Kimberley Nordic hosts Teck Kootenay Cup
The Teck Kootenay Cup series #5 & 6 took place at the Kimberley Nordic Club (KNC) on February 8 and 9.
This year, KNC hosted a Tier 2 Points race as part of the TECK Kootenay Cup series. There were a record number of racers this year with 260 skiers on Saturday for classic sprint races with qualifiers and heats, and 241 skiers on Sunday for skate races with mass starts. These skiers represented teams from Calgary, Canmore, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Nelson, Slocan Valley, Rossland, Kimberley, Montana and Taipei, Taiwan.
Those in attendance included ex-Olympic cross country skiers Sara Renner and Beckie Scott.
Fresh snow on Friday night made for excellent classic racing conditions Saturday. For the Saturday sprints, there were an incredible 120 heats with some great photo finishes!
The sprints followed the popular Kings Court format, ensuring everyone got to ski in the heats.
Courses wrapped the stadium area for great spectator viewing and included some challenging hills. The 450m classic sprint course at KNC has a challenging corner as it turns toward the finish
line. There were more than a few crashes throughout the day, which changed up the lead unexpectedly in a number of races.
Skiers in the U16 and higher categories skied on Kimberley’s newly homologated FIS race courses. Sprint heats up the steep 20m climb on the longer courses got progressively more difficult with each round. Despite these challenging courses, a wide range of ages participated. Notable in this mix were three generations of the Smith family racing with Richard Smith, his son Kurstun, and grandkids Kaelum and Aleah.
The Sunday distance courses used a network of trails on the hill immediately south of the stadium with varied terrain and some challenging climbs. Skis were clear of flurries on Sunday making skate conditions fast and consistent. Race loops ranged from 500m to 5km, with U14 and older racers skiing FIS homologated loops within the Kimberley trail network. The U16 girls race was the closest of the day, with the top three finishers skating to the finish of the 6.6km course within 2.5 seconds of each other. Racers, participants and volunteers enjoyed Norwegian waffles after the races as they packed up and headed for home.
A huge thank you to all the people who made this such a wonderful weekend! This was made possible by a group of very dedicated volunteers who did a great job hosting a very successful race for over 250 skiers. Thanks also to Kimberley Search and Rescue for their support. A big thank you to Teck Resources Limited for sponsoring this amazing event!
Lead image: There was some close competition in the U14 boys classic sprints on Saturday at KNC, but this may have been the closest lunge of the entire weekend! Photo by Dan Clark
Cross Country BC