Day two was the Men’s 30k Freestyle and Women’s 15k Freestyle. Skiers were treated with mountain blue skies with temperatures starting out in the early morning around 18 and climbing to a high of 32. Course conditions were hard packed and fast.
One great thing about the World Masters is not worrying about your start lanes. The start has 20 diagonal lanes and your exact starting position is marked with a tag, i.e. row 1 and lane 5. The marshals make sure you are in the proper spot and your boots are positioned on the starting line. This might seem very restrictive, but there is plenty of room and it seems to work well.
Your starting order is based on performances from other World Masters. Skiers who have not competed in a World Masters are put into a general pool and their start position is picked randomly. The skiers have to double pole 100 yards before they can start to skate. A horn blast indicates you have one minute to the start. Your eyes are then positioned on the individual with the orange flag. The person raises the flag at 30 seconds and drops the flag to start the race.
The men did two 15k loops and the women did one. Watching the races is almost as fun as racing itself. At one spot there was a group of Michigan Cup skiers out on the course watching the women’s race, basking in the sun surrounded by giant Ponderosa Pines. It felt like you were on the beach in the Virgin Islands.
We had our largest group of Michigan Cup skiers racing today against a very strong competitive field. It was amazing to see so many smiles on people’s faces because the event itself is much bigger than any one person’s personal time or placing. I had several individuals from foreign countries cheer for me as though I was one of theirs.
Several Michigan skiers had a good day including, Milan Baic, 5th place, Cliff Onthank 13th place, Ken Dawson 14th place, including several great performances by, Ed Anderson, Karen Dawson, Amy Todd, Denny Polzin, Mark Payne, Beth Caldwell, Sandy Tribold, and a hoist of others I certainly forgot. Please check out the amazing photos and view detailed results on the World Masters web site.
Day 3 is the men’s and women’s 10k Classic and Freestyle races.