Me: "Did you guys survive the cold?"
Doug: "The cold was bone chilling, but I survived."
Allen: "My fingers came back by 8 km in."
Guess maybe it was a good race for me to miss. I was still recovering from the Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic, and hadn't been out skiing all week because of work. But it would have been an epic race!
With an unusually un-snowy winter, racers were just happy Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling, Michigan, had enough snow to hold the Cote Dame Marie. Trail conditions were still a little marginal, and there was a bit of dirt on the huge climb to the left of the ski hill at the halfway point in the men's race, but the crew at Hanson Hills pulled it off.
Cold waxes were the call of the day: Toko High Performance Blue, Start Green - the go-to wax for many skiers in frigid conditions, Star Next Polar (reports were is was fast in the downhills).
The men raced 26km for Michigan Cup points. Hanson Hills / Cross Country Ski Shop's own Jorden Wakeley won overall in 1:15:06 - pretty darn fast for cold conditions. (What did you wax with, Jorden?). Team NordicSkiRacer Brad Baas was second in 1:16:39, followed by Vasa Ski Club's Sam Holmes in 1:16:41.
Jorden Wakeley wins the 2022 Cote Dame Marie cross country ski race (Photo: Cross Country Ski Shop)
Jordyn Ross (Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team) won the women's Michigan Cup distance (13k) in 45:47. Rebecca Davis (Hanson Hills / Cross Country Ski Shop) and Mariah Frye (Cross County Ski Headquarters) were second and third in 46:00 and 52:07.
In the Junior 7.5km Michigan Cup race, William Haapala won in 24:22, followed by Jeff Kerr (25:57) and Dean Carter in 27:00. For the women, Arianne Olson won in 27:44, followed by Ella DeBruyn (29:21) and Mylie Kelly (30:36).
All Michigan Cup races were freestyle races.
George Frye (35:04), Nils Lindwall (35:33) and Than Dykstra (36:20 were the top three men in the 7.5k Citizen's Race skate division. Kerry Mosko won the women's skate in 58:44.
The classic 7.5km Citizen's race top three men were Brian Kerr (29:19), Jeremy Treadwell (44:30), and Mike Appel (53:20). In women's 7.5 classic, Deanna Spencer (47:37), Hannah Rutten (1:0033), and Kimberly Kihnke (1:00:42 took the top three spots.