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Ski games in a blizzard, Maplelag Resort, December 14, 2008 (Photo: Jay Richards)

FAST Kids working on agility, August 20, 2014 (Photo: Luke Brown)

St. Paul Urban Trail Marathon, August 24, 2013

Voyageurs Revenge, August 17, 2014 (Photo: Hansi Johnson)

Lake Conference meet at Troll Hollow, December 14, 2011

Skinnyski FAQ
December 4, 2011
We've collected together a bunch of common questions to assembly our own FAQ for cross-country skiing in the Midwest and using the Skinnyski website.

Skinnyski Photos
February 5, 2009
Found a photo you'd like to get a copy of? Looking for images from a past event? Find out how to dig through our archives and help support the web site by purchasing photographs.

Social Networks:

Maplelag Scholarship Winning Entries
August 21, 2014
Maplelag Resort has published the winning entries from their Scholarship contest, which recognizes graduating high school skiers who attended a training camp at Maplelag. Winners were Angela Patel (Rochester) for her essay, and David Uvig (Champlin Park) for his poem.

Bike Dr: Once In A Life Time Sale
August 21, 2014
The Bicycle Doctor is clearing out 100 road bikes to get ready for this Nordic season, and throwing in 12 month financing on top end bikes. Plus check out the Ride to the Barns and future CXC clinics.

Weekend Events
August 20, 2014
Aug 23 Urban Trail Marathon - Racing from downtown St. Paul to Battle Creek, with various running distances available.
Aug 23 State TT Championships
- The Minnesota state time trial championships, held on the roads near St. Peter.
Aug 23 Pre Fat - Seeley Lions Club runs their annual Pre-Fat MTB race, a good final tuneup for the mighty Chequamegon.
Aug 23 Cheesehead Run - Billed as the 'Worlds cheesiest run', a half marathon or 5K running race out of Hilbert, WI.
Aug 23 X100 - Try going 100 miles MTB, or form a team for relays (or try some shorter distances as well).
Aug 24 Milk Run
- The Minnesota State Fair hosts their own 5K event on the St. Paul Campus of the U of M.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 19, 2014
Jay Richards MTB report this week features series racing taking place in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota with first-hand reports from the Minnesota and North Dakota races, mountain bike related items to note and the look ahead as summer starts to wind down and kids get ready to go back to school!

Finn Sisu State Fair Newsletter
August 19, 2014
Finn Sisu's latest update features State Fair sauna deals, 50% off running gear, a lecture on Monday, Aug 25th on nutrition basics for athletes, and info on fall training programs.

MNJRC Season Wrap
August 19, 2014
Jakok Ellingson reports: MNJRC, Minnesota Junior Cycling, concluded their road-racing season on Saturday at the Minnesota State Road Championships. Photo albums from the season season are posted. MNJRC supports junior riders ages 10-21, primarily in "drop-bar" cycling; Road, Track and Cyclocross. The outdoor riding season starts in April with a weekend camp, continues with a week long summer camp, and meets twice weekly through the end of the season.

BNS August Newsletter
August 19, 2014
Boulder Nordic Sports August newsletter highlights the development of their new Twin Cities shop, updated stonegrinding service, Woodski rollerskis, and trail running shoes sale.

Local Stars
August 18, 2014
Home - Nordic combiner and Eau Claire native Adam Loomis blogs on his recent vacation back home.
Sprints - Ben Saxton and Jessie Diggins rollerski sprint photos from SMS.
Opening Day - Wayzata girls CC program was featured as part of the kickoff for cross-country season.
Ironwood - Big photoset from a combined LNR, CXC camp up in Ironwood, MI.
Little Things - Jessie Diggins writes about the small details: adjusting priorities and schedules. 

Trollhaugen Closes Down Nordic Trails
August 18, 2014
Trollhaugen has officially announced it will not be making snow for the Troll Hollow Nordic Center this season. The string of recent good snowfall seasons have made the Nordic operation unprofitable. They are planning to continue offering early morning Nordic on the downhills at the start of the season.

Midwest Mountaineering Customer Appreciation Party Aug 21st
August 18, 2014
Midwest Mountaineering is hosting their annual Customer Appreciation Party on Thursday, August 21st. Check out coupons for party specials, including free food and drink!

Urban Trail Marathon Saturday
August 17, 2014
Endurance United hosts their second annual Urban Trail Marathon this coming Saturday, August 23rd. Racing from the streets of downtown to the trails of Battle Creek, the event offers distances ranging from a quick 10K to a full marathon. Online registration closes Thursday (onsite Friday/Saturday).

