Conditions were ideal for the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company Turkey Day Relays presented by Beaver Sports. Fresh snow that made for tricky driving on Thanksgiving Day was groomed into perfect tracks for the close to 60 teams each with three skiers on them. Warm temperatures in the high 20s made for an excellent day for the 55th running of the event.
The Turkey Day relays are a long standing tradition in Fairbanks as a way to burn off some of the Thanksgiving calories from the day before. Racers ranged in age from 6 to 70 years old, grouped into teams of three skiers each skiing a single lap of a 1-4km course, depending on age. The Alaska Coffee Roasting Company and Beaver Sports are long-time supporters of the race and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks. Perhaps the most challenging part of the event is to come up with a clever team name that often features some sort of Thanksgiving pun or combination of names.
The K-1st-2nd-3rd-4th grade 3x1km race was won by the Three Yahoos! team of Blair Merrill, Amelia Petersen and Luke Decker. The fastest leg time in the 1km race, however, was Oliver Taylor racing for team Turkey Time. Pumpkin Pies, consisting of Delilah Fischer, Zoe Agopian Plattet and Delia Humphrey, was the third team overall to finish and also the first all-girls team in the 3x1km race.
The 2km middle-school race for 5th-6th-7th-8th graders featured several lead changes, but the Dindes Trois Ski team of Harper O’Brien, Logan Mendez and PJ Bragonier ended up crossing under the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company finish line banner first. PJ posted the fastest leg time in the 2km race by over a minute to anchor the team to a victory. Winner Winner We`re Your Dinner!, featuring Marias Anderson, Sakaia Fischer and Adah Decker, was the first all-girls team. Thundering Poultry (Lily Hajdukovich, Lilli Bond and Bella Foland) was the second all-girls team.
The high school and adult 3 x 4km relay remained close throughout the first two laps, but Anchorage’s Michael Earnhart sealed the deal on the final leg for team #derivative of x that also included Max Beiergrohslein and Kendall Kramer. This was Kendall’s second victory in two weeks after also winning the Kinross Fort Knox Town Series race last Saturday. The Two And a Half Men team of Thomas Bueler, Eli Merrill, and Josh Baurick, who all ski for both West Valley High School and NSCF-FXC teams, took second overall and first in the all-men’s category. The first all-women’s team featured three ski coaches, Christina Turman, Eliska Albrigtsen, and Jennie Bender, all born within a month of each other in 1988 with the fitting name of Coaches of ’88. The fastest leg time for the 4km course not surprisingly was posted by local olympian Logan Hanneman.
Results will be posted soon on the Turkey Day Relays page.