Is it Really 30 Years?

In 1987 Mal McConnell, president of the Shenendehowa Cross Country Ski Booster Club to host a ski race at Saratoga Biathlon to raise money for the team.  NYSSRA calendared the event touted as a “Master Series Race” for January 16, 1988.  Race entry was $10.  The club was disappointed in the turn out [which was similar to this past Saturday’s turnout]. We also helped out the Uncas Booster Club football concessions for additional revenue those early years. That following summer I went to a NYSSRA meeting in Syracuse to plead for status as an “Empire State Games Qualifier”.  In turn NYSSRA calendared a freestyle ESG Qualifier & Master series race at Saratoga Biathlon on January 7, 1989.  Entry was $8, $9 for non USSA by 1/1/89.  Turn out was fabulous and we made some money and more money at the chuck wagon concession stand.

Every year the Schrieners struggle with snow conditions.  There are postponements and adjustments of the NYSSRA calendar and some years we had to finally cancel altogether.

As you know the Empire State Games has evolved from a state funded event to a  Empire State Winter Games hosted by Adirondack municipalities around Lake Placid.  NYSSRA has evolved into NYSSRA – Nordic and the important event of the season is the NYSSRA Championships. ORDA has also evolved to the point that they have invested in snow making equipment at Mount Van Hoevenburg and Gore Mountain Ski Bowl. So this year we decided rather than postpone our January 5 event we move our Shenendehowa Classic to a venue with snow.  It worked, but we didn’t get the participation or the revenue we had hoped for.    We did get fantastic turn out of BKYSL skiers!  With infectious enthusiasm of the Polar Bear Ski ski club and two free thinking BKYSL coaches it made a fun day.

My recommendation for next year: increase the on-line pre registration to $25 and day of race to $30.  This will give us more flexibility with the Saratoga Biathlon Club and better facilitate a move to a different venue should the need arise.

More Parents Should Ski

I had a wonderful day on snow and I was back home by lunch time!

Phil Matthews and his dad were at North Creek Ski Bowl competing in the NYSSRA series sprints hosted by Hudson United Racing Team (HURT).  Even though they didn’t compete against each other I noted that they finished their respective heats within seconds of each other.  It was heart warming to see them both out there!

More masters should do sprints!  I have heard many masters and now grand masters (whatever you want to refer to us old folks as) remark that they don’t do sprints.  Normally I would not either any more than you will find me on the track on a mid summer morning doing sprints.  Today was different!

Conditions at Gore could not have been better:  well machined 1.2 k loop expertly groomed,  marked, and in one spot, hand raked to perfection.  But only 24 showed up to qualify for a heat.  I was the oldest competitor by almost 20 years, and I had the slowest times by over 3 minutes.  So why do I say I had a good day of skiing?

  • Under the sprint format I didn’t have to worry about being lapped!  I had the whole trail to myself after everyone else reached the end of the double poling start!
  • My cardiologist has admonished against marathons, “The greatest benefit from cardio workouts is realized in 30 minutes, certainly under one hour.  You don’t have to beat yourself up for hours.”
  • Timers don’t mind waiting for three extra minutes for the slowest skier.  I recall many years Jim Schriener out in the cold with his blanket waiting a half hour for me to finish my last lap in a marathon ski!
  • Can you beat your son’s time, or your grandson’s time, or your BKYSL youth’s time?
  • Who knows you might get a challenge like I overheard, “Beat that collegiate skier and I will buy you a new pair of skis!”

As it turned out in my final lap, I skied more relaxed, more conscious of technique, and more conscience of my fast skis and almost a half minute faster than my qualifying time!  Yes, it was a good day.

Start the Fun!

Snow flurries are in the cold west wind and the Bill Koch Youth have met on the Shenendehowa Campus.  Snow is in the forecast during the coming week.  I think it’s time for a serious snow storm.


Even with wet weather we had a good turnout of Bill Koch Youth skiers.  The other half of the club will join us next week.

If you know of any middle school or younger youth who might enjoy fun on snow this coming season please have them join us next Tuesday, right after school, 3:45 PM in Room 711 Koda Middle School.  We will be done by 5:15 PM.

We will be matching ski equipment with individuals starting this coming week.

Shenendehowa Classic

Two competitors start their 5 k race as the next pair wait 30 seconds for their start.

Two competitors start their 5 k race as the next pair wait 30 seconds for their start.

The Shenendehowa Classic Nordic Ski Race is calendared for Saturday, January 5, 2019, at Saratoga Biathlon in the northwestern corner of Saratoga County.  Make sure this is on your calendar and pray for snow.  The next day the Adirondack Vauhti will be hosting a ski-athlon starting with a classic loop and finishing up with a free technique loop.


Bill Koch Youth wait for their start and the fun citizens race follows.

It will be a fun weekend for all!

Garage Sale

Free for the asking: one slightly used black Barrecrafters ski rack.  Easily attaches to any four door vehicle.  Call 518-371-7548 or email ejh[dot]bkh[at]juno[dot]com.

Do you have something else to add to garage sale?  Send your item description, price, and contact information to the same e-mail.

Renew your membership now and beat the rush.

Still Skiing

0306181648aAs the temperature approaches 50 degrees our Bill Koch Youth are still skiing! Where the afternoon sun softened the snow it gets even a bit mushy, but in the shade the snow is firm enough to skate. These guys are having fun picking out there favorite conditions: sunny and mushy, shade and skate.
Head to head sprints were interesting, but there’s enough diversity in age so that everyone captured a blue ribbon. As it continues to snow maybe next week we can have a longer course and a coach’s challenge!0306181646a