Amanda Thompson was the fastest female during the Don Sumanik memorial race on Dec. 9. Thompson finished the 5.2 km free race in 13:33.9. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Don Sumanik Memorial Race beats bad weather

Slick course conditions make for fast times

Despite warm weather and the looming threat of rain, the Don Sumanik Memorial Race kicked off on Dec. 9 with just a slight change of plans.

Kyle Janzen, chief of competition, said organizers changed the original route twice before the start in order to ensure skiers stayed safe.

“There was a lot of downhill on that course, and those downhills were slick with ice,” said Janzen. “We were really worried about the safety of the athletes.”

The new course proved to be fast and conditions were good after grooming.

“They were very fast,” said Janzen. “The temperatures stayed at just the right place to keep it moist. It wasn’t packed down and hard or ice or anything like that.”

Luckily for racers, the new snow-making equipment meant work on building a base began in October and that over a foot of snow covered the course at race time.

“We were able to renovate it with the equipment easily, and we were able to create a course that was fast and soft at the same time,” Janzen said.

The day kicked off with an untimed fun race for 50 atom and peewee skiers on the new ski cross circuit, made possible in part by the new snowmaking equipment.

A portion of the features were built on dirt put in place before the season began, but some are created entirely from manufactured snow and therefore easy to change and adapt as the year goes on.

“It’s really a lot of fun to watch those little guys and girls go around in this place and hit air in places. It’s really a new level of skiing. We haven’t got it quite into the competition phase yet,” said Janzen.

The first of two race days in the Don Sumanik Memorial Race Saturday was all about free technique.

In the timed portion of the event, the fastest skier on the day was Colin Abbott, competing in the open men’s class, who finished the 6.5-kilometre race in 14:34.5.

Amanda Thomson was the fastest female on the day, finishing the 5.2 km course in 13:33.9. That time was good enough to put her in first place in the junior girls class.

With just 35 skiers registered for the timed races, Janzen said the numbers were down from years past, but not without reason.

Arctic Winter Games trials for biathlon were taking place at the same time, so the usual 10 to 15 biathletes weren’t racing. Neither were the 50 atoms and peewees, since they christened the new ski cross course.

“Often we have a bigger open women’s field and open men’s field. We didn’t have many there,” said Janzen. “Usually we have a bigger adult field.”

The next race is the classic technique, scheduled for Dec. 16, and the course and format of that race is still to be determined based on the weather and the snow base.

Janzen said that the rain on Dec. 9 following the race concerned organizers, but it is still unclear if enough snow survived the melt to allow for a classic technique race.

“We need a certain depth of snow to set a track, but we don’t know if we actually have that amount of snow anymore,” said Janzen.

If there isn’t enough snow to set a track, the plan is to run another free technique race.

“Pretty confident we’ll have a race, we just don’t know quite what it will look like. One good snowfall and everything changes.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Results

Junior Girls — 5.2 km free

1. Amanda Thomson 13:33.9

2. Hannah Jirousek 14:38.7

Juvenile Girls — 5.2 km Free

1. Sonjaa Schmidt 14:08.8

2. Dahlia Lapointe 14:58.6

Junior Boys — 6.5 km free

1. Jake Draper 16:48.3

DSQ Nichollis Schmidt

DSQ Jude Slater

DNS Jamie Phillips-Freedman

Juvenile Boys — 6.5 km free

1. Derek Deuling 14:49.2

2. Ben Puskas 16:12.0

3. Romeo Champagne 17:02.6

4. Oscar Setterington 18:49.2

5. Aleix Toews 19:04.5

DSQ Victor-Emile Thibeault

DSQ Sasha Masson

DSQ Curtis Cash

Midget Boys — 3.9 km free mass start

1. Noah Connell 11:19.5

2. Ross Sennett 12:03.1

3. Robin Elliot 12:49.3

Midget Girls — 3.9 km free mass start

1. Kate Mason 11:23.2

2. Constance Lapointe 11:30.0

3. Abigail Jirousek 11:50.7

4. Sophia Giangrande 12:56.8

DNF Bella Mouchet

DNS Annie Cable

Open Men — 6.5 km free mass start

1. Colin Abbott 14:34.5

2. David Greer 14:36.6

3. Mathias Purdon 14:58.5

4. John Parry 16:56.1

Masters Men — 6.5 km free mass start

1. Dominic Bradford 16:01.1

DNS Jonathan Kerr

DNS Peter Sandiford

Masters Women — 5.2 km free mass start

1. Lucy Steele Masson 15:14.1

2. Lois Johnston 17:22.6

DNS Deb Higgins

Cross countryDon Sumanik Memorial RaceSki

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a public exposure warning on April 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
COVID-19 exposure notice issued for Air Canada flight

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a… Continue reading

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 9, 2021.… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read