Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Odd Odds-Maker Odds are BACK - 2016-17 HURT Nordic Fantasy Ski Team Recommendations

Welcome to December!  After a long absence the ODD ODDS-MAKER is back to help you place your bets for the upcoming NYSSRA race season and help finalize your Noah Hoffman fantasy team.  While the World Cup Season is in full swing and headed to Norway, you still have a couple weeks before the NYSSRA season kicks off at North Creek Nordic Festival on December 16th, 17th and 18th.  That gives you plenty of time to search for vacuum-pennies and place bets in Vegas that will be sure winners.  After extensive research of the past off-season training, here are our top sure-fire picks in the men's field.

Brian Halligan:  Has put aside the gun for the coaching whistle and clipboard in recent months.  And then decided to run collegiate xc (and ran really well).  And then switched the blue-an-white of his old Saratoga days for the blue-an-gold of the Qbury coaching staff.  And he is a media mogul.  His performances this year will be a wildcard and unpredictable.

Odd-maker Odds:  5:1 that he will place 2nd at a snow-shoeing event wearing a HURT nordic suit. He will place second because he was trying to get the perfect interview of the winner.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Petter Northug.  He'll either be first, or 55th.

Brian Beyerbach: HURT's young stud and speedster looks to have a big year on the podium.  From the REG to NEG the QBY kid will be BIG.  Rumor has it he even skied once with Jessie D.  His hair is always appropriately coiffed and he is seen below utilizing his unconventional training method of reduced-hours on skis and 6 hours a day of mineral spring baths. For a nice complexion.

Odd-maker Odds:  3:1 that Jessie D. is actually Jessie Durham, his lab partner in Chem class.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Frederico Pellegrino.  Young stud that will score in a lot of races.

Mikey Halligan: A skier that strides to the beat of a different drum.  And it is syncopated.  With a sick drop.  MC Mikey-Fresh* looks to bring significant swagger and rhythm to the double tracks this season and is now upgraded from solo-training to team workouts.

Odd-maker Odds:  13:2 that you will hear his beats piped in the speaker system at the Ski Bowl more than once this year.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Iivo Niskanen.  He is just silky smooth.  So is MCMF*.

playing his new beats on his new iphone 9 mini.

Chris Yarsevich:  HURT Dad Of The Year has gone all in with his new BKYSL training program.  Towing more kids.  Eating more lollipops.  Planting ice cubes and spending A LOT of time snapping ski boots into automatic bindings (think...many squats).  Looking healthy, looking fast and he will be a force in most Masters fields.

Odd-maker Odds:  4:1  He drinks the most post-ski hot chocolate this season
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Ivan Babikov.  Both M2's and both fast classic skiers.

Aaron Huneck and Owen Putman: Shen grads and PG super-duo look to keep the nordic skis sliding this winter.  Putman with his RPI training (consisting of tossing tires at the gym and flexing for the college co-eds) is looking to prove college doesn't mean a drop off in performance.  Huneck, taking a different route, has turned to a life of entrepreneurship and flexible hours to maximize his skiing potential.   

Odd-maker Odds:  1:1  That Huneck sells a pair of skis to buy a cow. For the good milk.  Ends up  purchasing land with the intent of building ski trails and shack, finds out that the trails are great for mountain biking, sells his skis to buy a mountain bike.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Lari Lehtonen and Martti Jylhae (two WC dudes you've never heard of from Finland, that must be good skiers because they are from Finland)

Alex Fragomeni and Bryce Beyerbach: New kids on the block.  Rivals. some top talent in the U16 ranks.  If they don't try and trip each other with their poles this pair may make real waves this season.

Odd-maker Odds:  12:2 that they finish tied in a section race tied for 5th....down to the 1000th of a second.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Reese Hanneman and Eric Bjornson.  They appear to be friends, but there is only a world cup spot for one of them.

  Dave Paarlberg-Kvam: Elementary Art teacher and Father-of-one-soon-to-be-father-of-two is desperate for one last competitive run in a great snow year before he drowns in sea of kid boogers and tears (his own).  November has shown that he may get the snow he desires.  Whether or not his performance is up to the challenge remains to be seen.  We do know that as the father of toddler he has become a master of pacing and making smooth transitions.  Look for better performances in longer races.

