The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is pleased to announce that the Fifteenth Annual Flint Hills Resources Alaska Town Race Series will get underway with the Fairbanks Youth Sports Season Opener, Saturday, November 20, at 11:00am at the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area. The Flint Hills Resources Alaska Town Race Series provides a competitive forum for skiers of all ages beginning with pre-schoolers.
Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks President Mike O'Brien said, "For fifteen years in a row the tremendous support of our local business community has made it possible for young people to race for free in this series. Our club would like to thank Flint Hills Resources for continuing to be the primary sponsor of this series. They and Fairbanks Youth Sports, Kendall Auto of Fairbanks, and the Woolly Rhino continue to come back year after year to make this series possible."
All elementary finishers receive a ribbon recognizing their achievement in each race. Elementary, junior high, and high school-aged competitors who finish 3 or more of the races in the series will receive a free, commemorative t-shirt at the conclusion of the series.
The goal of the series is to provide a high quality race experience in a low-pressure atmosphere. Nearly 60 Town Series races have been held over the past fourteen seasons. NSCF Competition Program Director John Estle said, "This is a race series for everyone from little kids just starting to ski to senior citizens who still like to get out for some exercise and put a number on. For some skiers these races lay the foundation of experience for great results in Junior Olympics, National Championships or even the Olympics; for others they are simply a great opportunity for a healthy outdoor activity in winter. Whatever a skier's goals in racing, the Flint Hills Resources Alaska Town Series offers a great forum for achieving them."
Racing begins at 11:00am with competition in the Kindergarten-1st grade-2nd grade class (.5km), followed by 3rd and 4th grade class (1km), 5th and 6th grade class (1.5km) and the 7th and 8th graders (2.0km). Each of these age classes will have separate mass starts, one for boys and one for girls. Over 400 entries are anticipated.
The High school and adult events will also be held in mass-start format, 6Km for women and 8Km for men. All races will be held in free technique.
The first race in the series has become a major early-season event for high school teams from around the state. It is anticipated that skiers from local schools Lathrop HS, West Valley HS, Ben Eielson HS and North Pole HS, as well as visiting teams from Colony HS, Palmer HS, Su-Valley HS, Valdez HS and Wasilla HS, and possibly some Anchorage area schools, will compete in both boys' and girls' classes.
The race will also be the second of three days of competition in the Alaska Nordic Cup competition between the Alaska Nanooks and the UAA Seawolves. Alaska Pacific University and several of the top clubs in Anchorage are expected to attend with several skiers each.
Entry is free for all school students from Kindergarten through high school. School students should be entered through their school club or team. The entry fee for adults is $10 for members of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, and $15 for non-members. Race entries close at 5:00pm Wednesday, November 17. There will be no race day entries. For information on entering the USSA National Ranking List portion of the event, please contact the Chief of Competition, John Estle, at 347-1061.
Competitors may pick up and drop off entry forms at Beaver Sports or at Raven Cross Country, and may pick up forms at Goldstream Sports. Forms may be picked up at the Birch Hill Warming Hut, too.
The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is a 1000-member non-profit organization that provides instruction for youth and adults, recreational tours, and educational programs and clinics. The Nordic Ski Club raises money for trail improvements, maintenance and grooming through private donations to its trail fund. The Nordic Ski Club jointly manages Birch Hill Recreation Area in Cooperation with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation Department.
Flint Hills Resources Alaska is in their fourteenth season as the sponsor of the Town Race Series. Fairbanks Youth Sports, another fourteen-year sponsor, is the presenting sponsor for this event and the second race in the series. The Woolly Rhino, in their third year of sponsorship, sponsors the third of four events. Kendall Auto of Fairbanks, a twelve-year sponsor, sponsors the final events in the series. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks also receives support from Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.
The remaining races are:
Saturday, December 4, 2010 - Fairbanks Youth Sports Classic Sprint -- 0.5km for Grades K-1-2, Grade 3-4, Grade 5-6; 1.25km for Grade 7-8 and HS and Adult classes
Saturday, January 15, 2011 - Woolly Rhino Classic - Mass-start Classic Technique for elementary and junior high school classes 1.0Km for Grades K-1-2, 1.5Km for Grades 3-4, 2Km for Grade 5-6, 3Km for Grade 7-8; Interval start format for HS and Adult Classes, 7.5Km for women and 10Km for men
Saturday, January 29, 2011 - Kendall Auto of Fairbanks SUBARU Trophy Skiathlon - Mass-start free Technique for elementary and junior high school classes 0.75Km for Grades K-1-2, 1.25Km for Grades 3-4, 1.75Km for Grade 5-6, 2.5Km for Grade 7-8; Skiathlon for HS and Adult Classes, 3Km Classic + 3Km Free for women and 4Km Classic + 4Km Free for men.