1999-2000 Racing Season Recap
Last year was a difficult season for the cross-country
ski racer. Some sad facts:
- Only one race went off in December: the Central Opener up
at ABR on the UP of Michigan.
- Out of 43 races in January, 12 were cancelled (most in the
first half of the month).
- In February only three races were cancelled, but two of them
were biggies: the Minnesota Finlandia and the American Birkebeiner.
- Things closed out much like they started with only one race,
the Sibley Ski Tour, going off in March.
On the positive side, the 2000 National Masters Championships in St.
Paul was a huge success. Not only was there a strong turnout with
a number of top skiers, but the weather was extremely cooperative
in supplying excellent conditions for all four races. Perhaps the
biggest surprise from the Masters was the wildly popular Battle Creek
night sprint relays. Both skier and spectator enjoyed the nordic world's
version of NASCAR racing.
Ben Husaby chasing down Dale Niggemann
National Masters 2000
With the spotty snow conditions, especially early in the season, one
silver lining was skiers venturing out to try new trails and races.
And a number of us skiers from the metro area were extremely thankful
for the wonderful early January opportunities that Trollhaugen and
Afton State Park provided. Trollhaugen opened it's slopes to nordic
skiing for a few hours a couple of days during the week and on the
weekends. Afton State Park, usually classical only, shared their secret
of snow retention when they opened the trails to skating for a few
Skiers warming up for the Balsam Vinterfest
January 15, 2000
Afton State Park (special grooming)