little Google:Rec:Skiing:Nordic newsgroup peer pressure on Jay T. would be most helpfull :-))

Our philosophy (I refuse to call it a Mission Statement) will be to try to create the best possible race experience for the racers. This is the National Championships for "the rest of us" and we intend to make it a special and memorable event. In general terms that means state of the art timing and results process provided by Finish Line Sports, timing company for the Birkie this year. We will present challeging but skiable race courses at Battle Creek Regional Park where Ramsey County is investing significant resources in order to make the trails a bit more "Masters Friendly". To insure high quality grooming we will be supplimenting the fine work that the County does with equipment, technical support and groomng skills from Tidd Tech. For racer comfort we will have access to the Battle Creek Rec Center for warming, concessions and quick awards presentations right after each race. The 4 races have been designed to emulate some of the conditions that the top skiers experience at Olympic and World Cupevents. All relevent details can be found on our web site but here is the short version.

Saturday Jan 29 - Registration, packet and bib pickup, sponsor and industry expo and skiing related technical presentations.

Sunday Jan 30 - 30K/20K/15K (depending on age & gender) classic race at Battle Creek. Age goup wave starts using the chevron starting format popularized during the World Cup for mass start races. Top skiers seeded at the front of the chevron based on result from last years US and World Masters races.

Tuesday Feb 1 - 10K freestyle in the evening under the lights at Battle Creek. Individual interval starts (:20 second gap)

Thursday Feb 3 - 13K same day pursuit at Battle Creek. 6K classic with age group wave starts, chevron format with top seeding based on Sundays 30K classic. After a break (estimated between 60-90 minutes) a 7K freestyle race with pursuit starts by gender. The leader from the morning goes first and then rest of us start after based upon our time back from the leader.

Thursday night - Social, banquet, naming of the National Team and guest speaker.

Saturday Feb 5 - Sprint Relays at Theodore Wirth Park. Teams of 3 skiers each skiing 3 laps of 750 meters. This will be held right after and on the same course where the US Ski team will be running the preliminary rounds for the Olympic sprint team qualifying. The finals for the US Sprints will be that evening under the lights on a snowed in street in the Minneapolis Uptown area.

The Saturday events are all part of the City of Lakes Loppet(COLL) weekend. In only its third year this race, which will be held Sunday Feb 6, is expecting up to 2200 particpants. This is a 35K classic or freestyle race that winds through Parklands and Lakes in the City of Minneapolis before finishing on street in Uptown. We are hoping that many of the Masters skiers will join us in capping off the week by particpating in the City of Lakes Loppet.

The dates that we have chosen (Jan 30-Feb 6) is historically the week of the winter that has the most snow on the ground. On the rare chance that Mother Nature does not cooperate we have a backup plan at an area with great snowmaking and grooming capabilities.

Eric Brooks of Seattle wrote last year about the fun of sking with and meeting your peers from across the country at the NM 2004 in Marquette. We are hoping that many of you will consider joining us this year. We would love to see Rob Bradlee, Gary Jacobson, Ken Roberts and the many fine Eastern Skiers come on out to "flyover land. If Torbjorn Karlsen and John Aalberg show they would most likely be seeded #1 at the classic, Chris Cline could travel with them from Utah. The fact that our signature race is the 30K classic and the host hotel has high speed internet (free) plus a Starbucks close by might be enough to convince BT (Skinnyski)to pull Truckee Mark out of paradise for a week and come back to the Midwest afer his third place finish age group in the Birkie last year. I'm even optimistic that the strong group of Michigan Masters such as The Frontrunner, Birkebeiner Pete, Dell Todd, Jeff Potter and 32Degrees can bust through the "Chedder Curtain" (Jeff K's quote) and make their way up to the Northern Plains.

The Masters Skiers in Minnesota and Wisconsin invite you to join us for a great week of skiing in the heart of a Midwestern winter.

John O'Connell
aka Nordic Norm
NM 2005