Masters Cham­pi­onships

You Don't Want to Miss

SkiTrax - - Masters - By J.D. Down­ing

Mas­ter skiers through­out North America are ready to hit the trails, and with loads of fan­tas­tic cross-coun­try-ski events on the hori­zon, there's a whole lot to be ex­cited about!

AXCS Na­tional Masters: The Big City Pre­view

For the first time since 2005, Masters from across the U.S. will re­turn to the great state of Min­nesota as the American XC Skiers (AXCS) 2017 Na­tional Masters (NM2017) takes place the week­end of Feb. 4-5, 2017 at Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis – the same site of the 2018 Masters World Cup just un­der one year later.

NM2017 rac­ing will get started on Satur­day, Feb. 4 with 42km- and 21km-dis­tance Clas­sic In­di­vid­ual races run in con­junc­tion with the City of Lakes Lop­pet Columbia Sportswear Clas­sic events. Then on Sun­day, Feb. 5, the 21km Puoli Lop­pet skate-tech­nique races take cen­ter stage to fill out the NM2017 bill for all NM cat­e­gories.

Fea­tur­ing courses that lit­er­ally cross the city of Minneapolis, you'll ex­pe­ri­ence a gen­er­ally gen­tle ski route with a mix of city parks, snowed-in paths, and, of course, a series of fa­mous Min­nesota frozen lakes.

As usual, to take part in the NM2017, no spe­cial en­try into the City of Lakes Lop­pet events is re­quired. All Masters 30+ in age who are reg­is­tered in the of­fi­cial daily race in the cor­rect age/gen­der cat­e­gory will be con­sid­ered of­fi­cially part of the Na­tional Masters.

Host or­ga­nizer Lop­pet Foun­da­tion of­fers ex­ten­sive event in­for­ma­tion on the of­fi­cial City of Lakes Lop­pet web­site, and of­fi­cial AXCS NM2017 up­dates will be posted on xc­ski­world.com – the home of Masters cross-coun­try ski­ing – in the weeks im­me­di­ately lead­ing up to the NM2017.

Cham­pi­onship Charlo for Cana­dian Masters

The 2017 Cana­dian Masters will be held in Charlo, N.B. from Feb. 12-18, 2017.

Hosted by Les Aven­turi­ers de Charlo, the event sched­ule for its Clas­sic and free-tech­nique races can be found on the Cana­dian Masters of­fi­cial web­site, http://cana­dian-masters-xc-ski.ca.

MWC2017: The Alps, Davos and En­gadin

The 2016/2017 sea­son will wrap with a bang as the 2017 Masters World Cup (MWC2017) pays a visit to Klosters, Switzer­land from March 3-10, 2017.

Fea­tur­ing amaz­ing scenery, loads of alpine win­ter ad­ven­tures and world-fa­mous Davos just a few min­utes away, the MWC2017 also has the very no­table draw­ing card of the En­gadin Ski Marathon (the world's largest skate event) as an amaz­ing fi­nale.

American skiers have al­ready spo­ken loud and clear on the pop­u­lar­ity of this year's event, with more than 150 American rac­ers ex­pected to take part. Team Canada also ex­pects to be well above av­er­age size for this very pop­u­lar event.

It's not too late to get in on the fun! For Cana­dian skiers, visit http://cana­dian-masters-xc-ski.ca for more in­for­ma­tion on at­tend­ing this event. For American skiers, visit xc­ski­world.com to find the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on the Team USA trip pack­age and more.

MWC2018: One Year to Go!

Com­ing Jan. 19-26, 2018, the big­gest age-group com­pe­ti­tion in ski sport will ar­rive at Theodore Wirth Park in the heart of Minneapolis, Minn. as the 2018 Masters World Cup (MWC2018) re­turns to North America. The AXCS non-profit Masters as­so­ci­a­tion has been work­ing closely for the past five years with lo­cal event or­ga­nizer The Lop­pet Foun­da­tion on making this ex­cit­ing event a re­al­ity.

More than 1,000 Masters from more than 20 na­tions span­ning the en­tire cross-coun­try-ski world are an­tic­i­pated to take part in the MWC2018. With no qual­i­fi­ca­tion process re­quired, adult skiers of all abil­i­ties rang­ing from ages 30 to 90+ will en­joy up to three in­di­vid­ual races (their choice of tech­nique), plus a Na­tional Team Re­lay in all age cat­e­gories. Open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies, so­cial events and Olympic-style medal cer­e­monies for each race are also part of the an­nual MWC pro­gram.

All MWC2018 rac­ing will take part in Minneapolis' Theodore Wirth Park, just a few miles due west of the down­town core. Ma­jor im­prove­ments have been ap­proved by lo­cal author­i­ties over Sum­mer 2016 and in­clude greatly ex­panded snow­mak­ing ca­pa­bil­ity at the Park, a re­designed sta­dium con­fig­u­ra­tion, a new event/ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing and new trail ac­cess for the MWC2018 that con­nects the Park's golf-course trails to two lakes on the Park's prop­erty. Con­struc­tion of all planned im­prove­ments be­gins in Fall 2016, with com­ple­tion by Sum­mer/fall 2017.

Re­li­a­bil­ity of snow for the MWC2018 has been the sin­gle greatest con­cern in the event bid and devel­op­ment process over the past sev­eral years.

“The MWC2018 will be the first Worlds in his­tory that has mul­ti­ple plans in place for low- or no-snow sit­u­a­tions,” says J.D. Down­ing, AXCS na­tional di­rec­tor and cur­rent pres­i­dent of the World Masters As­so­ci­a­tion. “The Lop­pet Foun­da­tion has al­ready tested lake-ice­groom­ing tech­nol­ogy plus re­mote-snow­mak­ing sys­tems so that in low or no snow they can in­cor­po­rate the Park's ex­ten­sive lake ice into the courses, plus sur­round­ing ter­rain into the ex­pand­ing golf-course snow­mak­ing loops. The fan­tas­tic nat­u­ral-snow courses at T. Wirth Park are ob­vi­ously our pref­er­ence, but a great MWC2018 will take place re­gard­less of what Mother Na­ture pro­vides us.”

Part in­ter­na­tional ski festival and part World Cham­pi­onship, the Masters World Cup is a cel­e­bra­tion of cross-coun­try ski­ing as a sport for life that spans decades of com­peti­tor ages. All race events start in five-year age groups, making the MWC per­haps the only time that adult skiers can take part in a ski event with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive group of their ex­act peers.

Ro­tat­ing around the ski world, the an­nual event was last hosted in the U.S. by Mc­call, Ida. in 2008, with the pre­ced­ing North American host site be­ing Sov­er­eign Lakes/sil­ver Star, B.C. in 2011. The next North American host­ing slot is an­tic­i­pated to be no ear­lier than 2022, making the MWC2018 an in­cred­i­bly unique event for any North American Mas­ter skier.

Reg­is­tra­tion for the MWC2018 will be­gin in Fall 2017 via the of­fi­cial web­site Mwc2018.com, with ex­ten­sive in­for­ma­tion avail­able via xc­ski­world.com and other AXCS mem­ber­ship me­dia over the com­ing year.

Get ready for fun in the snow and we'll see you out there!

Masters World Cup will be held in Minneapolis in 2018.

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