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Sunday, November 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Evolution Of Langlauf The Region’s Largest Cross Country Citizens Race

1976 - Bill Koch, right, of Putney, Vt., become’s America’s first Olympic medalist in a nordic skiing event with a silver in the 30K at Seefeld, Austria. Media attention gives cross-country ski racing in the United States its only major boost of the century.

1979 - The Inland Empire Nordic Club holds Spokane’s first cross country citizens race at Downriver Golf Course, coordinated by Tim Ray. Many consider this to be the first Langlauf.

1980 - The first official Langlauf is held at Achilles Ranch near Sacheen Lake, left, with a 15K men’s division and a 10K women’s race. About 200 entrants make it largest nordic race in the Pacific Northwest. Entry fee is $5 with $200 in prizes offered in lottery to all finishers.

1981 - Brian Troth and Tim Ray finish clearing the first 3K ski trail at Mount Spokane. The trail is called Brian’s Loop.

1981 - The Langlauf citizens race goes to 10K for men and women, preceded by a 15K sanctioned event.

1981 - Spokane’s first junior nordic racing program is organized by Brian Troth.

1982 - Kids races, left, become a traditional part of Langlauf weekend.

1982 - Bill Koch wins the Nordic World Cup Championship — another American first — shocking the international cross country field with a new technique called the marathon skate.

1983 - The marathon skate debuts at Langlauf, right.

1983 - Drizzle and a shortage of snow produce a record year for Langlauf:

* Shortest race course - 7k.

* Lowest turnout - 50 racers.

1985 - To hold onto tradition, Langlauf is classified as a “classic” race. Skating, the fastest rage in the sport, is not allowed.

1985 - Sara Fitzgerald, 14, of Whitefish, Mont., becomes the youngest skier to win a Langlauf women’s title.

1987 - A freestyle event for skaters is twin-billed into the Langlauf weekend.

1987 - Tracy Valentine, right, former U.S. Ski Team member from Cashmere, Wash., becomes the first Langlauf woman to break 40 minutes in 10K.

1988 - Debbie Bauer, left, makes her Langlauf debut, beginning the most dominant reign in the race’s history. (To date, she has won eight of the last 10 Langlauf women’s titles.)

1988 - The Langlauf Association is formed to sponsor the annual event. Value of prizes in awarded lottery drawings rises to $1,500.

1990 - Langlauf venue moves to Mount Spokane State Park. Achilles Ranch closes to the public.

1992 - Langlauf introduces “Woodies” and “Woollies” divisions for skiers on wood skis and non-synthetic clothing, right.

1992 - David Lawrence, 16, of Redmond, becomes the youngest skier to win Langlauf men’s title.

1992 - Largest field in Langlauf history records 360 finishers.

1994 - Brian Erickson, 17, of Spokane, at right, wins the race 10K in 26:43, the fastest recorded time in Langlauf history.

1995 - The first Intergalactic Hyperski freestyle event precedes Langlauf day.

1996 - Langlauf entry fee is raised to $12, first increase in 10 years. Value of prizes reaches $2,500.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 8 Photos (5 color)

MEMO: See related story under the headline: Nordic tradition

See related story under the headline: Nordic tradition

Wordcount: 519

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