Thursday, March 28, 2013

Random Tim Photo

He'll be back in Manitoba very soon.  Prepare yourself.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Levi placed in the top sixteen today at Nationals in the sprint competition.  It continues to be very warm in Whistler.  Levi has already requested team muscle shirts for next year.

Here's a link to the blog the Manitoba provincial team is updating over the course of the event:

Levi in the hunt

Some blog additions

I've added a bar near the top of the blog that will allow you reference posts by how I've labeled them. This allows people to quickly reference things like our new classifieds section or club membership information.

Also, I've added a "translate" option on the left-hand side of blog just below the list of posts. For instance, if your native language is Norwegian, you can now instantly tranlslate the entire blog into Norwegian! This is all part of our "world domination" project.

For example, "Dominating the world one stride at a time" translates into:

Dominere verden en skrittlengde på en gang
Ríkjandi í heiminum eitt skref í einu
Dominujący świat jeden krok na raz Jacek


I'm trying something new here ... a classifieds section.  For now, put any items you want to buy or sell in the comments (or send me an e-mail):

Mar 27

Jeff M:
Size 46 RC carbon skate boot - 2 years old - worn less then 10 times b/c they were to tight. paid $225 - asking -$150
Salomon Equipe 9 skating skate with pilot bindings -191cm - good for 150-175lbs, little to soft for me. Just freshly stone ground and hot boxed. paid $350 - plus $100 stone grind and hotbox from Whister Nordic shop, asking $250.

Not skiing, but a great Manitoba athlete

A Winnipeg, Manitoba, native, Brault began her athletic career as a swimmer, but finishing in the middle of the pack did not satisfy her competitive drive. At the beginning of high school, Brault transitioned all the training she did for swimming into running on the track and found that she was having a lot more fun winning races. Brault was a silver medalist in the 3,000 meters at the Canadian Junior Nationals in 2006 and 2007 and also represented Manitoba at cross country junior nationals from 2005-06.

full article here:

Caught on Tape...

Check out this video.  I am amused by the suspicious "transaction" that takes place in the background.  This may be where those counterfeit Fischers are coming from.  Later, Larry seems concerned that he was caught on tape.

By the way, a big thanks to all of the Wednesday night race volunteers this year!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Under the "What the ?" category

I just saw this on the Ski Association website for trail reports:

Say goodbye to perfect trails at Birds Hill Park.  I was enjoying a perfect ski on a perfect trail (Blue Stem) when a skiier approached me from the opposite direction.  He was skate skiing on the track set trail ruining both sets of tracks as he went by.  When I advised him that he should not be skating on this trail and that he was ruining it for other skiers he simply said “get out of my way or I’ll run you over” and “tell somebody who cares”.   He had ruined the Blue Stem trail west of Chickadee as well as part of the Chickadee trail itself.  I am befuddled as to why a skier would be so disrepectful towards the trail and fellow skiers.  This large person was wearing a touque and a heavy green or khaki parka.  Please be on the lookout for this individual.

This trail-wrecking skier sounds like he may be dealing with the emotional frustration of missing out on being part of Downtown Nordic.

Latest Update:
We've figured it out ... clearly this person is Coach Tim ... he must be back and apparently this is how he skied in Saskatchewan.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Levi at National Championships

The National Championships start this Saturday at the Olympic trails near Whistler.  One member of our junior race team will be competing starting on Sunday and you should be able to follow his efforts on

I did a quick check to see what the weather will be like ....

In cycling, they have started to use "ice" vests to keep riders cool on hot days.  We may need to consider using these for skiing as well!

Falun World Cup finals on CBC

The rumour is that CBC will have coverage of the Cross Country World Cup finals this week-end in Falun, Sweden.  The world cup finals include a short indiviudal "proloque" on Friday, a classic mass start race on Saturday, and a skate pursuit race on Sunday.

Be sure to chec your local listings ...

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 
3:00-4:30p.m. ET 

Sunday night, March 24th, 2013
1:00 a.m. local time

Some late-breaking news ...

Fearing Safety, Athletes Threaten to Boycott Falun Races

Alex Harvey & Kikkan Randall on Norwegian Late Night TV

Sadly, no mention of Downtown Nordic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roller skiing

It's time to think about roller-skiing ... actually it's not, but people are asking about it :)

Technique, Technique, Technique
There are two important things to consider about roller skiing:

1) they can really help your technique

2) they can really screw up your technique

Hopefully that clears things up!

