The Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club is set to host its first-annual Rainy Lake Loppet this Sunday (Feb. 4).
What is a loppet, you may ask?
It's a gathering of skiers who ski on a specifically-groomed trail—either classic (diagonal stride) or free (skating technique) of various distances.
The loppet can mean different things to participants. For some, it's intense competition.
For others, it's a relaxing way to spend a day outside, taking in the pristine beauty of the countryside or wilderness while enjoying the homegrown entertainment and great food and drink at the rest stops along the trail.
Interested skiers must register online via the Zone 4 website but fees will be collected on race day.
The registration cut-off will be this Saturday at 9:59 p.m. so that a start order and list can be determined for race day.
Skiers can choose from race distances of one, three, five, or 7.5 km, and will be required to choose between skate or classic for race day during registration.
The cost is $10 for club members and $15 for non-members, with fees being collected when participants receive their bib number.
Sign-in opens at 9:30 a.m., with the first race slated to begin at 11 a.m.
If you have any questions about the loppet, contact the club via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news, club president JoAnne Formanek Gustafson said in a press release that she had sent out a message last Thursday morning to the club executive to bring up a problem of almost being out of firewood.
What she didn't realize at the time is that the problem already had been solved, as club member Bob Main recently had talked to Don Tucker Logging, who generously offered a donation of firewood for the club.
“Donna and Bob Main went by the club this afternoon [Thursday] to pile the wood and found that an unknown club member had already stacked a good portion of it in our little wood shed, and they finished the job,” said Formanek Gustafson.
“Thank you Don Tucker, Bob Main, and Donna Main,” she noted.
"We are very fortunate to have so many volunteers who do the work needed to keep this club running on a shoestring budget.
“Thank you to all the volunteers and donors who keep us in such great shape,” added Formanek Gustafson.
"Through my service to this club, I'm seeing how much time, effort, and resources we are gifted with.
“It's truly inspiring.”