During the second week of March, a group of seven intrepid Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club masters made their way to Beitostolen, Norway for the World Masters competition. This is a week-long event, jam packed full of racing opportunities: seven races in seven days for those that dare to start them all! There are hundreds of racers over the age of 30 (the entry age to be classified a master). Most of the races had two or three distances, decreasing with age. This was some competitors first trip to World Masters, while others were seasoned veterans.
The series began on March 8th, with 10k and 15k classic races. In the 10k AG10 category (year of birth 1943-1939), John Broadhead was 19th (2ndAmerican). In the AG11 (1938-1934), George Hall was 9th (1stAmerican). Gina Campoli noted that the Norwegians “dominated” George’s age group! In the AG9 (1948-1944) 15k, Dave Hosmer was 47th and Bob Arnot was 49th. In the women’s 15k classic AG7 (1958-1954), Gina Campoli was 18th.
The freestyle races, ranging from 10k-30k came next. In the 10k women’s AG9 race, Trina Hosmer was 1stby 48 seconds. In the men’s 15k AG8 (1953-1949), Peter Harris was 7th(1st American).
Racing continued the next day with more classical technique. In the men’s AG10 5k, John was 16th (3rd American). In the AG11 5k, George was 11th (2nd American). In the AG9 women’s 5k, Trina won by 58 seconds. For the longer 10k race, Peter was 12th (1st American in the AG8 class. In the AG9 class Bob Arnot was 44th. Gina explained that the AG9 men’s class was one of the biggest groups and had “really good Russians, Swedes, Finns, and Norwegians,” all traditional Nordic powerhouse nations. In the AG7 race, Gina was 17th.
On the 12th, the racing shifted from individual to relay format. In the M8 category, Peter teamed up with Glenn Jobe, David Christopherson, and David Johnston for 5th place. Peter did one of the two classic legs. In the women’s relay, Trina classic skied, leading the team of herself, Nancy Bauer, Sharon Crawford, and Carol Monteverde to 3rdplace, also classic skiing.
On the night of the 12th, a foot of snow fell, leading to very soft conditions for Race #5, which was in the classical technique. In the AG10 15k, John was 13th (2ndAmerican). One age class up, George was 10th (3rd American). In the AG9 women’s race, Trina won by an astounding 2:18! The AG9 men raced 30k, where Bob placed 28th.
On the final day of racing, Peter raced to 15thplace (3rdAmerican) in the 30k freestyle event.
Several of the masters continued their European racing tour, travelling to the Lillehammer area for the famed Norwegian Birken Ski Festival. Here, racers travel 54k with a backpack of at least 3.5kg, to remind them of the time in Norwegian history when the infant king was saved. In the women’s 70 class, Trina won by a huge margin of 28 minutes! In the men’s 65 class, Peter was 59th.