Canada Games contenders David Greer and Emily Nishikawa won the open event Wednesday night, as 54 skiers took part in the first Subway 5K of the season on the ski trails at Mount McIntyre.
Greer finished a minute ahead of the men’s field, but only 40 seconds separated the next four skiers, Sam Lindsey, Logan Potter, Nansen Murray and Colin Abbott.
Emily Nishikawa finished first in the closely fought women’s category.
The next five women skiers finished within one minute of Nishikawa. Bryn Knight, Janelle Greer, Dahria Beatty, Sarah Murray and Heidi Brook were within 59 seconds of each other after skiing the five kilometres.
A family of skiers from Fort McPherson surprised the Whitehorse juniors by sweeping the girls’ and boys’ 2.5K event.
Annah Hanthorn took the girls’ race, followed a minute later by her sister, Ruth.
Joel Hanthorn was fastest in the boys’ race and was followed by Trevor Bray and Caelen McLean of Whitehorse. Morgan Paul was the first Whitehorse junior to finish the 2.5K.
The temperature of minus 2 was ideal for a free-technique race, but squalls dumped a centimetre of wet snow on the trails just before the 6 p.m. start time, so finish times were slower than expected.
Wednesday’s race was an individual start with skiers leaving the start gate at 15 second intervals.
The 54 skiers provided continuous action on the 2.5K loop under the lights at Mt Mac.
The fairly tough course presented one tough climb on the Lynx and Copper section followed by a restful descent and some long flat sections where skiers could open up and feel the glide.
The Subway 5K series continues in January with the popular Duathlon format.
The combined classic and freestyle event will be run on Saturday, January 20 at 11 a.m.
It will be a new twist for the Subway series, which has been run at nights for the last four years.
The Subway races will wind up in February with a relay on the 3rd and a special Valentine’s relay on the 14th.
All four events are being used by the club to practice and train officials for the Canada Winter Games.