Feb 012016

This past weekend was terrific!- Next weekend’s Empire State Games will be excellent too!  The show will go on despite the warmup!

– registration closes Wednesday, Course adjustments will surely be made due to weather. Details will be finalized Thursday. So sign up now, we don’t plan to cancel it, but refunds will be issued if the event is cancelled.

Empire State Winter Games

First the recap:

The USSA Supertour came to town for the Harry Eldridge weekend. The ORDA staff made a top notch trail for the Saturday sprints and Sunday classic races.

It was great to see more snow this winter. In a NYSSRA first: we have held 4 out of 6 races this year on artificial snow. -Man made snow has come a long way, this snow was beautiful, and a pleasure to ski on.


It was so exciting to see New York racers ski so fast especially in a field that contained some blazing fast Olympians.

Saturdays winners were: Kelsey Phinney, and Dave Norris

(fun facts: fastest times of the day: Caitlin Patterson and Cole Morgan, NYSEF’s Karl Schultz was in the top 20, and was just a second off Norris’ winning time).

Sundays winners were: Caitlin Patterson, and Dave Norris

Check out results here, there were some very fast times put in by the 500+ athletes on course.

Results page

Top times for the sprint finals were 15 seconds faster than sprint qualifier times!

Early in the week it appeared Sunday would be raining in the 50’s. Mother nature came through though, by race day temps were mostly in the 40s with good sun. The Sunday Classic races changed to Interval start due to the narrower start area of the Ski Jump complex vs Van Hovenburg’s Stadium. It was a good call, but it would have been quite a spectacle to see the whole race field packed into a shared start area.


The conditions on Sunday were super. Racers were treated to a rock solid track that remained intact (seriously there was only about 30 meters of one uphill where the track was herring boned off) after all 4 races!

This is quite a feat with a 2.5 KM course, a couple hundred U16 racers who skied 2 laps and about 300: U18, U23, Sr, and Master racers skied 4 laps. that is 1600 laps before you count warm ups, and coaches testing. A big thank you to ORDA’s trail crew, racers really appreciate the quality trail.

(see, the track is still intact all the way up that monster hill)


Racers legs were a different story, the substantial climbs in the course profiles took their toll on the athletes. You can see from the split times in the unofficial results that most racers built up enough lactic acid in their quads to make each lap a bit slower than the last. With the old transformed snow, it was Klister conditions in the purple to red range. A large crew of wax techs worked diligently to which provide solid kick without too much drag. Thanks guys!

Course map and profile

Next weekend:Empire State Winter Games will be in Lake Placid this weekend. If course modifications are necessary you will read about it here or on the ESWG site.

Currently details are here:

Empire State Winter Games

For XC skiers the ESWG’s are also NYSSRA’s “TourNado” A mini tour de ski format of sprint, long distance, middle distance to test skiers abilities over 3 days of racing.

This weekend is always a blast, so if you can make it you really should come up. Whether you want to be a faster JR racer, or are a weekend warrior looking to get your heart rate up, Empires is a great place to be. Based on what ORDA pulled of last weekend racers can be assured that the trails will be quite nice.

In Biathlon news Saratoga Biathlon managed to hold 2 days of racing thanks to countless hours of trail work. Kudos Kurt, Jim, Darwin and anyone I forgot for pulling it off. Champs will be on those trails at the end of this month. Even with little snow the trails have been great, so mark your calendar and plan on attending NYSSRA champs.




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