2020 Teck Kootenay Cup ross-country ski race at the Kimberley Nordic Club. (Dan Clark file)

2020 Teck Kootenay Cup at the Kimberley Nordic Club

Kimberley hosted races 5 and 6 of the annual cross country race series

  • Feb. 14, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The Kimberley Nordic Club (KNC) hosted the Teck Kootenay Cup series 5 and 6 on February 8 and 9, 2020.

This year, KNC hosted a tier two points race as part of the series.

KNC said in a press release that there was a record number of skiers this year, with 260 skiers on Saturday for the classic sprint races with qualifiers and heats, and 241 skiers on Sunday for skate races with mass starts.

Skiers represented teams from Calgary, Canmore, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Nelson, Slocan Valley, Rossland, Kimberley, Montana and Taipei, Taiwan. Those in attendance included ex-Olympic nordic racers Sara Renner and Beckie Scott.

“Fresh snow on Friday made for excellent classic racing conditions [on] Saturday,” said KNC in a press release. “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 for to ski in the heats.

READ MORE: FIS racing on the Dreadnaught at Kimberley Alpine Resort

“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 towards the finish line. There were more than a few crashes throughout the day, which changed up the lead unexpectedly in a number of races.”

KNC says that 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. Notible in this mix were three generations of the Smith family racing with Richard Smith, his son Kurstun and grandkids Kaelum and Aleah,” explained KNC.

READ MORE: Kimberley’s Molly Miller qualifies for World Junior Cross Country Ski Championships

The Sunday distance courses used a network of trails on the hill immediately south of the stadium with varied terrain and some challenging climbs. Skies 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,” said KNC. “A huge thank you to all of 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 to all of our local sponsors, Teck, Kimberley Search and Rescue, Black Dog Cycle and Ski, Gerick Sports and Skookumchuck Paper Excellence.”

Photos courtesy of Dan Clark.

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