Competition bigger at Sovereign Lake

Starting today, (March 3) two local skiers will be competing in the Masters World Cup Cross Country Skiing in Sovereign Lake, Vernon, BC. Shirley Lister and Laurens van Vliet have been training hard for this international event, which takes place about once every 10 years in Canada. There are over 1100 male and female skiers registered from 22 countries.The competition wraps up on March 11.

The Masters World Cup (MWC) is the peak of cross country skiing for the non-professional, citizen skier. There are no official qualifications for participating in this event. A Masters Skier is any adult age 30 and up, and who is a member of the National Masters Organization in their country. The MWC is open to any skill level and the camaraderie level amongst the competitors is high. Many of these veterans continue competing year after year against fellow skiers that quickly become their friends.

“The races are actually a lot of fun competing with so many international skiers, but also inspirational to see skiers over 70 years old competing and some of them even skiing faster than I do” says Laurens, who participated in 2008 in the MWC in McCall, Idaho. Next week, he will compete in 3 classic technique races: the 10, 15 and 30 km events. Classic technique is the kick-glide technique, also called diagonal stride. Shirley, who has participated in several MWC, competes in the skate ski technique as a skate skier. Laurens mentions that in local races he usually competes with 10 guys in his age category, while at the MWC races there could be up to 100 racers in the same age group.

Manning Park Resort is sponsoring Shirley and Laurens for the MWC by making training available free of charge on the beautiful 25 km track-set Cross Country Ski Trails, and by being very supportive of them both as racers.

– Submitted story

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