If you do a lot of roller skiing over the summer, you will really ingrain the state of your technique -- whatever that may be.  So, if you are roller-skiing this summer, be sure to constanty work on your technique to make sure every stride is a good stride.  (I'm thinking of changing our club slogan to "Dominating the world one good stride at a time!)

What to use
There are a few brands that I know a bit about:

 - top of the line, somewhat expensive, only available through Finn Sisu in Minneapolis

 - best value ... made in Minnesota

 - their older styles are not recommended for the newly paved route at Birds HIll Park.  I used V2's for years and they worked quite well.  For some reason when the new ashphalt was put down on the bird's hill park loop, they tend to catch every little piece of gravel or ashphalt chip and give yo an abrupt stop.  Everyone I know who had V2's has had this problem

- their newer "aero" models with an inflatable tire have been better, but I have heard some problems with longevity of the tires.

Pursuit has a deal of 10% off for orders of 5 or more.  Let me know if you would like to participate in a group order

Where to roller-ski
First thing to know is your poles (with special carbide tips put on them) will only dig-in on asphalt and not cement.

Birds Hill Park is number 1 ... check out the review here:

Assiniboine Park and surrounding trails are OK, but moments of broken up pavement here and there.

St.Vital Park used to be great, but the pavement has really detoriated

Bishop Grandin Trail near Waverly.  There is a very nice 2k stretch with some rolling hills.

Lots of bike trails have come up in the city over the last few years.  Once the section near Bishop Grandin and Kenaston is finished (this year?).  You'll be able to do about a 25K city loop on roller skis (with some stopping at lights and a few residential roads to connect things).

Any other thoughts on roller-skiing ...  let's hear you in the comments section.  Also, if you are looking to sell used roller skis, post that in the comments section as well.

Roller Skiing videos

Here are a few great ones:

Northug versus Hellner ... on the track at Oslo's Bislett Stadium!

Therese Johaug leading the women's field up the famous Lysebotn mountain road in Norway:

Roller skiing in canmore ... hey, who is that guy?!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Downhill practice

My personal highlight of the Downtown Nordic club this season was the night we did downhill practice.  Some rare footage of that night has turned up ... check it out:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Holmenkollen races

This weekend are the famous Oslo Holmenkollen distances races.  The men race 50 K on Saturday and the women 30 K on Sunday. 

The Saturday race starts a little later than normal making it a bit easier for us in North America to watch this race live.  The race starts at 8AM Winnipeg time and should finish around 10AM or so.  You can usually get the Eurosport English live feed though either or (you may need to wait 30 seconds before you can "click off" the ads).

Here's a preview of the course ... I like the 3 little animated people they have racing the course :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Where is Jean skiing?

Check out these photos from club member Jean Polfus:

From Jean:
I'm living in Tulit'a now, but have been traveling all over the Sahtu Region, including up above the Arctic Circle (I was in Colville Lake last week and it was -45!). We have a nice 5 k loop from our office in Tulit'a that goes around the airstrip outside of town. It has been skidoo'ed in, and we track it in a few times a week. We consistently see lynx, wolf, ptarmigan, and snowshoe hare tracks on our trail.

Check out her totally cool blog:


We sent Tim a toque ...

In case Tim forgot what Downtown Nordic was about, we included some instructions ...

Drammen Sprints

The world cup made it's way to Norway this week with a classic sprint in the city of Drammen on Wednesday.

Here is a video of the women's and men's finals.  A couple of the men went with skate skis and double-poled the fairly hill course.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Where did you ski this year?

Where did you ski this year?  I want to see if we can come up with a list of where all of the blog readerrs have skied this season.  I know we have readers from around the country and also around the world.  Tell me where you've skied this year in the comments section.

I'll start with my list and then just post any additional spots that you have skied.  Here goes (in order of when I skied them):

Windsor Park Nordic Centre, Winnipeg
Wildwood golf course, Winnipeg
Canmore Nordic Centre, Canmore, Alberta
Birch Ski area, near Roseisle, Manitoba
ABR trails, Ironwood Michigan

Green Acres Recreation area, near St. Paul, Minnesota
Trapp Family Lodge trails, Stowe, Vermont
Pinawa, Manitoba
City of Lakes Loppet trail, throughout Minneapolis, Minnesota
Birkie Trail, Wisconsin

Buena Vista trails, near Bemidji, Minnesota
Mount Evergreen trails, near Kenora, Ontario
Falcon Ridge trails, Falcon Lake, Manitoba
Burwalde Woods, near Winkler, Manitoba

OK People, now what additional areas did you ski ... I want to hear from everyone!

