I had never been to Nakkertok North, and Thea's race presented a perfect opportunity. I went for the full Nakkertok North experience, joining the Paradine and Young families for an overnight at Ostromhus, a log cabin named in memory of Tony Ostrom, an early Nakkertok club member. This charming cabin nestled in a clearing of tall spruce and cedar looked peaceful at first, but certainly came to life with 6 energetic kids aged 3 to 9 years old!
Grip waxing for March races is often tricky, and Thea's race was no exception! Rain the day before, below freezing overnight, and warming up to a comfortable temperature somewhere (no thermometer!) above 0. I decided on a blue klister base topped with universal klister, covered with Vauhti violet hard wax. The gooey klister and torch fascinated the kids, and to them, this arts & crafts type of waxing looked like fun!
I'd heard so much about these trails that I was really looking forward to the event. I got off to a good start, and then experienced something uncommon to me lately - racing a course that I was totally unfamiliar with, and wondering what was around the next corner . . .this was fun, and sometimes surprising, especially around the corner that announced Phil's Folly -- a very long, steep, herringbone climb! The 10k course did 2 loops of narrow backcountry style trails that were perfectly groomed for the event, impressive given the conditions and relatively thin base. There was also a 6km event, and younger categories raced on a 1km and 3km loop.
Thea's race was a very well-run event with a captivating course, quick results, plenty of good food, original hand-crafted awards, great draw prizes, and lots of happy skiers enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. Maybe too relaxed was Olympian Chris Jefferies, who gave all the men a glimpse of his winning technique when he missed his start and had to pass everyone in the men's field!
The race is named after Thea Holloway, a founding member and
past-president of Nakkertok, who made immense contributions to women and sport.
Nakkertok established the event to encourage women to demonstrate their
competitive desire and enthusiasm for sport (and I'm all for that!). The Holloway family presented two trophies:
Thea's 10km Cup for the fastest woman skiing the 10 km distance and Thea's 6 km
cup for the fastest woman skiing the 6 km distance. I am the proud keeper of
the 10km trophy for this year, and Nakkertok's Kirsten Petersen added her name
to the 6 km trophy for the second year in a row.
Many thanks to Nakkertok, the Holloway family, and all the volunteers for putting on such a great event. Don't miss this one next year!