by Eric Troyer
More than 120 people skied just over 2,600 kilometers on Saturday at the Ski Your Age in Kilometers. The event, presented by Banner Health / Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (FMH), drew more than 120 people to Birch Hill Recreation Area ranging in ages from 78 to 7.
Josie Adasiak and Lucie Meyer, both 7, were the youngest participants who signed up. Carol DeVoe, 78, was the oldest. DeVoe and her grandson, Eric DiFolco, were the only grandparent / grandchild pair in the family category. They skied a combined total of 30 kilometers.
An impressive number of people under 20 skied their age or more. Nearly 40 young skiers, some skiing twice their age or more, reached either the Platinum (top) or Gold (second) achievement levels. Just fewer than 40 skiers of all ages reached the Platinum level, while 26 reached the Gold level, 27 reached the Silver level, and 19 reached the Bronze level.
This was the tenth year of Ski Your Age, which is organized by Fairbanks Cross Country (FXC), the junior race-training program of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF). The event serves as a fundraising for FXC and this year raised just over $2,000.
“We really appreciate the support of Banner Health and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for this great community event,” said Eric Troyer, FXC parent and event organizer. “After being cold all week, the temperatures warmed enough on Saturday to make it a lot of fun to be out on skis. It was awesome to look outside and see the trails full of skiers all day.”
The Birch Hill Cross Country Ski Center, owned and operated by the Fairbanks North Star Borough, was open for the event. People brought in food to share and the center was the focal point of the day.
“The skiers, especially those skiing their age or more, really appreciated the hot food and desserts,” Troyer said. “Many thanks to those who contributed and to all the volunteers.”
Bill Husby, a longtime NSCF member and trail groomer, skied the most kilometers for an individual. He skied his age of 61 and added 1 more for good measure, for a total of 62 kilometers. Corrine Leistikow skied the most for a woman, skiing her age of 54 plus 1 more for a total of 55 kilometers.
Five people met the 50-50 Challenge by being 50 or more years old and skiing 50 or more kilometers. Nine skiers met the Century Challenge, in which their age and kilometers skied equaled at least 100.
Max Kaufman was the only person to meet the Sunup-Sundown Challenge, which requires a skier to ski at least 50 kilometers between the official sunrise at 10:57 am and sundown at 2:49 pm. Kaufman skied 51 kilometers.
In the couples category, Corrine Leistikow and Eric Troyer skied the most kilometers at 109. They were also the only couple to reach a Double Century, in which the total age in years plus the kilometers skied equals at least 200. Leistikow and Troyer had a combined total of 216. (To be available as organizer of the event, Troyer skied on Friday.)
The family category the achievements were gained by several families. The Rueters (Jose, Helena, Gabe and Adela) had the most kilometers for a family of 4 or more with 124. The Leistikow-Troyers had the most by a family of 3 with 115 kilometers. The Rueters also took the father/son subcategory with 82 kilometers. The father / daughter subcategory went to Dan and Tjarn Bross with 73 kilometers. Leistikow and Montana Troyer took the mother / daughter subcategory with 61 kilometers. Donna and Eric DiFolco took the mother / son category with 76 kilometers. Eric DiFolco also joined with his grandmother, Carol DeVoe, to ski 30 kilometers, the most by a grandparent and grandchild.
Longtime ski club members and volunteers Chris and Byron Broda created their own category by each skiing 20.5 kilometers, which combined equals the 41 years they have been married.
Full results as PDF can be found here: 2013 Ski Your Age Results & Story