It's a blue bird day at Teacup Lake Nordic area and the sun lights up the snowy peak of nearby Mt. Hood. I push off on a crust of perfectly groomed Nordic track on my classic skis, trying to catch...
Kid racers and their families took over Multorpor on Martin Luther King Day for a lively day of competition and camaraderie under deep blue skies.
It was a perfect day for kid racing, enthusiastically welcomed by racer parents who have suffered through torrential downpours and thin snow bases for past Kandahars. The sun was out, the snow was plentiful and fast, and the Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy did an excellent job of setting a fast course for the kids down Mt. Hood Lane. Cowbells were clanking, dogs were playing in the snow, and racer families got a chance to catch up with old friends and cheer each other's kids on.
The view wasn't bad either.
289 kids aged 6-13 from Mt. Hood's four main youth racing programs competed in the 2017 Kandahar, traditionally the first Mount Hood Youth Ski League race of the year on the mountain. That's a lot of racers to run through a course, and things can get a little hectic when this happens.
There were plenty of crashes but no injuries, and the race crew did an excellent job keeping the course maintained and the kids safe. Competitors of all ages got in two runs down the GS course, dealing with a few tricky ruts along the way and tucking it to the finish. Mackenzie Greenslade of the Mt. Hood Race Team logged the best combined time of the day at 1:14:74. Look out for this kid; she's got serious skiing talent. And she's not alone. Mount Hood is stacked with youth racing talent, with four lively programs to choose from: Cooper Spur Race Team, Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy, Meadows Race Team and Multnomah Athletic Club. Not all of these kids will go on to race in college or FIS, but they will all develop an appreciation of the sport and skills that will last a lifetime.