The 12th Annual Black Mountain Nordic Classic was held on Saturday Feb. 27th on the Beautiful Black Mountain Trails in Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties of North East Michigan. The snow storm that hit the eastern half of the lower peninsula earlier in the week seemed to split the Black Mountain recreation area in two as the Cheboygan side received only 1 - 2 inches of snow while the Presque Isle side received as much as 5-6 inches of snow which made for changing conditions throughout the course. Add to that Mother Nature's usual tricks which included a 10 degree temperature change from race start to race finish and a blistering sunshine when "mostly cloudy" was the forecast, making the waxing challenges and ski selection choices vital to successful race results.
Crash right off the bat at the start of the race.
Race Director/Founder Denny Paull found out all too well the changing conditions as he attempted to take the lead from Eli Brown on the lake finish only to find that the sun and warm temperatures created a considerable slowdown of skis that could send a skier crashing to the warm surface of the lake's melting snow cover. Eli Brown held on for the win as Denny Paull finished a few seconds back for Second place. Rounding out the podium for the men was Steven Smiegel which his usual waxing genius creating fast skis no matter the conditions.
Blair Zordell herringbones up the hill with Tracy Hardin in pursuit.
The women's race was won by Rebecca Davis even though her kick wax seemed to fail. "I now know that I can double pole a 30km ski race" said Rebecca at the finish line which brought back memories of her father Bruce Barton doubling polling his way to Michigan Cup victories in the past. 7-time winner Tracy Hardin finished second and Mariah Frye Colie skiing her first classic marathon was 3rd.
|Place||Bib||Racer name||Finish time||Difference|
|26||38||Mariah Frye Colie||2:29:11.8||+29:48.8|