Ski season ends on a high note

Before you read this, I must warn you, it's another article about skiing. Sadly, the skiing season has ended so this might be the last skiing article for a while.

Before you read this, I must warn you, it's another article about skiing. Sadly, the skiing season has ended so this might be the last skiing article for a while.

Three weekends ago, my family traveled to Wisconsin to partake in the 38th annual American Birkebeiner. My brother and I raced in the 23 km Kortelopet, while my dad did the full length 54 km Birkie.

I decided to sport a different kind of spandex for the Korte. My tie dye jester hat, my splatter painted raybans, and my team spandex top. The best part was my bottoms -- pink Nike shorts, with neon green tights underneath. To make it even better, the tights had fashionable holes all over them. It was super stylish!

Thankfully I had brought multiple layers of long underwear; the temperature at the start time was 10 below. That's slightly on the chilly side. I didn't really notice the cold since I only had to go 23 km.

I started in the second wave of the Korte skate. It started out great. I was going fast and the trails were great. Then my already frostbitten ears started to get cold. Turns out they got re-frostbitten even worse. They felt like plastic and then started getting blisters. Eventually they started peeling, which was pretty nasty.


Not as nasty as my coach Dan Josephson. His fingers are black and oozy. They have blisters all over them and are maybe three times the size as normal. Not a good deal! Gloves do make a difference.

I finished the 23 km in 1:15. One hour and fifteen minutes. Not bad for a 15-year-old girl. I was third in my age group and 15th out of all the women. My brother was second in the whole Korte and first in his age group. My dad was 405th out of 1,519 people and 358th out of 1,218 men in the Birkie.

The next weekend we had two more races. The Rainbow Rendezvous and the Lotvola Cup. The Rainbow Rendezvous is at Rainbow Resort. The trails were absolutely beautiful and the conditions were great.

Wynn Roberts won the whole thing. This wasn't a big surprise since he competed in the last Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. I won the women's division. I got sixth overall. My time was 29 minutes for a 10 km skate. Some of the hills were a bit icy and resulted in me falling twice.

In the same race my dad was 15th overall and first in his age group. Dylan was third overall and first in his age group.

The Lotvola Cup was on the Sunday after the Rainbow. The Lotvola is held at Maplelag resort. The trails were good as always even though they had a coat of fresh snow on them. This made it hard to go as fast as you would like. The lead pack got the joy of breaking trail.

For strategy, you wanted to stay in the track that had been skied in before. It was so weird because sometimes the track that had been skied in before would randomly switch.

Making a weekend sweep, I won the women's division again. I was 17th overall with a time of 47 minutes in the classic 12 km. I was so excited. I was looking at past years' results and noticed from 2000 to 2004, I almost always was in last place. After that I stopped racing for a while because I hated cross country skiing.


About three years ago, I started racing again. And boy am I glad I did! I ended up taking home a fancy blue ribbon for first in my age group and an even fancier purple ribbon for fastest female.

My dad was 15th overall with a time of 49 minutes. My brother Dylan was fourth overall with a time of 40 minutes. Lars Ellefson won the whole thing with a time of 38 minutes.

I love having more races after the high school ski season ends. It's like an extended ski season. We are so lucky to have two great local ski races so close to home. These races aren't just for those of us who race all winter. Skiing is a sport that all ages can do. Take advantage of that. I hope to see you next year at the start line.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a freshman at Detroit Lakes High School.

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