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Now on Saturday -- 2015 Vasaloppet USA is Feb 7th!

Tricky downhill corner, Holiday Relays, December 20, 2014
Trail Report / Training Report Drawing
Submit a trail report and be entered into our weekly $100 lodging gift certificate drawing.
National Forest Lodge

Kris Bourne, Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ, December 20, 2014 (Photo: Jennifer Brisbois)

Carter Blankenship, Holiday Relays, December 20, 2014

Rana Kraftson, Holiday Relays, December 20, 2014

Natalia Naryskina, Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ, December 20, 2014 (Photo: Jennifer Brisbois)

Three Eagle ski trails, December 19, 2014 (Photo: Tom Rulseh)

ABR ski trails, December 18, 2014 (Photo: Eric Anderson)

Midwest Racing Season Preview
November 2, 2014
With the end of daylight savings time, the early sunset signals that winter is not far away! We've updated our racing calendar with the latest info on the citizen, collegiate, and high school events. Our annual preview covers some of the big changes on tap this winter, along with some new additions and a few losses.

Skinnyski FAQ
December 4, 2011
We've collected together a bunch of common questions to assembly our own FAQ for cross-country skiing in the Midwest and using the Skinnyski website.

Skinnyski Photos
February 5, 2009
Found a photo you'd like to get a copy of? Looking for images from a past event? Find out how to dig through our archives and help support the web site by purchasing photographs.

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Gear West Holiday Tuneup Results
December 20, 2014
Hammering out the laps in some sugary snow at Elm Creek, St. Scholastica skier Joe Dubay outsprinted Andrew Brown and Cory Ellertson to take the win in the mens 10K. Ingrid Leask topped the womens field, with Jan Guenther and Mata Agre rounding out the podium. The 5K titles went to Nathaniel Johnson and Molly Wilson. Results and an interview with Joe Dubay, posted.

Holiday Relays Coverage
December 20, 2014
With a Junior National qualifier and another race in town, the Holiday Relays drew a slightly smaller field as they competed on the snowmaking trails at Theodore Wirth. Stillwater continued their dominating tradition, taking both classical relays as well as a comeback victory by freshman Rana Kraftson in the girls skate relay. Wayzata boys pulled off their own comeback, taking the boys skate race in the final leg. Top times on the day went to: Meagan Weaver girls classic, Rana Kraftson girls skate, Sam Hanson boys classic, Carter Blankenship boys skate. Results posted, photos coming this evening.

Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ Classical Sprints
December 20, 2014
The Midwest Junior National Qualifier Series held their first event Saturday on the trails at Michigan Tech in Houghton. The event was also a Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) meet as well, bring the top juniors and seniors from around the region. In the womens seniors/masters final, CXC's Natalia Naryskina edged out Scholastica's Anita Kirvesniemi for the win with NMU's Felicia Gesior third. In the mens final, Håkon Hjelstuen, unattached, won with NMU skiers Fredrik Schwencke and Erik Soderman rounding out the podium. Top junior qualifying times on the day: Kris Bourne U20, Rocci Wohlk U18, Anna Johnson U16; Tom Bye U20, Zak Ketterson U18, Anders Sonnesyn U16.

World Cup Davos: Freestyle 10K/15K
December 20, 2014
The World Cup resumed action in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday with a pair of distance freestyle races. The American women continue to improve as Liz Stephen notched a 12th place finish with teammates Jessie Diggins 27th, Sadie Bjornsen 28th. Norway remains unbeaten with Marit Bjoergen taking the victory. Germany's Nicole Fessel snuck in for second, with Norway's Heidi Weng third. In the mens race, Norway swept the podium: Anders Gloeersen, Petter Northug, and Chris Jespersen. Erik Bjornsen was the lone American, finish 54th.
Results: Freestyle 10K/15K

Finn Sisu: Last-minute Gift Ideas
December 19, 2014
The holidays are nearly upon us and Finn Sisu is highlighting some last minute gift ideas, as well as their JNQ wax service and 30% off Yoko poles.

