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Flash Black: bombproof tracks with 1/4 inch snow

Tue, Dec  31, 2013 - By Denny Paull

The inaugural "Flash Black" 15 km classic race was held at Black Mountain In Cheboygan County on Sunday. The race name was chosen not so much because it was a flash race at Black Mountain, but more because of the average age of the race participants.

Mother nature fulfilled her contractual obligation between herself and Black Mountain by instigating a major meltdown the day before the race then attempting to prevent participants from driving to the event with 18 F temperatures and freezing rain the morning of the race.

About 18 competitors were on the starting line in Bluffs DNR parking lot for the 11:00 AM start. Racers found firm bombprood ice compacted tracks with about 1/4 inch of snow in them to help slow down the leaders. The course was very hilly with many steep ups and gradual downs. Most skiers went with blue extra or other similar hard wax with a few opting for klister. The klister skiers tended to have some trouble on the steeper uphills as the race progressed.

Results for this flash race should not taken too seriously as some participants used the informal race to experiment with different equipment, strategy or wax protocol. For example, one would have to subtract about five minutes from Chris Weingartz time after breaking one of his experimental "freebird" pole grips and skiing back to get a replacement. Also, after dealing with Icy road and getting lost, Milan Baic arrived late for the start and time trialed the course. Milan's time was within seconds on either side of the winning times.

That said, the grossly unofficial results are listed below...

Milan Baic 54:42
Denny Paull 54:45 (+/- 15 seconds)
Andy Liebner 54:50 (+/- 15 seconds)
Ryan Harris 55:30
Glen Goodman 56:12
Steve Smiegel Fr 56:13
Mike Seaman 1:03:20
Don Camp 1:03:21
Bill Kaltz 1:05:10
Chris Weingartz 1:06:10
Steve Smiegel Sr 1:07:15
Greg Worsnop 1:08:05
Karl Trost 1:10:21
Dan Nolan 1:12:41
Ernie Brumbaugh 1:13:10
Chris Maltby 1:13:15
Peter Johnson 1:13:10
Bill Ahrenberg 1:16:10