Out There Newsletter
August 14, 2014
Out There shop has deals is offering additional discounts on existing markdowns, youth equipment exchange program, tips and options on growing the Nordic sport.

Trail Marathons Approaching
August 13, 2014
Three big trail marathons are fast approaching...
Aug 23 Urban Trail Marathon - Endurance Uniteds point-to-point race from downtown Saint Paul to Battle Creek.
Sep 20 Trail Loppet - The Loppet Foundation's big fall trail run is reporting big numbers of registrations and possible wave closures.
Sep 27 Birkie Trail Run and Trek - Save a little cash by registering before the next price hike on Aug 16th!

CXC Masters Clinic in Milwaukee
August 13, 2014
CXC will be hosting a Masters Clinic in Milwaukee this weekend, Aug 16-17. The clinic will feature morning workout sessions, covering both classic and skate technique.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 12, 2014
Sporting a huge update this week, Jay Richards MTB report has two first-hand accounts from the Ore to Shore, a report from Single Speed USA, a feature on Copper Harbor MTB trail system, as well as a look at the busy upcoming weekend events!

Local Stars
August 11, 2014
Soaring - St. Paul's own Christian Friberg won the US Ski Jumping Large Hill National Championship in Park City, UT, last week.
Two Weeks - Jessie Diggins recounts the past two weeks, including some Fast and Female camps and a little summer vacation time.
LNR TT - Some video highlights from a recent LNR rollerski time trial.
Patience - Rosie Frankowski reflects back on a serious injury recovery as she works through a summer cold.
U16 Camp Recap - Video montage from the U16 National Camp, in which a number of Midwest skiers participated.
Back in Town - Kyle Bratrud wraps up his Alaskan training time with APU and is back in the Midwest.
Crunch Time - Gear West begins their latest expansion with the demolition the old Adrenaline/casual store.

Performance Testing in Nordic Skiing Webinar
August 11, 2014
CXC is hosting a live streaming webinar on Performance Testing in Nordic Skiing, with Matt Whitcomb, Women's XC Coach, U.S. Ski Team. In addition to answering questions from coaches, Matt will share his personal testing philosophy, as well as some specific workouts that are effective benchmarks. The event is scheduled for 5 pm CST, Thursday, August 14th.

Deux Pipe Coverage
August 11, 2014
Eve Graves provides coverages on the Deux Pipe paddling races last weekend in Cloquet.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Deux Pipe
Results: Deux Pipe

Vermont Coaching Position
August 11, 2014
Mansfield Nordic in Jericho, Vermont, is seeking to hire a Junior Team Development coach. Position may lead to the Head Coach for the Junior Competition Team next season.

Midwest Skiers Heading to NTG Camp
August 10, 2014
The National Training Group (NTG) camp for juniors (U20) starts this Thursday, August 14th, in Park City, Utah. The NTG camp brings the nation's best developing athletes together for a week of intense training and testing. The elite skiers representing the Midwest include Vivian Hett, Mattie Watts, and Zak Ketterson. (Rosie Frankowski was selected for the U24 group.)
Related:
NTG Camp Schedule Aug 13-20

NorthShore Inline Marathon
August 10, 2014
The next big rollerski event is the NorthShore Inline Marathon rollerski division race, September 13th in Duluth. A full marathon (26.2 miles), many skiers opt for race rollerskis (usually race wheels/bearings).

Hoigaards Paddle Derby Wrap
August 9, 2014
Jim Lind reports: The ten race 2014 Hoigaard's Paddle Derby ended on a high note with a record 61 race boats at the starting line. We had an excellent year with strong competition in canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard divisions and paddlers aged from 9 years to 81 years old. With 33 seasons of paddle racing behind us we had the children and even the grandchildren of our early paddlers at the starting line this summer. Hoigaard's would like to thank everyone for showing up at Thomas Beach, paddle in hand, and we look forward to seeing you all next spring!
Related:
Results: Final 2014 Paddle Derby Results, Championship Awards

Ringer Roll Coverage
August 8, 2014
The Ringer Roll once again experienced great conditions for the annual 10K rollerski race around Baker Park, as skiers enjoyed light winds and temps in the mid 70s. CXC coach Andy Keller posted the fastest time on the day, racing on a pair of smoking race skis, following by Endurance United's Jeremy Hecker (also on race skis). Zak Ketterson was third overall, but tops in the stock skate rollerski division. Jen Rolfes edged out Bonnie Weiskopf-Albrecht by 11 seconds to take the womens stock skate division. Alex Larson and Sarah Bezdicek were the top classic division skiers. Results are up, plus a big batch of photos.