Weekend Skiing and Trail Reports
December 18, 2014
Moderate temperatures and very good trail conditions up in northern Wisconsin and the UP, and a few spots in the Duluth area as well. Man-made snowmaking venues are mostly back online, but expect crowds (hit the road!). New reports from Afterglow Lake(2), Birkie(2), Magney-Snively, Minocqua Winter(3), Land O' Lakes(2), Elm Creek, Northwood GC, Hyland Lake(5), Mt. Ashwabay, Valley Spur, Hornet Hiihto, ABR, Kamview, Three Eagle, North End, Banadad, Theodore Wirth, Sugarbush, Spirit Mtn, McNaughton Lake, McKeever Hills, Iron Mtn City, and recent reports from Hyland Lake(3), Theodore Wirth, Swedetown, Boulder Lake, WinMan, Three Eagle, Elm Creek(3), ABR, Washburn Lake, Wolverine(2), Mt. Valhalla, Lapham Peak(2), Schlecht Lake, Noquemanon(3), Lauterman National, After Hours(2).
Lodging Catering to XC Skiing

Birkie Matching Challenge Grant Announced
December 18, 2014
The Birkie Foundation has announced a challenge grant, matching all donations made by December 31st, up to $10,000. Every dollar you donate will be doubled -- please consider help to fund Phase 1 of their future development.

Salomon: Tad Elliot - Importance of Goals
December 18, 2014
Elite skier Tad Elliot reflects on his goals this winter, both daily and long-term. Elliot will be racing for Salomon across the US this season, including a number of races in the Midwest.

New Moon Winter Events
December 18, 2014
New Moon has a number of events going on this winter, including the Holiday Demos, Ashland Park Womens Ski Clinic, expert waxing for the Seeley Classic and Pre-Birkie, as well as a weekly Tuesday Night under the Lights ski.

Biathlon: Two Top 20 Results at Pokljuka World Cup
December 18, 2014
US Biathlon reports: The U.S. Biathlon Team got off to a strong start on Thursday as the third IBU World Cup of the 2014-15 season kicked off with the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Hannah Dreissigacker and Susan Dunklee both posted top 20 finishes with Dreissigacker ending up tied for 17th and Dunklee right behind her in 19th.
Biathlon: Bailey 16th in Pokljuka World Cup Sprint

Weekend Racing
December 17, 2014
A little pre-Holiday racing action this weekend...
Dec 20-21 Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ - Juniors and collegiate racers descend on Houghton, MI for a pair of classical technique events this weekend.
Dec 20 Holiday Relays - The big high school team event, moved from Trollhaugen to Wirth this season.  Classical relays in the morning, skate in the afternoon.
Dec 20 Gear West Holiday Tuneup - High school and citizen races at Elm Creek, with some optional free video analysis.
Dec 20 John Hugus Invite - Wisconsin has their own mega meet, racing on man-made snow at Greenwood Hills on Saturday.
Check the Racing Outlook for the latest event updates.
Race Series Events
Waxing Recommendations

CXC Spotlight: Oyvind Solvang
December 17, 2014
CXC highlights an interview by Peter Graves with their President Oyvind Solvang, discussing his background and goals for the development of CXC. CXC is holding their End of the Year fundraising drive, trying to meet a 1 for 2 challenge grant.
CXC End of Year Fundraising Drive
NNF Funding Allocations Announced

World Cup Davos Weekend Series Redux
December 17, 2014
Rescheduled from La Clusaz, France, the World Cup FIS series repeats again this weekend in Davos, Switzerland. The lineup this weekend includes a womens 10K and mens 15K skate race Saturday, with freestyle sprint races on Sunday.
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
NNF: Davos Double Poling Distance with Chris Grover
US Ski Team: Davos Redux - 8 Things to Watch this World Cup Weekend

Finn Sisu: JNQ Waxing Service
December 16, 2014
Finn Sisu will be providing elite-level racing service at all 4 weekends of Midwest Junior National Qualifying races for the 2014-2015 season. They hope to provide all skiers with access to high quality waxing service (epsecially if they don't have club service) and assist coaches with information and on-site access to the best wax.

