Three Team OAM Now Nordic Skiers finish in top 5, Overall, at Noquemanon

January 26th, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors

By Kaitlyn Patterson, Team OAM Now Multi-sport Athlete

IMG953168The Noquemanon Ski Marathon is one of Michigan’s premier cross country ski events and has been on my athletic bucket list for years. It is a challenging, point to point, race that begins in Ishpeming and finishes at the Superior Dome in Marquette, Michigan. Although there is a net descent over the 50k race, there is some serious climbing over the first half. The Noquemanon is unique in that the 50k Classic is the featured race and draws talent from across the Midwest.

Classic races add several elements of challenge because kick waxing is so crucial. This year’s weather was on the opposite end of the spectrum from last year’s “snowmageddon,” with temperatures hovering just above freezing. Waxing for the changing weather was a source of anxiety for most skiers in the classic race as everyone tried to decide what would be the trick for optimal kick and glide.

The entire Team OAM Now Nordic team took on the challenge of the 50k Classic race beginning in the Elite wave. I have not spent much time on classic skis since high school and was less than confident about racing a marathon. Although I seriously considered changing to the freestyle race, I decided to go for the classic race to just see what might happen.

IMG_0348The start of any ski race is tricky to navigate with many bodies, skis, and poles in a condensed area. Thankfully, we were off smoothly, the tracks were not as icy as expected and my skis were kicking and gliding well. Less than 5k in, I saw teammate Jon Morgan off to the side holding his hamstring after a bad fall. He unfortunately had to pull out with a torn muscle. I heeded his warning and was a bit more cautious on the tricky descents.

I felt great after the first 15k, but realized that my pacing was a bit ambitious and I had fallen behind on my calorie intake. I fell off the pack I was skiing with, but was able to regroup, drink, and ski more relaxed. I skied significantly more  smoothly and stronger the second half and was able to pull back several racers. By the final 10k, my upper body was toasted from the hours of double poling and I was thankful to see the Dome appear in the distance.

Overall, the race and the course lived up to expectations in both challenge and impressive scenery with the Lake Superior overlook, frozen lake crossings, and granite bluffs. The organizers do an amazing job with the logistics of putting on such a long point to point race.

I ended up finishing in 4th place overall and Rebecca Davis was just behind me in 5th. Dan Yankus had a strong race to finish 5th place in a strong field. Alex Vanias finished in 16th, and Mike Davis 33rd overall. Another great day for Team OAM! We’re hoping Jon has a speedy recovery!


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