Fifty-seven 4-person relay teams braved blowing snow and gusty winds to compete in the 3rd annual New England Club Relay Championship at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center on Sunday, March 10th. Any New England nordic ski clubs could enter all male teams, all female teams, mixed teams with at least 2 women, and BKL teams. Each team had the option to enter in one of two categories, including combined age of <200 years or combined ages of >199 years. The goal is for each club to field as many teams as possible by utilizing as many club members as possible in the make-up of their teams. The race field was diverse in ability levels and ranged with everyone from a few former Olympians to many first time racers. To add a bit of flare to the event, some racers devised their own costumes, which included capes as super heroes and tutus as ballerinas.
As the heavy falling snow was piling up prior to the event, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center crack grooming crew did a last minute Piston Bully touch up on the entire course to make for perfect tracks and skate lane. After brief race instructions by Race Director Jim Fredericks, the first leg teams were off to ski 2 loops on the 2.5km course. The individual team categories were quite competitive, with several changes in lead teams throughout the four legs.
When the team scores were tabulated, it was Mansfield Nordic Club easily becoming the Champions as the top club in New England with 920 points, followed by Craftsbury in 495 points, and 2018 champions Ford Sayre in 330 points. Overall, nine NE clubs competed in the event entering 57 individual teams. For more details on individual team results, go to: http://www.mansfieldnordic.org/ne-relay-championship/
This fun and spirited event was organized by the Mansfield Nordic Club as a fundraiser to help aspiring young nordic skiers. Thanks to Toko.com as the title sponsor and also to the many dedicated volunteers from the Mansfield Nordic Club for hosting this fun and inspiring event.
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Attached photo credit: Ellie Bouffard