Smashing success for event
The 32nd annual Great Ski Race was a smashing success, especially for Marshall Greene of Bend, Ore.
Greene, a member of the professional cross-country ski team XC Oregon, set a new course record, posting a time of 1:06:51 on a day that featured sunny skies, a biting breeze and firm, fast conditions.
Had Greene not broken the record, his XC Oregon teammate and Far West Nordic member Zach Violett, also of Bend, would have, as he finished right on Green’s heels in 1:06:54. Patrick Weaver held the previous record of 1:07, set in 2005.
Last year’s winner, Mark Iverson of Steamboat Springs, Colo., placed third in 1:09:19.
The race – the main fundraiser for Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team – was 77 entrants shy of the record 1,109, which was set in 2005.
“The race went just great. There was a huge turnout,” said Doug Read, co-coordinator of the event and a longtime member of the Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team. “We had a lot of happy people at the finish line.”
Read said the cool temperatures and steady east wind, combined with quality grooming the previous night from Tahoe Cross Country Center and Northstar, kept the course hard the entire race.
“Usually the Truckee side gets soft by 10 a.m., but it didn’t (Sunday),” Read said.
About the only thing that didn’t run smoothly was the PA system, which “went haywire,” Read said. The malfunction caused him some stress, as he was unable to announce where to line up for the start, or how long the competitors had until the race began. Luckily for Read and company, the large field of racers knew the drill.
“You can worry all you want to, but when it comes to
See RECORD, C6
race time, everyone knows where they need to be,” he said. “At 9 a.m. sharp, they were all there.”
Among the local contingent, Tav Streit of Reno was the top finisher, placing sixth in 1:10:21. He was followed closely by Garrett Reid of Truckee/Palo Alto (seventh in 1:10:27), August Brautigam of Truckee (11th, 1:13:21), Terray Sylvester of Olympic Valley (14th, 1:13:35) and Jeff Schloss of Truckee (20th, 1:14:53).
On the women’s side, Abigail Larson of Salt Lake City won for the second straight year with a time of 1:17.18. Rory Bosio of Soda Springs was the top local woman, finishing fourth in 1:22:04. Truckee’s Catherine Howard was sixth among women in 1:22:54, followed by Joanne Reid of Truckee/Palo Alto (eighth, 1:24:29), Kristin Krone of Truckee (ninth, 1:24:31) and Emma Garrard of Truckee (10th, 1:24:32).
“The race was great. It couldn’t have been any better,” said Krone, a two-time Olympian in Alpine skiing. “It was colder than everyone expected it to be, but that just made it faster.”
That’s where Krone’s downhill skills came in handy.
“If you had an Alpine skiing background, it was definitely in your favor,” she said. “It’s much more terrifying going downhill on Nordic skis.”
With 978 skiers crossing the finish line, more than a few faced moments of uncertainty on the downhill portions of the race. One could gather as much watching skiers – mostly the ones toward the back of the pack – wobble down the final stretch to the finish.
“It was such a high rate of speed on the downhills. But it was not scary, just perfect conditions for going fast,” said Mark Nadell of Truckee, who placed 40th overall in 1:19:50. Nadell, who coaches the Alder Creek Middle School Nordic team, said more than half of the squad, a total of 28 young skiers, competed in the race.
Once finished, skiers were treated to what Outside Magazine ranked last year as the best race party around, Read said.
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