Chris Dahlie Open kicks off cross country season

A total of 80 skiers gathered at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre on Jan. 9 for the Chris Dahlie Open cross country ski race. The annual event drew 18 skiers from clubs in Kitimat, Terrace, Houston and Burns Lake as well as locals.

  • Jan. 19, 2011 12:00 p.m.
A group of junior girls cross the finish line simultaneously during the reverse pursuit fun race at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre on January 9. The reverse pursuit had racers starting at their first race finish time

A group of junior girls cross the finish line simultaneously during the reverse pursuit fun race at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre on January 9. The reverse pursuit had racers starting at their first race finish time

A total of 80 skiers gathered at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre on Jan. 9 for the Chris Dahlie Open cross country ski race. The annual event drew 18 skiers from clubs in Kitimat, Terrace, Houston and Burns Lake as well as locals.

Race organizer Steve Osborn said he’s very pleased with the turnout.

“The Chris Dahlie is always about trying to get as many racers out as possible,” he said. “It’s the first race of the year, so it’s a little bit more recreational.”

In the spirit of keeping things both fun and interesting, and as an added challenge, the day featured a second ‘reverse pursuit’ race. Competitors covered the same course as earlier in the day, but started at their finish time on a clock counting down to zero, resulting in a mass finish. Several racers actually improved slightly on their times with the added stimulus of finishing alongside the competition.

“It was just about unanimous that the racers really, really liked it,” said Osborn.

Category winners include Joshua van der Giessen, from Morice Mountain Nordic, in the Atom Boys and Girls Under 9 division. Kassie Watts from Omenica Ski Club won the Pee Wee Girls 9-11 category, while BV Nordic’s Hamish Woods won the boys side. In the Midget Girls 12-13 group, BV Nordic’s Robin Price won the girls race. Fellow club member Kate Woods won the Juvenile Girls 14-15 race. BV Nordic’s David Walker won the Midget Boys 13-14 category. Kaileen McCulloch took first place in the Junior Girls 16-17 division.

In the adult competition, Chris Werrell won the Open Male division. In the Masters Male 30-39 division, Liam Overstall was the top finisher. Peter Krause won the Masters Male 40-49 category, while Teresa White won the Masters Female 40-49 race. In Masters 50-59 competition, Walter Bucher won the Male race, while Sybille Haeussler was the top Female finisher. Richard Overstall was the top Masters Male 60+ finisher, and Jody Barber won the ParaNordic Standing division.

The next race in Smithers will be the Bulkley Valley Open on Jan. 30.