Frankowski and Treinen Win Sec­ond An­nual Qaniq Chal­lenge – $10,000 [US] Prize Purse

SkiTrax - - Out In Front -

Elite racer Rosie Frankowski of APUNSC took the win in the women's over­all at the sec­ond an­nual Qaniq Chal­lenge on Jan. 16-17 in Valdez, Alaska, best­ing Olympian Holly Brooks by nearly a minute and a half, while her team­mate Lex Treinen won for the sec­ond straight year over Tyler Korn­field. Frankowski, who made a last-minute de­ci­sion to fly to An­chor­age from Min­neapo­lis to try to win the $3,000 pay­out as the top fin­isher, said the de­ci­sion was worth it and not just be­cause of the money.

“Valdez re­minds me of Min­nesota,” Frankowski said. “All the trees and the wa­ter re­mind me of the lakes at home – mi­nus a few big moun­tains.” The Qaniq Chal­lenge has the high­est pay­out of any race in North Amer­ica ex­cept for the Amer­i­can Birke­beiner.

Un­like last year, when un­usu­ally low snow­fall forced race or­ga­niz­ers to shorten the first day's In­ter­val-start Clas­sic race, this year's 2016 course in­cluded the steep and tech­ni­cal Sky­line Loop hills on the Min­eral Creek trail sys­tem, right out­side of Valdez. Men's third-place fin­isher Paul “PK” Ko­vacs com­pared the de­scent to “Red Bull Crashed Ice” events be­cause of the wind­ing, crowded, ice-cov­ered cor­ners, and the women's third-place fin­isher Lau­ren Fritz called it an “emo­tional roller­coaster.” The de­scent saw men's sec­ond-place fin­isher Korn­field crash twice, while Frankowski, on the other hand, had no prob­lems with the down­hills. “Snow­plow­ing is one of my strengths,” she said. Treinen won the first day by only 17 sec­onds, while Frankowski dom­i­nated the women's by 1:17.

The 20-kilo­me­tre race ended with ap­prox­i­mately 10 kilo­me­tres of high-speed double-pol­ing that hair-pinned at an isth­mus over­look­ing the Valdez port. “It was one of the few times in a race where I looked up and looked around,” said Ko­vacs of the scenic view.

The sec­ond day's Mass-start freestyle races were held just out­side of Valdez. Frankowski led a group of men and Brooks, her main ri­val in the over­all stand­ings, for much of the flat, nar­row course. “My aero­dy­nam­ics would have been helped by be­ing be­hind some­body,” she ad­mit­ted. Nonethe­less, she was just nar­rowly beaten by Brooks on Day Two, and main­tained her over­all lead. Last year's run­ner-up, Fritz, who, like Brooks, re­turned from the Tour of China three days be­fore the first Qaniq race, cred­ited her Chi­nese banana chips with giv­ing her the en­ergy needed to hold on to third place. When asked whether the $3,000 was the largest pay­out for an hour and a half of work, Frankowski quipped, “It de­pends if you are talk­ing about le­gal or il­le­gal work.”

Treinen for his part stayed be­hind Korn­field for most of the race, mak­ing a few long pulls at the front be­cause, in his words, “I didn't want it to be too bor­ing.” The lead pack of Treinen, Korn­field, Ko­vacs and Dy­lan Watts stayed to­gether un­til the last 500 me­tres, when Treinen over­came Korn­field for the win. “Tyler didn't re­ally have many op­tions,” said Treinen of his tac­tics on the sec­ond day. “It was very easy to draft.”

This year for the first time, awards were given to the top lo­cal men and women rac­ers, with $500 in lo­cal gift cer­tifi­cates go­ing to Ben Stolen and Sarah Hi­s­tand. A to­tal of just 35 rac­ers started, some of whom were non-pay­ing high-school ath­letes. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.qaniqchal­lenge. com. – CF

Qaniq Chal­lenge 2016

Jan. 16-17 - Valdez, Alaska Women 1. Rosie Frankowski (APUNSC); 2. Holly Brooks (APUNSC); 3. Lau­ren Fritz (APUNSC); Men Lex Treinen (APUNSC); 2. Tyler Korn­field (APUNSC); 3. Paul Ko­vacs (AUS).

Turin 2006 Sam­ples Retested

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) an­nounced Jan. 6 that it has retested al­most 500 sam­ples from the 2006 Turin Win­ter Olympic Games us­ing up­dated tech­niques to po­ten­tially de­tect cheaters who slipped through the cracks 10 years ago. While there has been no news yet of any pos­i­tive tests found, the IOC has the power to strip re­sults and award medals retroac­tively.

