4-part Frisco Nordic Cup race series debuts with 3K/4K on Jan. 4 | SummitDaily.com

4-part Frisco Nordic Cup race series debuts with 3K/4K on Jan. 4

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

There's no better way to stay warm through the cold heart of winter than barreling up, down and all around the Frisco Nordic Center trails.

Beginning today, the Nordic center on the shores of Lake Dillon hosts a collection of races as part of the 2017 Frisco Cup. The citizen Nordic races are held on Wednesdays in January and February, split between Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 1 and Feb. 22. According to town officials, these races are meant to inspire a little friendly competition and prepare community athletes for the Frisco Gold Rush on Feb. 12, touted as the longest-running Nordic race in Colorado.

As the series grows, the races get longer and tougher. The debut race on Jan. 4 (as in today) features a 3-kilometer and 4K course. The second race on Jan. 18 features a 5K, and the Feb. 1 warm-up for the Frisco Gold Run features a sprint on an undisclosed course. The final event on Feb. 22 is the longest in the four-part series at 7.5K.

"We really want to continue to create a space at the Frisco Nordic Center where the local Nordic community can find not only great terrain and grooming, but also a chance to compete and socialize — to be a community," stated Jim Galanes, new Nordic manager at the Frisco Nordic Center.

Pre-registration for all divisions is $15 and $20 on race day. Registration is available online at FriscoNordic.com or by calling (970) 668-2570. All Frisco Cup races are held on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Headlamps are required and cold-weather layering is highly recommended.

So what does $20 per race buy you? All racers receive a finish time, a cup of soup and an adult beverage, courtesy of the Nordic center staff and lodge. There are no podium awards for races in the series, but there will be door prizes at the post-race party.

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So what can you expect at the races? Summit Nordic trails at their finest. Located within the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area, the Frisco Nordic Center features high-altitude terrain for skate skiing, classic cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The center offers 27K of ski trails and 20K of snowshoe trails, along with rentals, skate or classic lessons, and ski tuning seven days a week.

The town of Frisco owns the base area and lodge, plus the land and trails surrounding it. The center also boasts a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, which allows race officials to extend courses onto surrounding public lands. Expect new and challenging routes for each of the four series races.

Frisco Cup Nordic race No. 1

What: The first race of the mid-winter Nordic series, a 3K and 4K classic held on groomed trails at the Frisco Peninsula

When: Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Frisco Nordic Center, 616 Recreation Way in Frisco

Cost: $15 pre-registration, $20 race day

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will stretch past dark. A headlamp is required. For more info or to register, see FriscoNordic.com or call 970-668-2570.

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2017 Frisco Cup schedule

All citizen races are held on Wednesdays and begin at 5:30 p.m. A headlamp is required. Stay tuned for more info on the Frisco Gold Rush.

Wednesday, Jan. 4 — 3K/4K classic

Wednesday, Jan 18 — 5K classic

Wednesday, Feb. 1 — Individual sprint

Sunday, Feb. 12 — Gold Run Rush (distances TBA)

Wednesday, Feb. 22 — 7.5K classic

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Women’s skimo clinics

Interested in Nordic racing but want to spend more time skinning than skating? The Summit Skimo Club has you covered. On Sunday, Jan. 8, the club hosts a free women’s-only clinic on trails in the Mount Ophir system just south of Frisco. Participants will meet at the Miners Creek trailhead around 10 a.m. (just before the start of the Mount Ophir race) and ends around 1 p.m., followed by drinks at Backcountry Brewery at 2 p.m.

During the clinics, instructors will cover skimo gear, basic techniques, transitions and kick turns. No gear is provided, but rentals are available at Mountain Outfitters in Breckenridge, Wilderness Sports in Dillon and Cripple Creek Backcountry in Vail. Other suggested gear includes sunglasses or goggles, extra layers, extra gloves and a beanie, water, a snack and dry clothes for the after-party, if you want.

The only caveat to the free clinic: you have to be a Summit Skimo Club member. Luckily, that’s free too. RSVP until the day of the event by emailing Christena Ward at christena.ward@gmail.com.