By Sarah Newton
Close your eyes and imagine this: You are in a ski race with lungs about to burst, heart racing so hard you can feel it busting out of your rib cage, and muscle failure looming from every appendage. Now imagine whipping around the last downhill corner using all your strength to hold onto the mountain in an effort to maintain your speed for the last uphill to the finish line. Your entire weight is flying down the trail at close to 40 km/h and what are you depending on? Your trusty race skis of course, great news except when you consider that your skis are only 6 centimetres wide and have no metal edges to hold you upright, and heck, no real ankle support to speak of either!
Welcome to the wild and outrageously physically taxing world of cross country ski racing. A sport not for the weak of mind or body. And this increasingly popular sport is coming to town. This weekend marks the biggest event of the year for Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club. The group is hosting a Teck BC Cup race weekend that will see approximately 300 skiers of all ages and from as far away as Australia. Yes, that is not a typo- the Australian ski team is in Canada training and racing for part of this season. This weekend they will have stiff competition from BC athletes, many of whom dominated the podium last weekend at the Western Canadian Championships in Canmore, Alberta.
Our race weekend will have almost as many volunteers marking sure events run smoothly. Saturday’s classic events are interval starts, with the first skiers off 11 a.m. and Sunday the mass start skate races begin at 10 a.m.
Watch out for the locals! There are plenty of Revy athletes waxing up their skis and taking their place on the start line: the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Team has almost 60 athletes registered to race.
Users of the MacPherson parking lot and trail system please take note that the parking lot will be full, but there is a free shuttle from the feed store (on Hwy 23 South and TCH), also be advised that the best time to go cross country skiing on the weekend is after 2 p.m. when most of the races will be over for the day.
For more information visit www.revelstokenordic.org.