Zoe Hallman (left) and Mia Recknell take off during the midget girls 3.5-kilometre freestyle mass start race at the nordic centre Sunday.

Zoe Hallman (left) and Mia Recknell take off during the midget girls 3.5-kilometre freestyle mass start race at the nordic centre Sunday.

X-Country skiing in full swing

The Bulkley Valley Nordic Club kicked off the race season with the Chris Dahlie open last weekend.

The Bulkley Valley Nordic Club kicked off the race season with the Chris Dahlie open last weekend.

Roughly 60 locals participated in the freestyle mass start under perfect weather conditions.

Patrick Williston came in first in the masters men 7.5-kilometre race, finishing in just over 42 minutes.

“It’s a very supportive environment for cross-country ski racing and a fun family atmosphere,” said Williston, whose two daughters also participated in other age groups.

For Williston, the the uphill climb was a battle.

“It’s just very strenuous to climb hills like that when you’re skate skiing and terrific way to test your fitness,” he said.

According to Brant Dahlie, who helped set up the race track (the race is named after his grandfather Chris Dahlie), local racers will use this in preparation for larger provincial races.

“It’s a good healthy race for locals. It’s professionally done so when people go away to bigger races they have a taste of what to expect,” he said.

Other winners include Finlay and Owen Feed, Catherine De Gisi, Hamish Woods, Peter Krause, and Kate Woods.