Skiers aim to mas­ter the Muster

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

En­durance, stamina and de­ter­mi­na­tion will be on dis­play by keen cross­coun­try skiers on Satur­day with the 20th Merino Muster at Snow Farm.

The event, which was now an as­so­ciate mem­ber of the renowned World­lop­pet se­ries, was ex­pected to at­tract more than 150 begin­ner cross­coun­try skiers to elite in­ter­na­tional team skiers.

Event or­gan­iser Mary Lee, of Cardrona Val­ley, said the com­pe­ti­tion would fea­ture four dif­fer­ent races, 7km, 21km, and 42km sec­tions, as well as mini merino – for chil­dren un­der 10.

At least 25 of the ath­letes tak­ing part were in the World­lop­pet se­ries.

The se­ries in­volves cross- coun­try skiers be­ing given a World­lop­pet pass­port and work­ing to­wards re­ceiv­ing a pass­port stamp when they have com­pleted 21km and 42km races.

It was ‘‘very ex­cit­ing’’ the Merino Muster had be­come part of the world se­ries and it was hoped more New Zealan­ders would take part in the event and get a pass­port, Lee said.

Par­tic­i­pants who fin­ished 10 of the 42km races would be­come a gold mas­ter and those who com­pleted 10 of the 21km races would be­come a sil­ver mas­ter.

The sport was great for any level. ‘‘You don’t have to be fast. You only have to fin­ish,’’ Lee said.

‘‘If you can walk 7km, you can ski it,’’ she said.

Many of those tak­ing part in the event will be head­ing to the World­lop­pet race in Aus­tralia, the Kan­ga­roo Hop­pet, next week.

Wanaka women Marie Ho­p­ley and Meridee Beange take part in the 7km Merino Muster in 2012.

Go­ing strong: What: Merino Muster. When: Satur­day, Au­gust 16. Where: Snow Farm ski area.

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