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

Michael, Sarah, Pete, Becky, Will and Margaret take a picture in front of Exit Glacier in Seward on Aug. 21.
Out of the Office: Finally feeling at home

Homer News reporter Sarah Knapp explores Alaska with Tennessee family.

Photo by Kat Sorensen 
Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.
Tangled Up in Blue: Hand Dipped

The Lost Lake Run was a long one. I ran over 15… Continue reading

A Student Conservation Association team builds traditions around a game of Catan in a tent by Funny River. (Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service)
Refuge Notebook: Settlers of Catan in the backcountry

By SANJA ZELEN Kenai National Wildlife Refuge It was 10 miles out… Continue reading

tease
Grace runners sweep Homer Invitational

The Grace Christian girls and boys cross-country teams swept the Homer Invitational… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Football COVID-19 issues with the Seward Seahawks caused the football team to… Continue reading

Carter Tennison scores a touchdown for the Homer Mariners against Kodiak High School on Saturday, Aug.28. The Mariners won 34-0. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Sports in brief

Football Upcoming games: 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3: Varsity vs. Seward, Seward… Continue reading

The pump track at Kachemak City Park is now open for use when the park is dry. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Kachemak City Park pump track open for use

Bikes are pumping at the new Kachemak City Park pump track, located… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: So long and thanks for all the fish tips: Nick closes out the season

I had heard rumors that there were still some jumpers accompanying the… Continue reading

Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Sean Parnell, second from right, announces the reinstatement of the hockey team at a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in the hockey locker room in Anchorage, Alaska. From left are Kathie Bethard, Save Seawolf Hockey chairwoman; university athletic director Greg Myford; Parnell; and former hockey player Jim Mayes. Donors, including the NHL’s newest team, raised over $3 million after the program was eliminated.
College hockey returns to Anchorage; Kraken get an assist

ANCHORAGE — Hockey is returning to the University of Alaska Anchorage after… Continue reading

Most Read