Record number of skiers take on challenge to ski their age
On the day after Christmas, a record number of skiers (more than 100), of all ages (from 2 to 74) and abilities (from first-time skiers to ski team members), gathered at the Lookout Mountain Ski Trails to participate in and enjoy this year's annual day-long Ski-Your-Age challenge, celebration and ski team fundraiser.
While the at-sea-level town of Homer was snow-free, Lookout Mountain, as is often the case, had plenty of snow. Kachemak Nordic Ski Club's John Miles provided impeccable trail grooming, and some lovely corduroy surfaces for early skiers to enjoy.
The sun was shining, the skies were bright blue, the atmosphere was wind-free and the day began and ended with lovely sunrises and sunsets, providing a glorious day to be enjoyed by all the participants. Eighty skiers officially logged their skiing distances as part of the informal and fun skiing challenge, and more than 20 non-challenge skiers joined in the party as well. There was plenty of snow on both the flatter 2.25-kilometer Hayfield plus Spruce Loop Trail, that many novices and families enjoyed, and the more-challenging hillier eastern ski trail system.
Skiers took advantage of the beautiful day, the copious snow, and the well-groomed surfaces to turn in some impressive ski performances. Annie Ridgley joined the Century Club for the first time, by skiing 100 minus her age. Other Century Club participants included Ruth Dickerson, Cindy Sisson and Mary Lou and Richard Burton. Taro Sasakura logged the highest number of kilometers for the day skiing an impressive 65 kilometers.
Century Club Ridgely was only one kilometer behind tallying 64 kilometers. Ridgely and Sasakura both met the Sundowner challenge by skiing at least 50 kilometers between sunrise and sunset. High school ski team members and ski team alumni were also out in force with two current team members (Jacob Davis and Caleb Rauch) each skiing 42 kilometers. Also a large number of families turned out to enjoy the sunny day and great skiing.
Thirteen families, the most ever, including the Schmidt, Alexson, Dickerson Marelli, Davis, Rausch, O'Laire, Haakenson, Corazza, Poindexter,Bynagle, Gracz/Stenger and Marden families, participated in the Family Ski Meister Challenge, which is a testament to the popularity of family sport skiing in Homer. The five-member Schmidt family dominated the family challenge, skiing a combined 146 kilometers with the triplets skiing 30-plus kilometers each, and the Alex and Dickerson families also logged impressive 104-kilometers and 103-kilometers totals respectively. Numerous tiny tykes enjoyed the snow, sun and fun as they were chauffeured around by their parents in toboggans and sleds. Twenty-four individual skiers successfully skied their own age or more.
Also contributing to the impressive performances and statistics was Fisher Corazza, 6, who skied a notable 12 kilometers, which is twice his age. Some 40 skiers participated by reaching their own creative goals by skiing someone else's age. In addition to enjoying their own skiing fun, event participants were able to enjoy seeing some of Homer's talented and inspiring young ski racers, including sit-skier Angelica Haakenson, who joined the team this year, and who skied an impressive 4.5 kilometers on her sit-ski.
Current members of the Homer High Ski Team, who were out staying sharp for the upcoming Besh Cup and other races, were joined by ski team alumni, including Apsen Daigle, Josh Vantrease and Quin Alward. A remarkable total of 1,212 kilometers of skiing were formally logged with an estimated 200 additional unrecorded kilometers skied by other fun-seeking families and individual skiers. And everyone who skied their age was rewarded by receiving a customized, handmade, multicolored and memorable Megan Spurkland-created medal.
In addition to all the skiing fun, there were smiles all around and lots of visiting and catching up as the Ski-Your-Age participants gathered all day around the social area near the bonfire, located next to the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club building, where copious amounts of hot chocolate were consumed, as well as plenty of tasty post-Christmas leftover foods contributed by participants. All involved heaped praise and thank-yous on Janna Davis who did such a great job organizing and coordinating this year's record-breaking event?
To add to the success of the day's festivities Ski-Your-Age participants donated an impressive $700 during the event, which goes directly to the Homer High Ski Team to help support them as they head into their next two months of racing. Homer High Mariners want to thank all who came out and enjoyed skiing with them as they worked to stay in shape over the Christmas break and garner funds to help support their ski team efforts. If you are interested in participating in the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club or may even join the ski team in the future, visit the Ski Club web site: www.kachemaknordicskiclub.org for more information.