AROUND THE REGION NEWS BRIEFS
April 2017 - NEWS BREIFS
ATHLETE PROFILE Follow Up
Birkebeiner with Bill Parks
I want to thank Adirondack Sports and writer Alex Kochon for my very comprehensive Athlete Profile in your February issue. I thought I ought to report briefly on my trip with Darwin Roosa of Altamont to do the Norwegian Birkeweinerrennet (aka Birkebeiner) – the mother of all cross-country ski marathons – 54K from Rena to Lillehammer, Norway on March 18 with 17,000 racers.
Darwin and I arrived in Oslo on March 8 and skied the next two days on the massive trail network above the city of Nordmarka. The weekend was to be loaded with big events. Ski jumping and two World Cup races were on Saturday and Sunday at Holmenkollen. During the events, I got sick Saturday while watching a bit of ski jumping and about eight kilometers of the men’s 50K. I felt lousy, returned to the apartment and slept. I had a week until my race and I spent the first four of those seven days conked out in the apartment trying to rest, get some sleep and recover.
On the fifth day Darwin and I joined a group of about 50 other skiers Europe and North America who went by bus to Lillehammer to do the Birkebeiner. Thursday and Friday I finally skied again. I felt pretty good except on uphills where I felt the effects of my cold and lack of sleep.
On Saturday at 4:15am we climbed on the bus to Rena and the start. Our required 7.7-pound backpacks were weighed and we got on the start line. At 7:30am the gun went off and so did the “venerable” wave. Within a kilometer my goal had become to just finish. And that was a real concern. I could feel the negative effects of my cold and the resultant lack of sleep.
The final downer was finding that there had been unanticipated powder snow on the mountaintops, and my waxed skis were slow, where I had hoped to make up time. As a result, I arrived a little late for my goal of “lunch in Lillehammer.” I had hoped for an arrival at 12:30pm but was about an hour late! Despite imperfect wax, Darwin finished almost 50 minutes before me! It was disappointing to miss the wax and be under the weather. I had felt well prepared and was interested to see what I could do.
At 73 years old, if the Norwegian Birkebeiner proves to be my last race, it will have been a great way to finish. It was a beautiful day; I was in the company of thousands of people who share my enthusiasm for cross country skiing; and I got to fairly successfully face a challenge that proved alternately daunting and fun. The last 13K of mostly crazy-fast downhill was worth the price of admission! Finally, it has been gratifying to use my adventure to encourage people to support The Friends of Cole’s Woods in Glens Falls, and the good work they do to provide a unique recreation area in our community. To donate or purchase a $25 membership, go to coleswoods.weebly.com.
P.S. Some of your readers would be interested in checking out some or all of the elite coverage. The top three men double-poled the entire race! Several top women tried it but were overtaken by women who waxed for kick. (youtube.com/results?search_query=2017+birkebeiner)
Peak 2 Brew Relay Registration Underway
UTICA – After two successful runnings, the 2017 Peak 2 Brew Relay has a new route and new legs to the 220-mile race that blend running with teamwork, the beauty of the Adirondacks and Central New York, and a post-race party with beer, finisher medals and camaraderie at the finish. The relay consists of teams of 12 runners each, with support vans and exchanges at events along the way. This year, Van 1 runners will have four legs each, while Van 2 will run three legs each. This change allows teammates from both vans to celebrate their accomplishment together. Relay legs vary in length from just under two miles to 12 miles. The race will begin at the summit of Whiteface Mountain on Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway on the morning of Friday, August 11 and end the next day with a post-race festival at F.X. Matt Brewing in Utica. Among the long-distance running relays nationally, Peak to Brew is the longest.
The course will take runners through some of New York’s beautiful landscape. “We’ve always been the participants in relay races like this before, and we’ve always believed we could create one that was better than all the rest,” said Jason Croniser, president and cofounder of Bark Eater Events. Co-founders/race directors Tim Skjellerup and Jason are both natives and current Central New York residents. Registration and info: p2brelay.com.
Whiskey Run 10K to Benefit Wilmington Historical Society
WILMINGTON – The town of Wilmington, area businesses and the Wilmington Historical Society are teaming up to organize the Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run 10K on Saturday, June 17 with proceeds to benefit the historical society.
The area has a storied history with whiskey, sometimes checkered, sometimes not, but pervasive and significant. During the War of 1812, the Wilmington area, then part of Jay, was well-known for the rye whiskey it supplied to the American troops as part of their daily ration. In the next century, being a small, quiet Northern village close to the Canadian border, Wilmington became a safe haven for moonshiners, bootleggers, and rum runners transporting illicit spirits across the border during Prohibition. Today, Wilmington is home to US Barrel, the oldest whiskey barrel cooperage in the Northeast. With a checkered history, natural beauty, and a penchant for athletic events, athletes and spectators can join in the inaugural Whiskey Run.
The 10K run will begin and end at Pourman’s Tap House on Whiteface Highway in Wilmington. Following the race will be an awards ceremony with lunch, along with free whiskey tasting by area distilleries, raffles, and a demonstration of barrel making by US Barrel. Preregistration and info: adkwhiskeyrun.com.
60th Hudson River Whitewater Derby Celebration
NORTH CREEK – Don’t miss the 60th annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby in North Creek. The area’s longest running whitewater derby including slalom race, giant slalom race, music, awards and more. Returning this year is the “Not-So-Whitewater” race, designed for boaters just starting out or those who already did it but maybe a few years ago. The “Not-So-Whitewater” race course is 2.5 miles of moving water on the Hudson River just a bit downriver of the traditional slalom races in North River. If you’ve ever thought about giving downriver racing a try, it’s the perfect race to get your feet wet!
The schedule includes slalom races, Not-So-Whitewater race and party, prizes and awards on Saturday, May 6. On Sunday, May 7, the Whitewater Derby Downriver Race begins at the Hudson River Pavilion in North Creek and awards ceremony. For info: 518-251-2005 or go to: whitewaterderby.com.
FROM THE PUBLISHERS
Thank you to all the attendees, exhibitors, presenters and volunteers for contributing to a successful Summer Expo on March 18-19! It was fantastic, high-energy gathering filled with athletes, enthusiasts and newbies, along with businesses, events, professionals, clubs, non-profits and destinations. A great representation of upstate New York’s sweaty, dirty sports and active, healthy living community – all under one roof! We want to thank the businesses and organizations who donated prizes and giveaways. Enjoy this new issue with inspiring stories of perseverance, tradition, combined with great advice to help you achieve your goals. Let’s get ready for a great spring and summer season of sports, health, fitness, travel and fun!
Darryl, Mona & Karen