Monday, January 21, 2019

Just an opportunity

A letter from a HURT guy.

In a span of 9 days I got to see the full span of the nordic community that reaches into HURT country. As someone who is geographically removed form its epicenter it was quite a thing to see.
First, was the annual Mega-Relay at Garnet Hill ski center. It is truly amazing to think how this event has blossomed from humble beginnings (cut short from 8 hours to 6 hours mid-race in year one!...shout out to those folks that remember that day! woot!) to an 80+ strong race field that sits as a high mark for many citizen skiers. 
photo cred: stolen from Peter Minde's blog

One of the coolest things about this event is that it is a day for the Masters-Masters to shine.  Once your laps start counting as 1.5 or even 2 you are hot commodity for a team and those slick U18/U20/SR/M1/M2's start looking like major liabilities for squads looking to leave with the tasty prize packs. This year added the competitive and growing mini-junior component of the HURT club.  I don't know how many nordic 6 hour relay competitions that go from U6 to M9 there are, but HURT country might have the biggest.    

Honestly though, the greatest thing about this event is that it is an opportunity. An opportunity to access nordic sport at any level, at any age, at any ability, with your friends and community members. It is an opportunity to ski 60K, or do 6 x 4K @ L4, or to ski 4K and hang out in the pub all afternoon.  HURT has always been about creating opportunities and this is a real showcase of that.

This past weekend...a whole new community came to play in the snowy playground of HURT country.  Our JNQ weekend brought out the best of the best junior talent from all around NYS and even those Green Mountain PUGS from Mansfield country. woof! woof!
Thanks for traveling over to our show!
It was an opportunity for a whole different slice of the nordic community.  The driven. The passionate. The focused compteitor. With lactate searing through the body these 500+ skiers came to the hardest course in the area...and then stayed for racing in some of the hardest storm conditions I have ever seen.  (yep...that snowstorm) A HARDY bunch to be sure.  But the amazing thing was just how determined folks were to be there, to race, and to give it their best shot.  They just wanted an opportunity.   
visual approximation of the race course.   

Three weeks from now HURT will be looking to bring both of these parts of our nordic community together. In honor of a man who was all about providing opportunities.  A year ago marks the passing of dear friend, father, and supporter of all things nordic, Nino Manzella.  

While not an avid racer himself, he found the love for this sport by providing opportunities for his kids and their friends to excel and it is our goal to carry on that tradition with the Nino Manzella Memorial HURTathon.  Come to Gore on February 10th.  You want a tough race? We have it for you.  Looking to score points for your own ski club? Yep. Are you a BKYSL youngster? We have you covered.  Are you a citizen skier looking for a personal challenge without the "A" climb or the "S" turn? We have that too.  

We would love to see you there.And all the profits will go to provide opportunities for our youngest skiers and provide financial support to our Mid-A juniors pursuing their passion in far-flung locations.  Let's bring together the full span of the nordic community in HURT country. It would make Nino smile.