Jackson Jury reaches verdict

Although Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot race director, told stories in the Birch Hill stadium for almost 4 continuous hours Saturday, he missed one intriguing story involving Jerome Jackson, SCUM overachiever.

Jerome, a former Junior Nordic coach and volunteer coach for the West Valley XC team for decades, had skied the long Sonot Kkaazoot 12 times before this year. Jerome was well-tapered before the 32nd Annual Sonot Kkaazoot. During early bib pick-up at the Doyon, Ltd. building, he rested on a couch, while Sarah Jackson waited in the line to retrieve her dad’s race bib.

On race day, Jerome situated himself near the back of the 30 km field, and got through the tangle of bodies and ski equipment at the bottom of the first sweeping turn of the North 40 trail unscathed. The trails were wicked fast so Jerome didn’t have to over extend himself. After completing all the Black Loops, Jerome claims that he was distracted by seeing Tom Helmers on a snowmachine so instead of turning right and heading down the Blue Loop, he skied over orange lines painted on the snow and through orange cones and/or V-board to ski out the relay to the Outhouse Loop. Somewhere along the Outhouse or Sunnyside Trails, Jerome realized his error, and confessed his crime when his SCUM mother saw him leaving the Outhouse Loop en route to skiing the missed Blue Loop.

The Jackson Jury reenacted the crime on Sunday to determine what Jerome’s time might had been had he followed Bad Bob’s course markings.

Dermot Cole, whose Sonot finish time was the closest to Jerome’s was selected to ski the extra distance that Jerome would have traveled by skiing Outhouse before the Blue Loop. We had skied the Black loops Sunday so the time and distance on his legs were similar to those Jerome would have had on Saturday.

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Jackson reenactment by Dermot Cole on 3-24-19 (photo by Bill Husby)

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The official race clock

Then the jury deliberated after studying the new evidence acquired:

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Photo of Jackson Jury deliberating –notice that jury included Dr. Eric Buetow, an official timer from Saturday, (Photo by Margaret Brophy)

The jury verdict: Jerome Jackson was guilty of assaulting the official Sonot Kkaazoot race course (or alternatively, was guilty of being the highest achieving SCUM in the 32nd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot), and thus, deserving of “big wood” recognition from Bad Bob.

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.

Final day of Masters World Cup

Report from Sonot Kkaazoot race director, Bad Bob Baker:

We are all done with the World Masters. Last day was warm and mostly sunny for the skaters to enjoy.  We are now in Oslo, and will bus north at 5:00 am tomorrow to the start of the Norwegian Birkebeiner 54 kilometer Classic ski race. All participants are required to carry an 8 lb pack the entire way.  The five skiers on the Fairbanks travel team plan to TOUR the race together:  Bruce Jamieson, Chris Puchner, Donna DiFolco, and Sharon & Bad Bob Baker. We all plan on taking full advantage of the FEED STATIONS.  The race starts in RENA, and finishes in LILLIEHAMMER, Norway.  It crosses 2 mountain ranges and often has 8 or more side by side classic tracks.  The forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies, and 25 to 35 degree temps.  We sure hope so.  After the race we plan to tourist the town of LILLIEHAMMER, then catch a 2 hour train back to our Oslo Airport Hotel. Be back in Fairbanks Monday night.

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Donna DiFolco as part of USA silver medal relay team

All photos by Bad Bob Baker who didn’t supply captions for his Sonot Kkaazoot organizing underling

No excuses, register NOW

With the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot only 10 days away, register now.  Registration will cost you more if you wait. Is the inch of wet snow slowing you down? Here’s today’s Masters World Cup race report from Bad Bob in Beitostolen, Norway:

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Photo by Bad Bob Baker

Got a slight dusting of snow overnight, about 12 inches and still coming down.  Today are the classic distance races.  It’s 22 degrees and should stop snowing sometime after we finish racing today.  I go 30 km, should be fun.  Both Sharon and Donna skate 30 tomorrow, where the weather should be sunny and no fresh snow.   Be home in less than a week..

Report from World Masters in Norway

Wonder why the Sonot Kkaazoot race director hasn’t updated his reports from the Chena River? He’s in Norway skiing at World Masters. Here’s his report submitted this morning:

Thanks to all you busy people as I relax over here in Norway.  The racing and events are great.  Beitostolen is a great place to go for a ski vacation.  The weather was great for yesterday’s classic and free style races.  Cool, clear and fast, around 22 degrees and sunny.   

Bruce Jamieson (NSCF vice-president) was in a massive pile-up at start of 15 km freestyle race (see far right of photo)

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After being buried in the bottom of the tangle, Bruce ended up on bottom with a broken pole and bumps and bruises. 

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BUT, got a pole later on down the trail and finished the race! 

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SCUM truly do rise from the bottom.

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Bad Bob, Sonot Race Director at World Masters, supplied all photos in this post

Entire 50 km Sonot course ready to ski

All the trails that are utilized for the three Sonot Kkaazoot events were brushed and groomed for the first time last week in preparation for the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot. Thus, the courses are available for skier training.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU CARRY YOUR GOVERNMENT IDENTIFICATION WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES WHEN YOU SKI TRAILS ON FORT WAINWRIGHT. You could be detained if you do not have appropriate identification with you. Last year, we were informed that a skier was detained and questioned for 20 minutes after being unable to produce appropriate identification. Remember, we are guests on the FWW trails and we need to abide by the rules of a U.S. Army facility.

After my last posting, Bill Husby did additional brushing in the pond area below the Fort Wainwright ski area, so the SCUM checked out the Fort Wainwright trails and the Chena River on Sunday.

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Ski conditions on the river Sunday were quite good. Donovan Granger skied the entire 20 km river section of the Sonot Kkaazoot course Sunday (after skiing the White Bear) and found no overflow or open water except for the obvious areas seen on Friday. However, be cautious if you ski on the river and it’s a good idea not to ski alone.

Of course, if you want snow in Fairbanks, you need to send your groomers to Hawaii and Norway, where they can’t help skiers when snow falls overnight. More snow is forecast for later this week, so EXERCISE EXTRA CAUTION IF YOU SKI ON THE RIVER after any new snow. The weight of the snow can cause more overflow.

Don’t worry, Tom and Bob will return before the Sonot Kkaazoot to groom everything to perfection. In the meantime, Bill and Ken will be grooming at Birch Hill using “old school” equipment (snowmachines pulling rollers, drags, or track sled) until Tom returns to pilot the piston bully. The Chena River and FWW trails will be skier groomed for the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy our long March days and make your commitment today to ski the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/