There’s still one more great youth-oriented skiing opportunity this season: the ConocoPhillips Interior Youth Championships, a popular year-end festival of junior ski racing will be held next Saturday, March 30 at Birch Hill Recreation Area. This annual end-of-season event showcases the best of old-school and new-school cross-country skiing for a fun day of racing and camaraderie for young skiers born in 1997 and after.
The festival atmosphere kicks off at 10 AM with the interval start classic technique race where skiers race against the clock in a 1, 2.5 or 5 km race (distance dependent on age – see entry form for specifics) on a fun-filled course with zippy downhills, short singletrack sections and a course layout designed for speed and featuring numerous fun technical challenges.
At high noon the focus shifts to the finishing stretch at Birch Hill where skiers will square off to see who the fastest skier is over a 100-meter classical technique sprint. Skiers will ski heats to select the finals in each age group – with lots of high-speed close finishes the drama and excitement is sure to be maxed. For those that wish to challenge someone outside of their age group (parents too) to a 100 meter duel (it is high noon, right?) the ‘super finals’ will be available after the regular heats for any takers.
After a short break for lunch, the final competitive event of the afternoon is the freestyle ski cross at 2:30 PM. Here skiers race down a predominantly downhill 500-meter course featuring tight turns, twists, jumps and bumps that challenges agility, balance and overall ski skills as well as fitness and ski speed. In older age classes, heats will again be used to select the finals for each age group.
Shortly following the ski cross the event concludes with awards for all three events, a prize raffle and pizza for all competitors.