Hinderbinder 2021 Despite challenges, 2021 Hinderbinder a hit
When participants in the annual Hinderbinder Cross Country Ski Race arrived to compete at Forest Springs Camp and Conference Center on Saturday morning, they were met with a new course confi guration.
Norm Hoyt, race director and director of educational ministries Forest Springs, explained that for most of 2020, crews at Forest Springs worked on their trails and were blessed with donors stepping up to help them get into Pisten Bully grooming.
“Needless to say, we were eager to use our trails at Forest Springs for the 2021 Hinderbinder.” Hoyt said. Unfortunately, the snow just hasn’t come.
“The trails are skiable but not quite good enough for the race. That last snow ‘storm’ on Jan. 14 fell short of what we hoped for,” he said.
“Just before noon the day before the race, we made the decision to use James Lake, a part of our ski hill and two trails that were just good enough. The grooming was done Friday afternoon and Saturday morning - just hours before the race. It was kind of a mad scramble,” Hoyt said.
By 10 a.m., they were ready with a 4.3 K loop. Middle school students did one lap, high school students did two laps, adults could choose skate or classic and did either 3 laps (12.9K) or 4 laps (17.2K).
“This year, we knew that many cross country venues are really struggling with little or no snow, but with James Lake and man-made snow on our hill, we were blessed to put on a race,” he said.
The date of the Hinderbinder ended up to be perfect for the middle and high school teams from northern Wisconsin. They ended up with a record number of student racers (90). Teams came from Ashland, Wausau, Rhinelander, Lakeland, Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls, Spooner and a few students not part of a team. The racers and teams loved the course.
“A coach told me, ‘I love this course! We can see the students for long parts of the race, we can watch their hill climbing and they get to do Nordic downhill as they come down the Bunny hill doing sweeping turns.’ Another coach said, ‘Can we do this every year?’” Hoyt said.
While the student aspect of the Hinderbinder was a great success, organizers were disappointed in the adult turnout. “I had hoped for at least 50 adults but we were far lower than that. Those that did ski the course loved it,” Hoyt said.