Sam­ples from Turin were al­ready retested in 2014, lead­ing to a pos­i­tive find­ing (steroids) for Es­to­nian cross-coun­try skier Kristina Smi­gun-vahi, a double-gold win­ner in Turin (10km CL, 15km Skiathlon). Smi­gun-vahi is con­test­ing the find­ings. She also won sil­ver at the Van­cou­ver Games in 2010.

Marit Bjo­er­gen is a Mom

Leg­endary Nor­we­gian cross-coun­try-ski star Marit Bjo­er­gen, 36, re­ceived a spe­cial present on Dec. 26, a new baby boy. “He is the loveli­est lit­tle baby, and we are so proud par­ents,” said Bjo­er­gen, who an­nounced her preg­nancy back in June.

“Marit and our new­born son are do­ing well,” said Fred Bo­erre Lund­berg, 46, the boy's fa­ther and fa­ther to a child from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship. The boy's name is Mar­ius Bjo­er­gen Lund­berg.

Bjo­er­gen is the sec­ond Nor­we­gian to re­cently have a child, as her team­mate and sprint star Ola Vi­gen Hat­tes­tad had a son with Slove­nian girl­friend Katja Vis­nar, also a top cross-coun­try skier. More an­nounce­ments are in the off­ing, as Fin­land's Aino-kaisa Saari­nen and U.S. star Kikkan Ran­dall are both preg­nant as well.

Bjo­er­gen is a six-time Olympic cham­pion with 14 World Cham­pi­onships and 90+ World Cup vic­to­ries to her name, mak­ing her the over­all record-holder for both women and men. This past sea­son, Bjo­er­gen be­came the first ath­lete to cap­ture all three World Cup crys­tal globes – over­all, dis­tance and sprint – twice in her ca­reer.

Omni Ho­tels and Re­sorts An­nounces Ac­qui­si­tion of the Omni Mount Wash­ing­ton Re­sort

Omni Ho­tels and Re­sorts (OHR) an­nounced in Jan­uary that it has ac­quired The Omni Mount Wash­ing­ton Re­sort (OMWR), home to the Omni Mount Wash­ing­ton Ho­tel and Bret­ton Woods, New Hamp­shire's largest ski area and

one of the largest Nordic tour­ing cen­ters in New Eng­land. The lux­ury ho­tel brand has been man­ag­ing the OMWR since Sept. 2009.

As part of the sale, OHR ac­quired the Omni Mount Wash­ing­ton Ho­tel, the Omni Bret­ton Arms Inn, Bret­ton Woods Ski Area and Nordic Cen­ters, the Lodge at Bret­ton Woods, Mount Wash­ing­ton and Mount Pleas­ant golf cour­ses, as well as 500 acres for fu­ture ex­pan­sion and de­vel­op­ment.

The OMWR is lo­cated at the base of Mount Wash­ing­ton; at 6,288 feet, it is the high­est peak in the Northeast. Call 1-800-The-omni.

WADA'S In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion Re­port Part II Re­leased

On Jan. 14, the World Anti-dop­ing Agency (WADA) re­leased Part II of its In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion (IC)'S Re­port into al­le­ga­tions of sys­temic dop­ing. On Nov. 9, 2015, the IC'S Re­port Part I was re­leased. The IC is presided over by Cana­dian Dick Pound; one of the two mem­bers, Pro­fes­sor Richard H. Mclaren, is also Cana­dian.

The IC'S man­date was ex­tended by WADA in Au­gust 2015 fol­low­ing the re­lease of the doc­u­men­tary ti­tled “Dop­ing – Top Se­cret: The Shad­owy World of Ath­let­ics,” which con­tained new al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing

wide­spread dop­ing in in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics. Ger­man TV net­work ARD and The Sun­day Times ob­tained a leaked data­base be­long­ing to the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) that con­tained more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 ath­letes in the years 2001-2012.

The 89-page Part II Re­port was widely ex­pected to shift the spot­light away from Rus­sia and to look at other coun­tries ac­cused of sys­temic dop­ing. In­stead, Part II men­tions Rus­sia 138 times, Turkey 24 times, China is men­tioned twice and Kenya only once.

De­spite al­le­ga­tions that cycling, swim­ming, weightlift­ing and win­ter sports are also af­fected, cycling and ski­ing are not even men­tioned in the IC'S Part II Re­port. In­stead, all rec­om­men­da­tions specif­i­cally men­tion the IAAF; no other in­ter­na­tional sports bod­ies are named in the rec­om­men­da­tions.

