Updated: 03/08/2014 6:25 PM
Created: 03/08/2014 6:18 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The weather was perfect on Saturday for the Tour Duluth cross-country ski event. Skiers hit the trails from the west to east end of town to celebrate the end of the season, and members of the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club they'll keep the skiing tradition going.
Some of the skiers skated eight trails and over 40 miles across Duluth on Saturday. The Spirit Mountain Nordic Center was just one stop for the Tour Duluth Coordinator Jere Mohr.
“We have kind of a schedule that people can follow if they want to ski all the trail or they can just choose their neighborhood trail and ski a few kilometers. It's totally up to them,” Mohr said.
Mohr said the event is a celebration of the excellent groomed trails in Duluth.
“If you go to other communities, say in the mountains, you have to drive a long distance often times from your house to get to trails, and that's what makes Duluth really unique is that we have all these trails right in our backyard,” Mohr said.
But not everyone strapping on skis was a local. Greg Fangel and his wife came up from White Bear Lake.
“This is a great event, a good celebration of cross-country skiing, and my wife and I like to cross-country ski. Duluth has a lot of great trails,” Fangel said.
They hit every trail in town, but what could drive them to travel so far and ski so much?
“It just invigorates the spirit and the body, and it's a good total body workout, and it just makes me feel really good. It makes me feel like I'm flying like a bird, you know,” Fangel said.
After 10 years the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club is going strong with hundreds of members, and they are trying to keep it that way by pulling in younger skiers.
“I think for the future of the sport it's important to have a feeder system where you train the young kids, and it's a lifelong sport. Once people get into it, usually, they stay into it for their whole lives,” Fangel said.
The snow was starting to melt on Saturday, but that couldn't wash away the passion of these skiers.
The Tour Duluth wrapped up around 7 p.m. at the Hartley Nature Center where skiers refueled with some food donated by the Duluth Grill.
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