Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ozbaldy 50k

(Celeste Murphy photo)

Oh, yes, it snowed.  Spring has sprung everywhere else in the country, as people sadly put away their skis and happily get out their bikes, but not here at Snoqualmie Pass.  It snowed and snowed and snowed, sometimes great big fat smack-you-in-the-eye puffs, and sometimes sloppy little wet pellets, then back to big fat snow.  For spectators and course monitors, it was a winter wonderland.  For racers, it was slow going -- many reported  times 20 minutes slower than last year, and Brian Palm noted that his skis were about as effective as snowshoes.

The men's race featured a tightly paced little lead pack for almost the whole race, with E'burg's Jeff Hashimoto and Spokane's James Rucker skiing in tandem for all five laps until the last trip around the PK loop, the last k of the race, when Jeff pulled ahead and won by seconds.  Rune Harkestad pushed to third, Peter Boveng came in fourth, and Jon Fewster captured fifth after a bad crash on Ozbaldy that left him with a broken ski and a rakish, devil-may-care cut over his eye.

In the women's race, no one could touch Mona Deprey, who led from start to finish and capped off a great year, winning every running race and enjoying strong finishes in the skiing races she entered!  Barb Kelley Ringel was a strong second, and Jennifer Johnson from Teacup Nordic skied to third.  Nice work, everyone, on a tough day!

Lots of people made the race happen: Race Director Tim Melbourne, Race Secretary Carey Gazis (who also raced and came in fourth!), and Chief of Course Jim Repsher; Kare and Aase holding down the kitchen and feeding everyone; Nordic Ski Patrol and course monitors keeping everyone safe; Jeff Hashimoto MCing the awards ceremoney; Keith Ritland, Courtney Voorhees, Joan Nordheim, and the rest of the timing crew; and Bush School Ski Team kids manning the feed station and cleaning the cabin afterward.  This is the last KSC race of the season, so special thanks go to Events Committee Chair Susan Bogert, who has coordinated all race efforts all winter long, and to our awesome and generous sponsors, Second Ascent in Ballard, Suunto, Arcteryx, Essential Baking, Marmot, and Einar Svensson, who donates copies of his wonderful book on skating as prizes.  Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in our races this winter!

Special bonus feature for this race: Celeste Murphy brought her camera and her artistic eye to the race, and sent these awesome photos:


And thanks to John Garibaldi, who helped out at the feed station and took a minute to snap this great little video of the race leaders.

(Celeste Murphy photo of two of my favorite people on earth!)

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