Snow makes for fun, successful Nordic ski marathon Saturday

Sixteen-year-old Sadi Oswald blew past skiers to win first place for women in the Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon 20-kilometer race on Saturday, March 12. Sadie, who had never skied in Homer before came down from Anchorage with her father, Peter, for the event. 

“It was unexpected because I thought I was going really slow, but apparently not,” Sadie said.

With a lot of Alaska lacking snow during this warmer winter, Homer currently beats out Anchorage for quality ski conditions. Sadie said she enjoyed skiing a different terrain as well.

“The snow was way better than it was in Anchorage. I like the rolling hills, that was really fun, and just being in the meadows and stuff because that’s so different from Anchorage,” Sadie said.

Homer skier Stacey Buckelew also had an impressive finish, coming in second place in the 40-kilometer race despite breaking a pole part way through the race.

“I had to ski about four or five kilometers with one pole and then I had to go back to my car to get a replacement pair of poles, so I thought that put me really far back,” Buckelew said.

After poor snow conditions blocked Kachemak Nordic Ski Club from putting on the event for the last two years, Ohlson Mountain’s Lookout trails provided skiers with more than enough powder to skate on. Though the conditions weren’t perfect, the skiers agreed it was some of the better skiing of the season.

“For the first half lap it was pretty firm, but actually it was incredible conditions compared to what we’ve been skiing all winter. The second half of the 20k, there were moments where it was pretty slushy and the trail was breaking down a little bit, but considering they’ve got a few feet of snow up there, it was pretty awesome. I really commend the race workers for all their work, and the snow gods,” said Darin Markwardt, a 20-kilometer race participant from Soldotna.

The club held three events — a 14-kilometer tour, 20-kilometer race and 40-kilometer race — and attracted skiers from Homer, Anchorage, Soldotna, Sterling, Fairbanks, Seward, Fritz Creek and Bend, Oregon. The marathon took place at Doug Schwiesow stadium, named in memory of the Homer skier who was the backbone of the race for a long time, said KNSC member and event organizer Deland Anderson. Schwiesow, a longtime Homer resident who helped build the Lookout Mountain trails, passed away December 2011 from complications with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

“The memory of Schwiesow was present as people raced in his stadium,” Anderson said. “I think its pretty clear in the skiing community that he was the heart and soul of that race.”

Though the marathon could not go the traditional route down into town, as the creeks were not frozen over enough, the skiers had plenty of room to race around the mountain trails. 

However the March 11 rain did give Anderson a scare.

“Last night I woke up at 10:07 (p.m.) with the rain pouring on my roof and I thought, ‘This is a bad relationship.’ But it turned out perfect, we had a fresh inch of snow up there,” Anderson said.

Afterwards though, Anderson was all smiles and declared the day a success.

“Everyone’s happy and nothing went wrong. It’s just a great community event that brings everyone together,” Anderson said. “People come forward and have a good day. No worries, clear your mind, scrub out your brain pan, and go have a blast. … I’ve been here 20 years and this is the best community I know of skiers.”

 

 

 

 

Marathon Results:

 

14K Female:

1st: Amber Lukin

2nd: Sarah Barrowcliff

3rd: Karen Marquardt

 

14K Male:

1st: Glenn Seaman

2nd: Derek Bynagle

3rd: Leonard Miller

 

20K Female:

1st: Sadie Oswald

2nd: Tamra Kornfield

3rd: Kailey Mucha

 

20K Male: 

1st: Levi Michael

2nd: David Spencer

3rd: Scott Hauser

 

40K Female: 

1st: Sarah Freistone

2nd: Stacey Buckelew

3rd: Jane Wiebe

 

40K Male: 

1st: Fischer Gangemi

2nd: Andre Lovett

3rd: Max Kaufman

More in Sports

Homer’s Sienna Carey rushes to pass two Soldotna High School cross-country runners at the finish line of the girls 5K race Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 during the Homer Invitational held on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Sports in brief

Upcoming events Volleyball: The Lady Mariners play Kenai Central High School tonight… Continue reading

Iskatel at sea earlier this summer. Last Thursday morning, Aug. 30, 2018, the inflatable catamaran arrived at the Homer, Alaska, harbor after a two-year trip from Lake Baikal, Russia, to Homer, arriving Aug. 26. (Photo provided/Baikal-Alaska Expedition)
Russian catamaran completes 2-year voyage from Siberia to Homer

Adventurers have sailed or paddled before to Homer in boats and kayaks,… Continue reading

Sean Campbell reaches the finish line of the Homer Mariner Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. He completed the running leg of the race for his team, Gutzler’s Return. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Breidinger, Spinelli win Homer Mariner Triathlon

Homer’s roads were overtaken once again last Saturday by the iron men… Continue reading

Reeling ‘em in: Nick answers the big question: What’s so addicting about fishing?

Now that the tourists are in full migration south and the cranes… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Upcoming events Volleyball: The Lady Mariners will play against Grace Christian School… Continue reading

Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

General announcements Please contact staff to report problems, or file complaints or… Continue reading

Mariners lose to Monroe in close game

The football players of Monroe Catholic High School eked out a slim… Continue reading

Reeling ’em in: Silver fishing gives flash of fall

Now that we are teetering on the precipice of September’s slide into… Continue reading

Anchorage resident Brian Shumaker and Kristin Faulkner, who used to swim for Homer High School before she went to college and then moved to New York, race each other to the finish line of the Homer Mariner Triathlon at Homer High School on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. The two remained on each other’s tail throughout much of the race before Shumaker passed Faulkner at the last second to claim first overall. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Tri on deck this weekend

The annual Homer Mariner Triathlon is coming up this weekend and promises… Continue reading

Most Read