Tour de Finn's first race is in the books!
Race recap - Skadi’s Chase
On a warm but damp and windy morning, 164 citizen skiers lined up at the high point of Elm Creek to whip around the fast and winding 2K course. It was crowded, it was tactical, it was exhilarating! The women had a separate start a couple of minutes after the men took off down the trail. A nod to a couple of Vakava skiers and the starter for coordinating a tighter start time.
Part of the thrill of ski racing is it can take all sorts of forms: long, 50k classic skis in the woods, and then the total opposite, which was the Skadi’s Chase: fast, packed, and involved a lot of manuevering around people on a short loop with lots of hooting and cheering from the crowds. Big action! I don’t often feel “fast,” but I’m not sure the conditions would allow people to feel any different!
So, in constant pursuit of “why”, maybe that’s why we get up early on a Saturday morning to a bone-chilling type of weather, to go to this strange but also all-to-familiar manufactured winter, to kick off the season that we all hold dear - the thrill of speed, the chase, the excitement of putting ourselves into an unknown outcome, the celebration of the sport of cross country skiing, in all of its different nuances. I personally hope it never stops unfolding its mysteries.
Big Picture Notes:
As I type this, it’s working up to 50 degrees and sunny, so unfortunately, short of a holiday season miracle, there will be no Skinny Santa Solstice Ski this year. That race feels like a whimsical pop-up race that happens just when the winds blow right. Sort of elusive, mystical, with no real online presence other than an appearance on Skinnyski when all the elements come together - a little bit like Groundhog’s Day? Or maybe Leap Year? At any rate, we will miss that fan-favorite this year, but I think that just means we’re due next year and will look forward to it then. In terms of the Tour de Finn, no trouble, we just don’t count that race.
Points! Points! Gosh I love a gold star, don’t you? We get to do races AND get points? YES! Everyone who participates in a TDF race automatically gets 20 points. I feel good about that. There are age-graded bonus points as well, so if you’re over 40 years old, congrats, you get rewarded for that too! The individual standings are posted. We will get two races deep before diving into the team points, which will give teams more time to register too. Teams can register for all retroactive points (basically we’ll count the points from the Skadi’s Chase, if folks joined that) through January 5.
Speaking of teams, we’re up to five teams! Shout-out to the Twin Cities Ski Club for submitting three teams. Keep ‘em coming, everybody! We’ll be posting the teams on the website so people can see who the competition is.
Our next race on the Tour de Finn calendar is the First Chance Ski Race in Mora, MN. It’s a 10K freestyle race for the TDF points, but there’s a 5K race option too, if that’s a better option for anyone coming with you. Registration is open online through 12/31/23.
Thanks and see you out there!