January 20, 2013, Jericho, VT. The Mount Mansfield Nordic Club welcomed almost 100 Bill Koch League skiers to the Ethan Allen Biathlon Range for a duathlon race last Sunday and many Ford Sayre skiers made the trek north to participate. The race had a very exciting format combining both styles of nordic skiing; skiers started off doing laps with a classic stride and then switched skis in the middle of the race to freestyle to the finish. The warm conditions for this year’s race were a challenge as racers had to use a lot of strength to double-pole during the classic laps and then quickly switch techniques to the faster skating style.
The races consisted of laps around a relatively short course, which meant that teammates and families could see all of the action and cheer their racers on. Members of the VT Army National Guard groomed the trails and there were excellent facilities for warming up and enjoying a snack throughout the day.
Ford Sayre racers adapted really well to the unique challenges of the duathlon format. Simon Phipps had a great race around 1.2 km first- and second-grade loop. Eloise Silver-VanMeter was very fast around the 2 km third- and fourth-grade course. The fifth- and sixth-grade race was 3 km and Daniel Bandler, Ingrid Miller, and Patrick Osborn all skied very well. The seventh- and eighth-graders expected a six-lap race, but most were directed out for a seventh lap as the churned around the course. Jack Burnham, Emily Foster, Brook Leigh, Sophie Miles, Kirsten Miller, Ann Osborn, Malcolm Silver-VanMeter, Sara Spencer, and Ty Stotland comprised a very deep squad of 7-8 racers.
The whole team is looking forward to this weekends exciting Mountain Top Paintball Biathlon, which is always a highlight on the event calendar.