Think Bloomsday with snow, for the 10K Langlauf Cross-Country Ski Race Feb. 12 at Mount Spokane Nordic Center.
“It’s the Northwest’s largest and longest-running citizens ski race,” says Tim Ray, Langlauf president. Beginning at 11 a.m., just above the Selkirk Nordic Lodge, skiers are separated into elite, fast, sport and fun groups. Only traditional skiing techniques (no skating) are allowed on the 10K (6.2 mile) course.
Awards range from ribbons to Langlauf fleece vests, medals and special trophies, presented in a special ceremony after the event. Racers and volunteers will get the chance, in a post-race drawing, to win more than $4,000 in door prices, including skis, boots and other gear from Fitness Fanatics, Southwest Airlines tickets, a ski trip to Sun Mountain and a stay at Rendezvous Huts.
“Woollies Awards” are presented to the best traditionally dressed skiers wearing only natural fabrics and using wooden skis.
Entrants may register for $25 at Fitness Fanatics, 12425 E. Trent Ave. in Spokane, Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. or next Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or at the event on race day from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Parking and grooming passes are also required – see fees under “Restrictions” below.
Access from I-90: From U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 90, go west on I-90 for 19.3 miles to the Sullivan Road exit. Go north on Sullivan for 2.4 miles, left on East Wellesley Avenue for .3 miles, right on North Progress Road for .8 miles, then right on North Forker Road for approximately 7.6 miles to East Mount Spokane Park Drive, to the parking area at Selkirk Nordic Lodge (before the downhill ski area).
Length: 10K (6.2 mile) race course.
Elevation: Mount Spokane peaks at 5,883 feet, with the highest point on the Nordic trail less than 5,000 feet. Total climb for the Langlauf is 640 feet.
Use: Heavy on race day.
Trail condition: Well-groomed trails.
Difficulty: Race classes – Elite, for the fastest racers only; fast, for those who ski fast, but not all out; sport, for experienced skiers in good shape who never need to stop; fun, for beginners, very young and those who want to enjoy the scenery.
Restrictions: A Washington Sno-park permit, with grooming sticker is required. Permits may be purchased from vendors, online at https://fortress.wa.gov/parks/ecomm/sno/dsnostp0.asp or from state park rangers. The Idaho Park-N-Ski sticker is good for parking at Mt. Spokane, but the special grooming permit is an additional requirement. Race rules are provided with registration packets.
What to see: Trails wind through evergreens and feature spectacular views.
Special features: With warming huts, night skiing and more than 25K of trails (17K groomed), Mount Spokane State Park claims to have the best-organized and most expansive Nordic facility in Washington. The nearby Ski and Snowboard Park offers full dining facilities. Fitness Fanatics will provide the kick wax appropriate to the race day’s snow conditions for free at its race station.
Preparation: Visit the Web site, www.spokanelanglauf.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information; call (509) 922-6080. A free “How to wax for Langlauf” clinic is offered at Fitness Fanatics Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. Next Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a free ski and snowshoe demonstration at Selkirk Lodge.
Gear: “If you are comfortably warm waiting at the start, then you are overdressed!’” is the rule of attire for the Langlauf, according to the event’s guidelines. Competition for the “Woolies Awards” requires natural fabrics and wooden skis (report to the Selkirk Lodge between 9:50 and 10:10 a.m. for judging on race day).
Note: “Langlauf” means cross-country ski race in German.
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