Great Glen Trails to Host Largest Youth XC Ski Fes­ti­val in U.S.A.

The largest youth Nordic ski fes­ti­val in the U.S.A., New Eng­land's Bill Koch League Fes­ti­val (BKLF), will be hosted by Great Glen Trails on March 5-6. The BKLF is the mar­quee event of the New Eng­land Nordic Ski Asso-

cia­tion's Youth Ski League, at­tract­ing pre-school through eighth-grade par­tic­i­pants from New Eng­land, the Northeast and Canada.

The Fes­ti­val is named af­ter the U.S.A.'S only Olympic cross-coun­tryski medal­ist, Bill Koch, who won sil­ver in the 30km at the 1976 Inns­bruck Win­ter Games. The Bill Koch League has since been in­tro­duc­ing youth to cross-coun­try ski­ing. Koch, now 60, will be at the Fes­ti­val with his own son, Will.

The Fes­ti­val ro­tates an­nu­ally be­tween Mas­sachusetts, Maine, New Hamp­shire and Ver­mont. Last year's Fes­ti­val was held in Chit­ten­den, Vt. Great Glen Trails last hosted the event in 2012, at­tract­ing 625 youth plus their en­tourage.

Saturday's on-snow events in­clude two-per­son re­lay races us­ing the Clas­sic tech­nique, games on skis, an ob­sta­cle course and more. Great Glen's daily of­fer­ings of snow­tub­ing and the Trails Tracker char­ac­ter hunt are also avail­able for youth on both week­end days. The evening wraps up with a pasta din­ner.

Sue We­myss is the fes­ti­val di­rec­tor, and can be reached at 603-4662333 or sue@great­g­len­trails.com, with more in­for­ma­tion at www. bklfes­ti­val.com.

Con­tin­ued from page 10 USSA Part­ners with Buff

In Jan­uary, the U.S. Ski and Snow­board As­so­ci­a­tion (USSA) an­nounced a part­ner­ship with Buff, Inc., a sub­sidiary of the par­ent com­pany that is head­quar­tered in Spain. Buff is the cre­ator of ver­sa­tile per­for­mance head­wear for snow and out­door en­thu­si­asts. A new col­lec­tion fea­tures the lo­gos and colours of the USSA teams. This USSA Col­lec­tion in­cludes five tech­ni­cal Buff prod­ucts, and a por­tion of sales from this li­censed col­lec­tion goes to the USSA and sup­ports win­ter ath­letes.

The USSA Col­lec­tion con­sists of a U.S. Ski Team Po­lar Buff, a U.S. Snow­board­ing Flake Tech Fleece Ban­dana and three UV Buff styles fea­tur­ing a unique de­sign for all three brands.

Buff® is the orig­i­nal mul­tifunc­tional head­wear brand, hav­ing pre­miered and in­no­vated the tubu­lar head­wear cat­e­gory with brands such as COOLMAX®, Polygeine®, Po­lartec® and 100% Merino wool Buff®. These prod­ucts are sold in more than 70 coun­tries and in top U.S. sport­ing re­tail­ers.

Cas­cade Crest Nordic 50km FR Marathon and Re­lay

The Mount Bach­e­lor Nordic Cen­ter has re­vamped the Cas­cade Crest Nordic events to in­clude an in­au­gu­ral 50km freestyle marathon as well as a 4x12.5km skate re­lay. Now known as the Cas­cade Crest Nordic Ski Marathon and Re­lay, all races take place on Saturday, March 12 at the Mount Bach­e­lor Nordic Cen­ter near Bend, Ore. Also in­cluded at this year's event are 10km and 25km skate races for be­gin­ners and other rac­ers.

Routed along the trails of the Mount Bach­e­lor Nordic Cen­ter and U.S. For­est Ser­vice land in the shadow of Bro­ken Top Moun­tain, the course runs on and around Dutch­man Flat and Todd Lake be­fore re-en­ter­ing the Mount Bach­e­lor Nordic Cen­ter Trail Net­work at Rich's Range. The course is 12.5 kilo­me­tres in dis­tance (10 kilo­me­tres cut off for be­gin­ners) and will be skied four times for the 50km and twice for the 25km. This year's course will pro­vide breath­tak­ing views and a fes­tive race venue. A demo day will fol­low on Sun­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www. mt­bach­e­lor.com/event/cas­cade-crest or call 541-693-0909.

The Qaniq Chal­lenge has the high­est pay­out of any race in North Amer­ica ex­cept for the Amer­i­can Birke­beiner.

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