Nanook Night! That’s a good name for the last race of the 2018-19 Wednesday Night Race series held this week. Half the men’s University of Alaska Fairbanks ski team came out for the two-person, 5-kilometer relay race and dominated the top of the standings. Head Coach Nick Crawford also raced, as did one former ‘Nook.

The first two teams were all current Nanooks. The team of Lukash Platil and Josiah Alverts took the top spot with a time of 10 minutes, 27 seconds. Arnaud Guyon and Seiji Takagi took second in 10:50. Former FXC racers Neill Toelle and Jonathan Koenig filled out the podium, taking third in 11:43. The fourth place team of Tristan Sayre (a current Nanook) and Jesse Mayo (former Nanook) came across the line in 11:43. Crawford and teammate Peter Delamere (WNS race organizer) took fifth with a time of 12:50. Current ‘Nook Max Donaldson, didn’t race, but he came out and took pictures. We’ll post those soon. See here or the Wednesday Night Race page for more results.

“I really appreciate Nick rallying the UAF skiers,” Delamere said. “We hardly ever get to race against our hometown college skiers since they are so busy during the season. It was a real treat.”

The event at Birch Hill Recreation Area drew 13 teams, so the 26 skiers made up the largest field for a Wednesday Night Race this season. This race, sponsored by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF), was also the only relay of the season. Racers had to share one bib, so removing and donning the bib was part of the exchange.

An extremely warm March melted a lot of snow on the trails making for a shortened course and blustery weather moved in right before the race. Normally held on a 2.5-kilometer course, this race consisted of four laps of 1.25 kilometers each. Delamere described the race conditions as “an interesting combination of wind and icy snow. A possible technique was to use bibs + poles to construct a sail….”

That was the last Wednesday Night Race for this year, bringing an end to the NSCF racing season. Thank you to everyone who helped and/or participated. We’ll see you next year!