Shalane Frost took the win of the first Wednesday Night Race of the 2020 on February 5 in glorious conditions.
Frost won with a time of 15 minutes, 44 seconds over the two-lap, 5-kilometer course at Birch Hill Recreation Area. Max Kaufman took second place (and was the first male finisher) in 16:19. Patrick Lovely (who took a break from his interval class that night) got third place in 18:07.
Kieran Kaufman, the only junior racer, took fourth with a time of 18:36. According to Race Director Peter Delamere, Kaufman beat out Anna Rix (second female and fifth place finisher) by using an “excellent strategy” of drafting behind Rix during much of the race, then passing her and opening a gap of about 30 seconds on the final climb out of the White Bear Access trail.
The last finisher in the six-racer field of the two-lap division was Pat Druckenmiller (sixth place, 20:01). Race director Peter Delamere was the only skier in the one-lap, 2.5-kilometer division, as he was also the race timer and knew he wouldn’t be able to beat Frost to the finish.
A results list can be found here.
This was the first Wednesday Night Race of the season since November, as race scheduled in December was canceled due to cold temperatures. But this race was run in great conditions, after weeks of frigid cold. The temperature at race start was +12F with a trace of fresh snow.
The next race of the Wednesday Night Race series is set for February 19. For more information see the WNS page. The series, sponsored by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, is an all ages and all abilities series of ski races. These family-friendly events are a great way to get to know your ski club, test your skills on the trails, and have a little fun.
Race day registration is on-site beginning at 5:45pm. Races start at 6:30pm. Fee is $5 for one-time entry or $25 for the season. Races will be rescheduled if temperatures are -5 F or colder.