Duluth Ski Trails Master Plan Review
August 7, 2014
Duluth Parks and Rec will be presenting their mini master plan for the Duluth ski trails to the Parks commission on August 13th. Public opinions on the plan are being actively sought. Review the plans online and make your voice heard!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 6, 2014
Jay Richards latest MTB report contains race stories from Border Crossing, Wausau 24, and Wilderman, plus a look ahead to the Ore to Shore and UP riding.

Birkie Filling Fast
August 6, 2014
With more than 8,000 now registered, the Birkie events are filling fast and waves have been closing. If you're still planning to do the race and haven't registered, get to it!

National U16 Camp: An NNF Pillar Project Explained
August 5, 2014
National Nordic Foundation explains the U16 Camp, including the selection process and goals, plus links for coverage.
Related:
Photoset: National U16 Camp

Finn Sisu: Running Deals, New Fischer Boot, Lectures and Training
August 5, 2014
Finn Sisu's latest newsletter highlights a 20% savings on running gear, the new Fischer racing boot, their summer lecture series, and signups for the fall Vakava training program.

Ski Hut: Demos and Raffles
August 5, 2014
Ski Hut's latest newsletter features upcoming Trek and Specialized demo events, a Trek bike raffle, and baseball bike evening.

Local Stars
August 4, 2014
Chester Gone - Chester Bowl ski jumps in Duluth are coming down.
Post Glacier - Jessie Diggins updates on activities after training up on the Eagle Glacier.
Coach for a Day - Nordic combiner Adam Loomis takes a turn at coaching.
Summer Ending - Enjoying her 23rd birthday and the final days of summer in Alaska, updates from Rosie Frankowski.
More Glacier - Kyle Bratrud posts another update from the Eagle Glacier.
And a bit further away...
A to B - A truly epic rollerski: 4,200 miles in 90 days!
Blink Photos - Loads of photos from the big Blink Festival (rollerski) in Norway.

Illinois Rollerski Race Series Race Report
August 4, 2014
Chris Pappathopoulos and Erica Mennerick took the opening titles in the Illinois Rollerski Race Series, held last Saturday. The series resumes with the next event in early September.
Related:
Rollerski Results 2014

Gear West Training Program Registration Open
August 4, 2014
Registration is open for Gear West Technique and Training Program. This program is designed to help skiers of all levels learn to ski faster and more efficiently–for the Birkie or just to enjoy Minnesota parks!

Spotlight: Vakava Juniors Summer Program
August 4, 2014
As the Minnesota summer junior Nordic training programs wind down their season, we caught up with the Vakava Juniors at Battle Creek on Monday morning. After a short warm up, the group performed a three lap fitness test, later graphing the results to compare their performance improvements over the summer. They also went through a set of strength tests, finishing up the session with consultations with the Vakava coaching staff, led by head coach Ahvo Taipale.
Related:
Photoset: 113 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Firehouse 50 Coverage
August 3, 2014
The annual Firehouse 50 is one of the most popular citizen cycling races in the Midwest. Kelly Randolph shares photos from this year's event.
Related:
Photoset from Kelly Randolph: Road Race, Time Trial, Ride the Divide
Results: Firehouse 50


Haig Glacier Coverage
August 2, 2014
Coverage from the 2014 Haig Glacier Camp hosted by Endurance United and led by Matt Liebsch, including some cool video recaps by Taag Ebert.

Birkie Development Grants Program Now Open
August 1, 2014
The Birkie Foundation annually provides grant funding opportunities to skier development programs throughout the nation. Deadline for all applicants is September 1st.

Jumping: U.S. Ski Jumpers Compete for Champs Title
August 1, 2014
U.S. Ski Team ski jumping and Nordic combined athletes will be vying for national championship titles this weekend at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City Sunday, Aug 3rd.
Related:
Video: Aug 2 Springer Tournee Livestream, Aug 3 Large Hill Nationals

FAST KIDS August Camp
August 1, 2014
The Loppet Foundation is offering a special camp this August 18-21 for youth ages 8-13. The camp has two tracks, one for introductory and another for advanced level kids, and will feature sports like mountain biking, rollerskiing, and other fun outdoor activities.

New Toko Rollerski Gloves
July 31, 2014
Toko has released a new rollerski glove this season, the Toko Rollerski 2.0 glove. Plus a new product to help kill the odors in ski boots!

National U16 Camp Update
July 31, 2014
The National Nordic Foundation has posted a big update from the U16 camp going on this week in Jackson, WY. Midwest skiers Claire Benton, Anna Johnson, Amanda Kautzer, Erin Moening, Hannah Rudd, and Henry Gore are in attendance.
Related:
Photoset: National U16 Camp

Midwest Mountaineering July Newsletter
July 30, 2014
Midwest Mountaineering's latest newsletter features a number of coupons, including 50% off deals and even a way to earn a free pair of SmartWool socks. Plus a big slate of upcoming events.

