Up North: Local Nordic skiers enjoy classic race at Spirit Mountain

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The Olympics are in sight, which has led Northlanders to try out some winter Olympic sports, right here in their own backyard.

The Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club is always looking to bring people together through winter sports. Over the weekend they held the Nordic Spirit Classic Ski Race at Spirit Mountain.

"You need participants to put on a race and it was exciting to see that we had 30 people. Last year we couldn’t do it because of Covid, so we are excited to be back and the conditions for classic skiing are excellent," said Race Director Siiri Morse.

Racers could choose between 26 kilometer or 13k classic races, where the whole system was double tracked. That allowed for those using the older skiing technique, with diagonal strides, to be next to those using the skate skiing method.

"It’s a life time sport I have been skiing since my teens, so over 50 years," said skier Jim Allen.

These little community races also allowed local college athletes to get some extra work in.

"I did some intervals during the week, did some distance training to get my body ready to make sure I was ready for this," said Gavin Blauch, a Nordic skier for the College of St. Scholastica (CSS).

"Next year hopefully there will be more people here. It’s just such a great race and community," concluded skier Liz Axberg at the event.