February 13, 2013

NORDIC SKIING: Races set for Bond Brook

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- There's not much snow in the immediate forecast but the Bond Brook Recreation Area could use some colder temperatures in preparation for Eastern Cup Nordic races this weekend.


10 a.m. start, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Bond Brook Recreation Area
Access: Off Bond Brook Road, Augusta, near Mt. Vernon Ave.

The event is hosted by Augusta Trails which oversees 15 miles of trails in the Bond Brook area as well as others throughout the capital area. It's the final New England Nordic Ski Association event of the season and 200-300 skiers from throughout New England are expected to compete, Mother Nature willing.

"What's hurting now is the warm temperatures," said Dr. Bill Rogers, chief of competition for the races. "I think we do have enough (snow). We can groom after it gets below freezing and we can shovel snow onto the trail to cover bare patches."

Four races, ranging from 5-15 kilometers, will be held each day. The race format includes a Classic mass start Saturday and Freestyle interval start races Sunday. The events includes juniors in three age groups, as well as men, women and masters divisions. The New England National Junior Nordic team will be named Sunday and will compete at the nationals where it's enjoyed recent success.

The event can be reached through the entrance off Bond Brook Road not far from Mt. Vernon Ave. Augusta Trails president Mike Seitzinger said this is the only entrance to the event and people will be on hand to direct parking. Light refreshments will also be available.

Eastern Cup races were scheduled for the area last year but canceled due to lack of snow. In its inaugural year of 2010, Bond Brook hosted a NENSA race and two weeks later the Colby College winter carnival. The Nordic trails were designed by John Morton, who has designed trails around the world and is expected to be on hand this weekend.

Seitzinger said Bond Brook is aiming to host Bill Koch race Sunday at 2 p.m. to introduce kids to the sport. Koch is a Vermont native who became the first American to medal in an Olympic Nordic race when he won silver in 1976.

Bond Brook Recreation Area cover 268 acres in the heart of the city and is a year-round venue, for hikers, racers and mountain bikers.

"We're going to be building some more trails," Seitzinger said. "Now we can take our time. We're adding single track mountain biking trails and also (exploring) a walking trail along the brook."

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638


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