Four athletes affiliated with Northeast Passage of Durham, NH, joined in the competition of the annual Vasalop Classical Ski Race at Weston Ski Track on Sunday, February 7th. They entered the race for the fun of it and to practice racing. As it turned out, distance, times, and placement were not the concern of the day as much as just being there and enjoying the opportunity.
Marlon Shepard, 19, is a student at the University of New Hampshire and an alpine skier discovering nordic skiing this season. He appreciates it for the real workout it offers and led the pack of sitskiers on the race course. He and his team mate Erica enjoyed hot blueberry soup after their race, a culinary reward in traditional Swedish nordic ski races.
Marlon will be hopping on a plane in March and heading to the Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, with sights on participating in 2014 in Russia. He is well-positioned at UNH to receive the training he needs to follow in the tracks of Tyler Walker and Laurie Stephens who are competing this year in Vancouver in alpine skiing. Go Marlon!
Other sitskiers on site were from the greater Boston area and I was pleased to learn from them that they have recently discovered the Weston Ski Track as a place to sitski, even at night. It will be great to see more sitskiing at Weston in the future, in addition to the Universal Access programs offered there by Brenda Davies of Outdoor Access. Brenda and a few volunteers assisted with race logistics prior to offering their second Universal Access winter program on Sunday. Thanks to Brenda, KC, Barry, Courtney, Adam, Nezirin, and everyone else who helped out!!!!