ANCHORAGE (Jan. 6) - Plagued by freezing temperatures, officials at the 2009 ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships were forced to postpone the 5 and 10K classic races Tuesday at Anchorage's Kincaid Park.
Able bodied and adaptive races were supposed to be competed Tuesday afternoon, but temperatures lingered at -5 degrees Fahrenheit, just one degree below -4 F, the standard which FIS has determined safe for cross country competition.
"We had our third Groundhog's Day here. The low dropped far," U.S. Nordic Director John Farra said. "The temperatures had been hopeful when we made our first postponement, but we never were able to get to the legal temperature."
The frigid climate already forced organizers to postpone Saturday and Sunday's races. Organizers plan to have the individual sprints on Wednesday, but will meet Tuesday night to determine out of two remaining events, which will take place on Thursday.
"This is our first official loss of at least one event at U.S. Championships," Farra said. "Assuming we are able to have the individual sprint on Wednesday, we only have one other day available to race on and we will decide whether to have the team sprint or the 5 and 10K classics."
However, if the individual sprint is postponed on Wednesday, organizers will then decide if it should be run on Thursday instead of the classic and team sprint races.
For now, Farra remains optimistic that two more U.S. Championship events will take place.