I'll make a new post with the entire list next Saturday.  Let's see if we can get to 50 ski areas for the readers of this blog.

You can enter a comment by selecting "Anonymous" from the drop down menu in the comments section.  If you want to type in your name as well, that's great, but no requirement there.

Where did you ski?

March 11th edit:
9 comments ... nice.  We're now up to 41 places we've skied this year!!  Keep 'em comin.  Here are the additional places so far:

Adam Lake
My Back 80 acres
Lappe (Thunder Bay)
Cantley, Quebec
Wapiti Nordic, Grande Prairie

Riding Mountain
Callahan Valley, BC
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (Alberta)
Grand Beach

Mantario (lakes, to the cabin)
Assiniboine Park
Lasalle River
Parents back 40 in Glen Robertson Ontario
Birds hill park

Trans Canada trail from Falcon Lake, and all around Betula Lake area
My back 0.00057392acres
Mount MacIntyre, Whitehorse Yukon
Camp Arnes, MB
Camp Morton Prov. Park, MB

Lake Winnipeg
My back lane (downtown)
Banff townsite trails
Chateau Lake Louise trails
West Hawk Lake trails

Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Churchill Parkway, Winnipeg

Friday, March 8, 2013

Another Video

This is a great all-around video, but the thing you need to check out is the few seconds of Devon Kershaw training for double-poling in the gym at 1:13.

Welcome to Downtown Nordic's summer training program :)

Riding Mountain Loppet

Downtown Nordic leading at the Riding Mountain Loppet last Saturday:

"No, you lead.", "No that's OK, you can lead", "No, No, you're doing a great job leading" ....

Johan Olsson wishes he was as good as me:

Downtown Nordic ... dominating a trail near you :)

Turtle Mountain Provincial Park

You don't need to head too far west to get some mountains .... check out the trails at Turtle Mountain Provincial Park:

A message from our Southwest Manitoba correspondent:

These are the Lake Adam trails in the Turtle Mountains; 40km of groomed trails. 6km from the trailhead there is James Lake Cabin which is free to stay in but must be reserved through the Boissevain Natural Resources/conservation office (sleeps 12) the best hills are on the trails beyond the cabin. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tim 3rd at the Saskaloppet

In case you missed it ... Coach Tim finished third in the 55KM event at the Saskaloppet in La Ronge!  (I like the name -- will the Whiteshell Club consider renaming their event the 'Manitoloppet'??)

It was a close battle and unfortunately Tim succumbed to the dreaded "bonk" near the end of the race.  Luckily, we had someone video tape his dramatic finish and collapse so we could post it here for your enjoyment.

Tim is the one in the red toque and with the ponytail sticking out the back.

Congrats Tim!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Johan Olsson

Johan Olsson skied one of the greatest 50K classic races of all time yesterday at the World Championships.  He broke away early in the race and managed to hold on for the win.  (photo courtesy of

The closing minutes are captured here:

He also has perhaps the best skate technique of anyone in the world.  Check out the slow motion of his skiing 40 seconds in on this video.

Downtown Nordic is currently in talks to sign Johan Olsson up for our club.  We just have to finalize how much he will pay us.

Using your hips to initiate power in skiing

We'll talk a bit about this at Tuesday's practice.  If you carefully watch his hips ... you'll see that they start the motion in both the power phase and the recovery phase ... remember the whip analogy

Ken In Tights

All season long, Coach Tim and I have been threatening to cut Ken from the club ... that he wasn't trying hard enough and that he was on the bubble of being cut (hence the nickanme Bubble Boy).

On Staurday, Ken achieved his season long goal of racing the Sleeping Giant Loppet in Thunder Bay.  Nice work Ken!


Theses pictures are from last week's Shannondale Fun Day (courtesy of club member Steve Biggs).  Shannondale is located just west of Morden.  It's a fabulous set of trails (with some good size hills).  Perhaps condiser trying out the trails before this winter is over.

Dave Lumgair, the guy that runs the place, is a ball of positive energy.  The last time I saw him, I said "great day for a ski" and he replied with a big smile "it's always a great day for a ski!".  That is my kind of guy.