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Saturday, February 26, 2000 -- Davis, WV
Trick or Tree Backcountry Race
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Pictures] [Results]

Complete coverage is also now available from all of Sunday's festivities.

Sunset
Just another spectacular day in Canaan Valley
A beautiful spring-like day on the slopes of Timberline Resort set the stage for the start of the weekend-long Norpine Festival 2000. With a packed schedule that included telemark clinics for all abilities, telemark tours, a traditional Nordic costume contest, an Apres ski party sponsored by WV Brewing Co., and more, there was certainly a little something for everyone.

The weekend also included a series of races that began with Saturday's Trick or Tree Backcountry Race. With two more races on Sunday, along with the costume contest, the weekend would end with the crowning of The Nordic King & Queen.

Charlie Waters
Charlie Waters prepares to free more than just her heels
This day's race course consisted of a nice long skate up the Winterset trail to the top of Lower Dew Drop and the Pearly Glades. From here is was a very technical descent back to the start. Beginning with a section of marked trees through the wooded Pearly Glades it soon took the racers onto Dew Drop and the terrain park for a launch off the first table top. From there it was on to several more alternating sections of woods and terrain park to keep everyone's heart pumping between dodging trees and negotiating jumps.

With a pre-race vote determining that the race would consist of two circuits of the course, prompting winces and moans from several competitors, everyone lined up for a noon start. With the temperatures warming well into the 60's and plenty of sunshine, the climb up the soft, slow snow on Winterset was sure to spread out the competition.

Laird Knight
Laird Knight isn't out of the woods, yet
Strutting their stuff up the mountain, female telemarkers Sue Haywood and Charlie Waters soon were setting the pace at the front. Matching their stamina on the climb with good tele skills on the downhill, their was no catching this pair. Haywood completed her two laps in 29 minutes to take first overall honors with Waters taking second overall in 30 minutes.

The best of the men's field came down to a three way battle between Shawn Riggle, Steve Kaufman and Eric Robisch. After the first climb it was Riggle, Robisch and Kaufman racing one-two-three, respectively. By the end of the second climb it was Kaufman chasing the heels of Riggle for first with Robisch back to third.

In the end Riggle managed to hold off his challengers to win the men's title in 31:45 and Kaufman taking second at 31:56. Robisch took third in 32:50 as he was chased to the finish by the third place female finisher, Terry Peterson, who came across the line at 33:00.