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Coast Cup comes to Pemberton and Whistler

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The fourth and fifth events of the five-race Coast Cup cross-country racing series take place in Pemberton and Whistler this weekend, open to skiers of all ages.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Spud Valley Nordics are hosting a competition at Blacktail Meadows just outside of Pemberton. The format is sprints, with free technique (either skate or classic). The qualifying rounds get underway at 10:30 a.m. and the heats get underway at 12:30 p.m.

The deadline to enter is today (Feb. 15), at 7 p.m. Contact Dolores Los at 604-894-5117 to secure your spot, or visit the Whistler Nordics website at www.whistlernordics.com to see the official race notice.

On Sunday, the Coast Cup moves back up to Whistler and the Lost Lake Park cross country trails. The format is interval start with classic technique, and the first races get underway at 10 a.m. at the Warming Hut.

Participants are reminded that there is no parking at the Warming Hut, and that participants will have to park in the day lots and ski to Lost Lake in time for the start.

The deadline to enter this event is tonight (Feb. 15) at 9 p.m. Registration is available at www.whistlernordics.com , as well as the official race notice. The cost is $10 for Whistler Nordics members and $15 for non-members, and all participants will need valid trail passes.

Coast Cup races have categories for just about everybody, from Atom age skiers (age 4 to 8) to 60 and Over.

 

Lost Lake Shuffle returns Feb. 24

For most loppers two of the biggest appeals of cross-country skiing are the social scene and the fitness element. Both come into play on Saturday, Feb. 24 when Whistler Cross Country Connection hosts the sixth annual Lost Lake Shuffle.

The race is an enduro, with solos and teams of three seeing how many laps of a 3 km course they can complete in a set period of time. There are four hour categories for solo racers and teams of three, a two hour category for solos or junior teams of three, and a one hour family category for teams with at least three members and one member under the age of 12. Families will also race a shorter 2 km course.

This year organizers are also hoping to field a team of adaptive skiers through the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, generating awareness of WASP’s Nordic skiing program and the upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The race starts are staggered to ensure that the race wraps up for everyone at 3 p.m. The four hour racers leave at 11 a.m., the two hour racers at 1 p.m., and the families at 2 p.m.

This year the entertainment factor has been cranked up a notch. Chris Quinlan will return to emcee the race, while a DJ plays music out of the warming hut. There will also be a barbecue open to the public by donation to encourage spectators.

There are awards for each category, as well as draw prizes for all participants including hotel stays, ski passes and gear.

While some solos and teams take this event seriously (and will ski over 70 km over the course of the day), for most participants it’s about challenging yourself and having fun.

“You don’t have to be a hot skier to do this, get a couple of friends or come out on your own for some fun on the trails,” said organizer Chris Waller. To encourage participation, Cross Country Connection is offering free rentals on race day for people who may not own gear.

To register, visit www.crosscountryconnection.ca , and click on ‘Special Events’. You can also enter at Cross Country Connection. For more information about the race call 604-905-0071.

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