Local Stars
December 15, 2014
Slick Business - Fast Wax, the Twin Cities wax company, was recently profiled in the Star Tribune.
Confidence - Annie Hart writes on the topic of confidence, losing it and bring it back - good stuff.
Stress - Alice Flanders covers the battle between racing and school finals, with neither going quite as planned.
Early Season - Rosie Frankowski updates her early season racing in Montana.
Davos Home - Jessie Diggins highlights her time in Switzerland, just before the weekend races at Davos.
Van Life - Paige Schember reveils the glorious van ride lifestyle of the Nordic ski racer.
Dubay - St. Scholastica's Joe Dubay cracks top five at the Wildcat Invitational.
Velodone? - The National Sports Center Velodrome needs some serious funding help to repair and maintain the facility.  A fundraising project is underway.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 2
December 15, 2014
Week 2 of the Minnesota High School Rankings: some interesting results last week generated a shuffling in the rankings, including a new number one for the girls.

December Salomon Demos
December 15, 2014
Salomon is making the rounds in December, hosting demos events at a number of venues. Come test their latest equipment, including the new Equipe RC Skin classic skis, at Elm Creek on Dec 17, Hyland on Dec 20 or the Birkie trail on Dec 27.

Nordic Spirit Registration Open
December 15, 2014
The Nordic Spirit race, Jan 11th, at the Spirit Mountain trails in Duluth, is open for registration. They are also offering Facebook promo prize for the 100th "like" to their page.

Holiday XC Ski and Fat Bike Demo
December 14, 2014
New Moon and Riverbrook will be hosting a combined Holiday Equipment Demo, Saturday Dec 27th, at the Hwy OO Birkie trailhead. Come out and test drive the latest in ski equipment or take a new Fat Bike for a single on the nearby CAMBA singletrack.

Biathlon: US IBU Cup Trails / MN Cup #2 Results
December 14, 2014
Mt. Itasca hosted two days of biathlon racing this past weekend, featuring some of the top junior and senior skiers in the country.
Results: U.S. IBU Cup Trials / MN Cup #2

Collegiate: Wildcats Invitational Classical Pursuit Results
December 14, 2014
Northern Michigan University wrapped up the weekend Wildcat Invite with a set of exciting classical pursuit races on Sunday. Starting off based on Saturday freestyle time, mens race came down to a sprint finish with NMU's Adam Martin edging out teammate Kyle Bratrud by a boot throw! Freshman Ian Torchia posted the second fastest classical time, coming in just 10 seconds back for third. In the womens race, former NMU skier (now APU) Rosie Frankowski won the pursuit, but was closely followed by NMU's Kris Bourne, finishing first for the collegiate women and roughly 10 seconds back of Frankowski. Jordyn Ross and Felicia Gesior, also NMU, collected second and third. Results for both the pursuit and the classical splits are posted.

World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints
December 14, 2014
Sunday featured freestyle sprints in Davos, Switzerland for the World Cup. Norway continues to dominate, sweeping both podiums (including the top five women!). The US women qualified three for the heats: Ida Sargent 16th, Kikkan Randall 20th and Sophie Caldwell 22nd, but none were able to advance. Andy Newell qualified 15th, but did not make beyond the quarterfinals. The World Cup will remain in Davos for a pair of weekend races, rescheduled from France (due to low snow conditions).
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Race Day - 15 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Continental: Anikin Wax Clinic
December 14, 2014
Nikolai Anikin will doing a general wax clinic at Continental, Tuesday evening, Dec 16th, discussing both glide and kick wax applications. He will also give some explanation of both grinding and kick zone marking.

Ski Hut: Holiday Gift Ideas
December 13, 2014
The Ski Hut in Duluth has suggestions for your Holiday Gift list.

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