Here is DPK prepping a pair of skate skis

Odd-maker Odds:  7:2 That he places 7th in a race with a viral infection and throw-up (not his) on his bib.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Lukas Bauer.  He isn't dead yet.

The Tomb Triplets and the Manzella Bros: We are giving a special shout out for this quintet of HURT juniors and their laundry pile.  It is everywhere. Omnipresent.  At any given NY race venue there is enough left over equipment to outfit all five of them at a moments notice.  This means they are always ready to go. Always. Ready.  When you are always ready to race, you are always a threat.  

Odd-maker Odds:  6:1 That at some point there will be an article of clothing belonging to someone in this group that will be on a bus to Canajoharie.
Noah Hoffman fantasy equivalent pick: Krogh, Sunby, Dyrhaug, Aukland, Roethe....any five Norwegians really.  Norway always rolls with the best team bus.  QBury's Nordie van and the Tomb-mobile are contenders for top HURT Nordie vehicle.  Although we do know this is openly disputed by the other half of the HURT juniors from Sweden (Shen)

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the Odd-Odd-Makers-Odds.  Stay tuned next week when we bring you our top picks in the Women's Field.

Getting pumped up for the race season?!? Register now for the North Creek Nordic Fest and share the info with your friends.  There will be great skiing and amazing racing all weekend, December 16, 17 and 18th!  See you there

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November kick off

There was no waiting for the snows of December and January to kick off the 2016-2017 race season for HURT nordic.  With not one, but two major club events this November, the race team has started off the season in a dramatic way.  The HRT newsroom was on-hand to get the scoop...

The NYS Rollerski Champs:  On November 19th, HURT nordic held the first NYS Rollerski Championship in Saratoga State Park.  We caught up with promoter and co-organizer Brian Halligan after the race for the first of many hard-hitting interviews this season.* 

*by "caught up" we mean we approximated what it would have been like to talk with the interviewee.  But whatever...the definition of journalism has become pretty fuzzy in recent weeks

HRT: So Brian, how was the race and what gave HURT the idea to host this event?

BH: Well Chuck, Kingston Nordic used to host a rollerski race for years and we looked to tap into that late November enthusiasm but bring it north a bit.  We loved the major swag from that race and tried to get some of that here as well.  

HRT: We knew that event well.  It was truly a special event.  It must have been hard to duplicate the flat-fast course, full-speed 180 degree turn in the final stretch, the errant soccer balls from nearby fields, and oncoming traffic that Kingston was famous for.  How did you manage to compensate?  

BH: Well, we contacted Greg M. to consult with us and help with our organizing effort.  We can't thank him enough.  Despite our closed roads and pristine pavement we held 2 great races (5K Classic and 10K freestyle) were able to get donations from Toko, Polar, Concept 2, Accelerade, US Ski Poles and Rudy Project so that helped.  The fact that we had Saratoga sulfer spring water to serve helped us really make this event unique.  We hope to carve a real nice pre-Thanksgiving tradition up here.

HRT: We heard your shout-out to the event on your new podcast at, did that help bring out the massive crowds to the event?

BH: Not that I know of, but I do know from my extensive podcast analytics that the number of people in Minnesota who googled airfare rates from Minneapolis to Albany increased by 2300%.  So that is something.

Check out pics below and results here: 

HURT Nordic Thanksgivng NEW YORK: On November 25-27 HURT held their first (hopefully annual) junior nordic ski camp in North Creek, NY at the Gore Mountain Ski Bowl Park.  Aided by some early season cold temps, a little natural snow, and a great snowmaking system, HURT was able to get some solid on-snow time on the 1.7K loop that was blown in.  We "caught up"* with campers during the Thanksgiving potluck on Saturday night to ask how things were going....

*See above

HRT: Hi, Nino and is camp going? Is it as good as expected?  

N: is great to be on snow and great to be here with a bunch of my teammates from school.  The skiing has been pretty nice.  Not as deep as we would like...but it is a good start.  It is sweet to be up training with HURT skiers from other high schools.  It mixes it up a bit from our normal practices. Thanks to Coach Tomb for letting us stay at his place and it is great that all the coaches worked so hard to make camp happen.  It is a blast.  What's burning? Is that the turkey? Or did someone leave a terrarium heat lamp on a rug?

HRT: ummmmm......gotta go.  We hope to see you at the North Creek Nordic Fest in two weeks!  Register now for the weekend races 

Here are some pics from camp: