Fairbanks Five finish Birkie Norway

Sonot Kkaazoot race director, Bad Bob Baker and 4 other Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skiers finished the 54 kilometer Classic Birkiebiner in Norway. At one point, they were dead last (averaging 3 km in the first hour) because they spent too much time relaxing, taking photographs, and waiting for their teammates who started in later waves.

Fearing a DQ for not meeting time limits, the group increased their pace to “touring” speed and passed 1000 skiers. They finished in about 6:30 with smiles on their faces. Their strategy is one that skiers attempting their first Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot should remember. Have fun, relax, take photographs, enjoy the scenery during the event, and finish with a smile.

Here is a photo gallery of Bad Bob and Sharon Baker, Bruce Jamieson, Donna DiFolco, and Chris Puchner. This time Bob supplied captions, but this former Sonot director is feeling (a little jealous and) overwhelmed with all the Sonot entries and questions, so any readers of this blog can supply their own.

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Remember that late registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot ends Thursday, 21 March 2019. Please try to pick up your race bib at the Doyon Ltd. Building from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday to avoid the day-of-race confusion. Many of the Sonot Kkaazoot organizers will be skiing the event, too, so please help us out.

For out-of-town skiers who have preregistered, there will be a volunteer to distribute your bibs until at least 30 minutes before your start. Day-of-race entries WILL END AT 9:00 a.m. ADT.

Although we cannot promise blue skies and hard kick wax conditions for the Sonot Kkaazoot (like those encountered by the Fairbanks Five at the Birkie Norway), we will promise that the trails will be groomed to perfection by our ace grooming team. We’ll even have orange kilometer markers like the Birkie Norway.

NSCF Sonot training class opens soon

The colder weather will allow the ski trails to set up nicely. Take a break from the  pre-holiday rush to get out and enjoy the fantastic skiing that Birch Hill, UAF, and other local areas offer.

Online registration for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot will open soon. By registering then, you will be assured the least expensive entry fee, and will have the incentive to start training in earnest.

If you need additional motivation, Kristen Rozell will once again be offering a 2-month long Sonot Training Course that includes technique refinement as well as training and pacing needed for long events. For the skier who wants to successfully ski the 40 or 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot for the first time, this class is for you. Draw on the experience of a successful Sonot Kkaazoot skier who has helped many others train for the Sonot Kkaazoot in the 11 years that she has been offering this class. 

Lock in your slot among the 15 lucky skiers:

https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/event-3164689

If you have any questions, you can contain Kristen by email at:   kbrozell@gmail.com. 

Chena River ski trail UPDATE

Bad Bob Baker finished regrooming the 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot course this morning at midnight. The course has been groomed 20 feet wide including the 20 km turnaround area. Up and down the Chena River, the course is as much as 40 feet wide. Because Bob was grooming in the dark, he wasn’t able to see if there were areas with dirt or rocks showing.

Ken Coe and Bill Husby hauled two loads of manmade snow down to the Fort Wainwright bridge and combined with river bank snow. Here are some photos from Tuesday morning taken by Bill after their work and that of Bob last night. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers plan to groom the river tomorrow so we’ll get an updated report. However, as of now, it looks like no snow enhancement work party will be needed.

Photo from under the foot bridgeChena River narrow spot

ENJOY the fantastic spring skiing! Urge your friends to sign up for the Sonot Kkaazoot now.

https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/

This year’s conditions are perfect for those skiing their first Sonot Kkaazoot. Please note that on race day, classical tracks WILL BE SET on both sides of the skate platform.

Also, remember grooming doesn’t come free. Please donate to the Birch Hill trails fund:

https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate/

We also are looking for more race volunteers so if you would like to support the Sonot Kkaazoot and the efforts made to groom the Chena River, please sign up at: contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

 

Chena River groomed again yesterday!

Work on your spring time tan by skiing on the Chena River. Sonot Kkaazoot 20 km course has been groomed by Bad Bob Baker to perfection. Here’s his first hand report submitted yesterday afternoon:

What a nice day to ski the Chena River, as I just finished grooming it at 3:00 pm today.  I groomed the start/finish area right up to the centennial bridge and it turned out much better than I thought it would, very flat and plenty wide for a SONOT START.   I also roughed in the 20 km turnaround,   The whole CHENA RIVER is groomed at least 16 FOOT WIDE, and wider in some places.  It’s very safe for skiing right now, as long as one skis atop the grooming.  There is bad gravel and ice under the STEESE HIGHWAY BRIDGE and the FT. WAINWRIGHT BRIDGE.  Taking you skis off for both of these are a must.  SO, Please, everyone get out on the CHENA RIVER and test out the SONOT KKAAZOOT course!

Visualize Skiing the Sonot Kkaazoot

Video

To help the first time participant in the Sonot Kkaazoot, here are a few videos of the 40 and 50 km events taken by Dermot Cole in 2015. The first clip is the mass start for the 40 and 50 km freestyle events:

Here is the climb up the Fort Wainwright alpine ski hill to the base of the Sonot Connector:

and 28 km later coming down the same hill:

Remember, if you smile, it’s no big deal.

Here’s Robert Hannon, Sonot military contact AND coordinator for FWW road crossings finishing:

Sign up now for the lowest entry fees. Early registration ends in less than two weeks on 26 February 2016.

Despite snow drought, trails are fantastic!

Although it’s been almost a month since Fairbanks has received any significant snowfall, thanks to the fantastic work of Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF) groomers, all the trails at Birch Hill, and the section of the Chena River used for the Sonot Kkaazoot have been groomed, so skiing conditions are awesome. Nothing can be finer than sunshine and fresh corduroy for a nordic skier. That’s exactly what we encountered today.

Blue skies and frest corduroy.jpg

Even without the sun, the temperatures have been moderate (but below freezing) so last Sunday, the SCUM (Sonot organizers) skied the Grand Tour (all the trails at Birch Hill with frequent rest stops.

SCUM resting

If you aren’t enjoying Hawaiian beaches or competing in crosscountry races in Europe, skiing in Fairbanks is pretty close to perfect right now for either classical or skate skiing.

Remember to donate to the NSCF Trails fund since the NSCF (not the borough) does all the grooming at Birch Hill (and on the Chena River for the Sonot).

https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate/

Sonot Training Class Starts January 26, 2016

Kristen Bartecchi Rozell is teaching a 9-week long class at Birch Hill specifically designed for skiers preparing for the Sonot Kkaazoot. This Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks class involves skate technique and interval training as well as video analysis and an opportunity to have a guided session on the Sonot Kkaazoot connector trail to the Chena River. The class meets Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. beginning tomorrow, 26 January 2016.

To register, see:

http://nscfairbanks.net/index.php/adult-lessons/956-mid-winter-adult-lessons-registration-open-now

This class is highly recommended for the skier hoping to ski the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot for the first time.