Spotlight: Loppet Nordic Racing
July 30, 2014
Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR) has one of the largest summer training programs in the nation, with more than 130 juniors participating. Wednesday morning we caught up with them for a rollerski time trial in the south suburbs. The skiers broke into groups with the coaches to get some pre-time trial advice and then skied a warm up out to the course. Racing in packs of 4-6 similar level skiers, they raced over a roughly 5K winding street course with a couple of moderate climbs. Comp team skiers Sarah Bezdicek and Zak Ketterson posted the top times for the day.
Thursday morning the LNR Comp team was back at it again, executing another time trial, this time on a rolling lap course in the west metro. Once again, Zak Ketterson and Sarah Bezdecik notched the fastest times, racing over a 10K course.
Related:
Photoset: Girls - 126 photos, Boys - 135 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Video: Thursday Time Trial Highlights
Results: July 30 LNR TT

Spotlight: Duluth Summer Training
July 29, 2014
Duluth has a very active skiing community, hosting multiple summer training programs. We dropped in earlier this week to catch two sessions. Monday evening featured a small set of Duluth XC juniors working out at Spirit Mountain, punctuated by five sets of six minute interval ski walks up the long downhills (with one of the best backdrops in the state). Tuesday morning Superior Performance brought some of their collegiate skiers to join the Duluth XC juniors for a tandem workout based out of the famed Duluth East High School. The group worked on rollerskiing agility and technique, including some video analysis, then did an easy skate out the smooth Lakewalk trail.
Related:
Photoset: Spirit Mountain Dryland - 76 photos, Rollerski Technique/Drills - 126 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res) - Dryland, Top Picks (high res) - Rollerski


Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 29, 2014
Race reports from the Red Earth Classic and Elm Creek 40 miler, and a tour of the North Shore MTB trails, plus the look ahead, fill Jay Richards MTB report this week!
Related:
FAST KIDS LNR 2014 Mountain Bike Series - Two Events Left!

Local Stars
July 28, 2014
FAST Kids MTB - Photos from the Loppet Foundation's youth MTB races, including some age gap relays.  Video clip too.
Man Camp - Kyle Bratrud blogs on summer training with APU and USST men, and heading to the glacier.
Man Camp 2 - Brian Gregg also has an update on training with APU and USST men and glacier skiing.
Week on the Edge - Caitlin Gregg has a full writeup on her adventures in Alaska, getting some serious on-snow time and top-level training.
The Haig - Paige Schember posted a big update on her recent trip to the Haig Glacier, including loads of great photos.

Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Kicks Off Saturday
July 27, 2014
The Illinois Rollerski Race Series starts this coming Saturday, August 2nd, with a 10K race (5K for juniors) at Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry. This first race will is the Leatherleaf Bog trail which is surfaced with crushed limestone and paved on the hills.
Related:
Ringer Roll Coming August 8th

Spotlight: SCAR
July 27, 2014
The St. Croix Area Racing program (SCAR) was out Sunday morning for an overdistance rollerski on the hilly backroads of Afton, led by coach Kris Hansen. The group was joined by Vakava masters/racing members, with skiers doing one or two big laps of the area (25K or 50K).
Related:
Photoset: Afton Rollerski Session - 46 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Duluth Looking for Input on Trail Segment Names
July 26, 2014
Duluth XC along with Duluth Parks is seeking input on adding some names to local trail segments. The goal is to improve signage on the trails, and to provide more meaningful names to the ski loops. Input deadline is Aug 31st.

Borah Teamwear Generates Over $13K for CAMBA
July 24, 2014
With more than 500 racers, the 2014 Mt. Borah Epic brought in over $13,000 in race profits to benefit CAMBA (Chequemagon Area Mountain Bike Association).

Urban Trail Marathon Next Month
July 24, 2014
Endurance United's Urban Trail Marathon is less than a month away -- August 23rd. Races start in downtown St. Paul and finish at Battle Creek with a number of distances available, and even a relay format.

Tri-Loppet Bans Racing Boats
July 23, 2014
In an effort to provide a more level playing field, the Loppet Foundation is banning racing boats from the Tri-Loppet. From the Loppet website: After the wind of the 2014 event, organizers have concluded that race boats have no place at the Tri-Loppet ... Going forward, no race boats of any kind will be allowed at the Tri-Loppet. No race canoes. No race kayaks. No surf skis. ... The hope is that this rule change will make for a more "democratic" event.


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