Nordic ski racing series starts Saturday

Skiers of all sizes and ages take off at the 34th annual Langlauf cross-country ski race. (Rich Landers)
Skiers of all sizes and ages take off at the 34th annual Langlauf cross-country ski race. (Rich Landers)

Cross-country skiers can choose from at least seven organized racing events this season.

Nordic competitors who don’t want to be one-timers can test their performance over the course of the season and take a stab at winning cool prizes by entering the four-race Selkirk Nordic Series at Inland Northwest venues.

The Selkirk Nordic Series schedule includes:

Saturday: Cougar Gulch Race, 5- or 10-kilometer classic or skate events, at Schweitzer. Info: (208) 255-3070.

Jan. 28: Chewelah Peak Challenge, a 7K freestyle at 49 Degrees North. Info: (509) 935-6649 ext. 638.

Feb. 12: Langlauf 10K, a classic-style race at Mount Spokane. Info: (509) 922-6080.

Feb. 18: Group Health Pursuit, a 10K classic race, with individual starts, at Mount Spokane. Info: (509) 922-6080.

Although not part of the Selkirk series, the Group Health Pursuit continues on Feb. 19 with a skate race. This event is of particular interest since it’s also a qualifier for teen competitors trying to reach the Junior Nationals. Expect to see a lot of good skiers.

Selkirk Nordic Series participants accumulate points toward the final standings. Skiers must ski at least two races to qualify.

The top three men and women will receive Mountain Hardware soft-shell jackets and other prizes.

The top man and woman will receive a Garmin GPS monitor.

The series is sponsored by Fitness Fanatics, Mountain Gear, Group Health, Garmin, Spokane Parks & Recreation Department, EN&T Clinic and the race venues.

Other regional nordic ski races include:

Saturday and next Sunday: Methow Valley Pursuit, 15K classic interval start followed by 30K skate pursuit on trails between Winthrop and Mazama.

Feb. 26: Selkirk Cross-Country Ski Challenge, 35K, a free self-timed competition starting at 9 a.m. at Selkirk Lodge area of Mount Spokane.

March 3: Black Jack Loppet, freestyle and mass start events at Black Jack Ski Area, Rossland, British Columbia.

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