HANCOCK -- The Sons of Norway Ulseth Lodge 5-670 invites area youth and their families to the 3rd annual Barneløpet* Cross-Country Ski Race from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010, at the Maasto Hiihto cross-country ski trails, Hancock.
Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) and Sons of Norway representatives participate in the recent Heikinpäivä Parade, with banners announcing the coming Barneløpet, or "children's race" for youth and their families, to be held at the Maasto Hiihto ski trails on Sunday, Feb. 7. Carrying the KNSC banner in the foreground are Jay Green, left, and Sandy Aronson. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)
The Barneløpet, a Norwegian word meaning "the children’s race," is open to youth ages three through 17 and their families. The event is sponsored by Sons of Norway, Portage Health, the City of Hancock and the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC).
The non-competitive family ski race is free this year, with a suggested free-will donation of $3.00 per skier or $5.00 per family. Registration begins at 1 p.m. at the ski chalet. Ski start times are from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Parents are encouraged to ski with their children if they wish.
"This is a special day for youth and their families to spend some time skiing and having fun together," says Wayne Stordahl, president of the local chapter of Sons of Norway. "Cross-country skiing is a popular family activity in Norway and we want to encourage that here, too."
Stordahl adds that a second reason for hosting the Barneløpet is to spotlight the great cross-country trails in Hancock. He says that the KNSC maintains and grooms over 26 kilometers of "striding" ski trails, with financial assistance from the City of Hancock.
Skiers head for the finish line during the 2009 Annual Barneløpet Cross Country Ski Race at Maasto Hiihto Trails in Hancock. Click here for our slide show of last year's Barneløpet.
The KNSC will groom four courses for the event. Relatively easy one-, two-, and four-kilometer courses will be open, as well as a more difficult six-kilometer course, which descends into the gorge and follows the stream. Skiers can "stride" any of the four courses, and a large time clock will be running for those who wish to time themselves.
All youth who finish their course will be awarded a colorful Norwegian Olympic-style enameled medallion. Skiers will also be treated to cookies and hot chocolate or coffee.
A Barneløpet registration form can be downloaded at www.keweenawtrails.com/events.html.
For additional information, contact Wayne Stordahl at 906-482-0292.
Visit www.nlc-calumet.org/SON for more information about the local chapter of Sons of Norway.
Sons of Norway is an international organization promoting Norwegian traditions, fraternal fellowship and cultural learning in the United States, Canada and Norway. Local Sons of Norway lodge activities may include language camps, scholarships, handcrafts, cooking and cultural classes, heritage and sports awards programs, travel opportunities and the monthly Viking magazine. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Sons of Norway was founded in 1895.
*Pronunciation guide: Barneløpet = bar NEE lop it