NorAm Weekend: Volunteers made it Super

US rising star Julia Kern leads two-time Canadian Olympian Dahria Beatty over the bridge in Saturday's sprint.
Rising US star Julia Kern (bib 101) and two-time Canadian Olympian Dahria Beatty (right) lead the pack over the bridge in Saturday’s sprint. (Photo: Peggy Hung)

Sovereign Lake hosted a major cross country skiing event last weekend, thanks to more than 100 volunteers who put in the time and effort to create a successful race weekend for hundreds of visiting racers.

The NorAm series is one step below the World Cup and is used to qualify racers to move up to the World Cup, the World Championships, and the national team. The US SuperTour series is the same level, but for American racers.

Both series came to Sovereign Lake last weekend, along with every top skier in North America. 8 PyeongChang Olympians were spotted on the trails, among the 450 skiers who raced each day. Athletes from Alaska, Québec, Vermont, California, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Alberta made their way onto the podium, while over 200 young BC skiers got to ski the same courses as the top stars.

Want to know more about the races and what the athletes thought about their visit to our trails? FasterSkier was covering the event and has video interviews and photo galleries here.

This event helps develop young athletes, earns money for the club, and attracts interest from cross country skiers all over North America. Without our volunteers, none of this would be possible.

The event features future Olympians too. Since 2002, every Canadian who has raced at the Olympics raced at Sovereign Lake first. (Photo: Kent Murdoch)

All Action Weekend

Zen late morning after the elite skiers head home.
Peaceful late morning after the elite skiers are finished for the day.

Sovereign Lake is busy with elite racers this week. Each weekday morning, more than a hundred of the best skiers in North America are here training for this weekend’s racing. Each weekday at around 11am, they all leave to rest and recover.

The Sovereign team getting ready for the weekend.

All of the top skiers in North America are here for a combined NorAm and SuperTour race weekend. Come out on Saturday to see the sprints and Sunday for the distance races, and then go out for your own ski.

The stadium, dog trails, World Cup, Passmore, and Aberdeen will be closed both Saturday and Sunday for the races. That leaves about 30km of ski trails and all the snowshoe trails for non-racers.

Record Opening Weekend

Day 8 of the new season. November 12, 2018
Day 8 of the new season. November 12, 2018

Sovereign Lake had a record opening weekend, with 1,001 day tickets sold, and all three days of the long weekend setting records.

As usual in the early season, there are visiting teams. The BC Talent Squad was here for the weekend, along with Telemark and Larch Hills.  The Alberta World Cup Academy arrived on Monday for a week of skiing.

The ski trail conditions are great. Snowshoers are still waiting for a bit more snow. Do your snow dance!

NorAm/SuperTour Racers Arriving Early to Train

The excitement for the race weekend is building, with the arrival of the Thunder Bay National Team Development Centre athletes on November 30th.  TBay brought around twenty athletes, the team van and trailer, and a few coaches.  Look for bright green training jackets and blue puffy jackets with TBAY on the back.

Because the NorAm circuit has a strong western bias this year, the team will leave their van and trailer in the west for the season.  The season begins with races at Sovereign Lake and BlackJack before Christmas, visits Whistler after Christmas, and finishes with nationals in Canmore.  A select few will qualify for Junior World Championships and Under 23 World Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.

On December 10th and 11th, the top North American skiers will be competing for world cup starts and points that lead to Olympic qualification. It looks like this team will have fun getting ready, as they posted this video from their first day here at Sovereign.

November Visitors at Sovereign Lake

A visiting biathlon team practising mass starts in the stadium (Photo: SLNC)
A visiting biathlon team practising mass starts in the stadium (Photo: SLNC)

Sovereign Lake was energized by visitors last weekend, in large part thanks to US Thanksgiving.

As usual, many of our neighbours to the south came up to celebrate their most important holiday with us. The Methow Valley club teamed up with Momentum Northwest from Seattle and Mt Bachelor in Oregon for a combined camp with over 60 kids.  Racing fans would recognize US Olympians Laura McCabe and Lars Flora among their coaches.

Continuing the visitors theme, US Olympian Kris Freeman was here for a week training for the start of the SuperTour season.  If he was skiing so fast that you missed him, he will be back next week for the NorAm/SuperTour races.

The joint Sovereign/SilverStar SuperCamps continue, but the real stars were a group of ladies doing a boot camp with our own Pat Pearce.

Three days of twice daily ski workouts, red wine, and sunshine brings out the smiles for the World Masters relay team. (Photo: SLNC)
Three days of twice daily ski workouts, red wine, and sunshine brings out the smiles for the World Masters relay team. (Photo: SLNC)

Nearer neighbours Larch Hills and Telemark were out in force as their on-snow programs started.

And for the club member (name withheld to protect the innocent Quality Greens shopper) who doubted that the early season snow was worth the twenty minute drive from Vernon, Gene from Bend had no doubt that it was worth the 11 hour drive.lauram