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Local ski club set for coming season

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The Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club held its annual general meeting Nov. 27, which saw some significant changes among its board.

Jim and Kris Krag stated that after 10 years as president and secretary/treasurer, they did not wish to seek re-election.

The club then asked for nominations, with JoAnne Formanek Gustafson being elected as president and Matt Chalmers as treasurer.

Chris Boyer agreed to extend his term as vice-president for one more year while Kris Krag also agreed to extend her term as secretary for one more year.

The club will be actively seeking both a secretary and vice-president when Krag and Boyer complete their one-year extensions.

Formanek Gustafson said she feels comfortable moving into her new role as club president.

“I've been involved with the club for a few years and it's nice to take on one of those jobs that supports the work of the club,” she told the Times last Wednesday.

With the early snowfall this year, trail preparations have gone well so far for the club, thanks in large part to the help of volunteers.

“There's a small but mighty group of volunteers that every year makes sure that we're in [good] shape in terms of that,” noted Formanek Gustafson.

“They've really got us off to a good start because a lot of the prep work before snow is a key element,” she stressed.

“We actually had trails groomed at the beginning of November, which is almost unheard of.”

Formanek Gustafson also said while it's hard to know how the conditions will be moving forward, as it depends on the amount of snow that falls, the season prep is off to a good start.

“It's certainly a decent start, we got a base [to the trails] there,” she noted.

"On Monday they groomed for 'skate,' they rolled the trail, so we're ready for 'skate.'

“Probably from after the snow [that fell] the last day or two, we'll be in a position to put out a classic track,” she added.

“But really we leave that for the groomers to have a good look at and determine.”

Also discussed at the annual general meeting was that district ski association fees will remain unchanged this season, at $20 per member, and are part of the club membership payment.

Club membership fees will remain at $100 per individual (or the early-bird rate of $75 if paid by Dec. 31) and $150 per family of two (or the early-bird rate of $125 if paid by Dec. 31), plus $30 for each additional family member.

Members strongly are encouraged by Cross Country Canada to use the Zone4 online system to register and pay for their memberships, which the club will send an e-mail with a link to once the Zone4 registration page goes live.

The club also offers a youth program.

In related news, the Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club would like to invite everyone to burn off the Christmas turkey when it hosts the first-annual Rainy Lake Loppet community race on Saturday, Dec. 30.

You can can take your choice at three race distances of three km, five km, or 7.5 km.

During registration, you will be required to choose between skate or classic for race day.

Registration will take place online through Zone4 at https://zone4.ca/register but fees will be collected on race day.

The registration cut-off will be Dec. 29 at 9:59 p.m. so that a start order and list can be determined for race day.

The cost of the race will be $10 for a member and $15 for non-member.

As noted, fees will be collected on race day when you receive your bib number, with registration opening at 9:30 am.

The first race will start at 11 am.

Volunteers to help with the race also are welcome.

If you have any questions or can lend a helping hand, contact the club at rlnordic@gmail.com

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