If running shoes and running shorts don’t make you excited, maybe a warmup in a jump suit to “Rocky” will.
The coordinators of the June 29 Homer Spit Run are committed to making all the participants feel like Sylvester Stallone.
“The goal this year is to make the run fun and festive for everyone, from the top placing runners to the stroller walkers and volunteers,” said Mary Kate Green, one of the event coordinators.
The Mariner boys and girls soccer teams ended the regular season with back-to-back home games of mixed emotions. Friday’s senior night honored 10 graduating players, while the team honored themselves with wins against Palmer.
Lady Mariners 1; Moose 0
Colony 3; Mariners 0
The Lady Mariners won 1-0 against the Moose making it goalkeeper Zoia Basargin’s first shutout game.
The Mariners boys and girls soccer team dominated Kenai Peninsula rival Nikiski for two shutouts at the first home game of the season last Thursday.
The Lady Mariners won 3-0 with a scoreless first half. Senior Hope Hudson scored the first goal to exploding cheers from the sidelines.
“We definitely did better in the second half,” said Hudson.
Teammate Maggie Koplin agreed. “We stepped it up. We had better passing and more communication,” said Koplin.
The Mariner boys and girls soccer teams started the season on the right foot with dual shutout games against Houston on Friday. The girls dominated Houston 8-0 and the boys followed suit with an 11-0 win.
“It’s always good to score in the first game of the season,” said Head Girls Coach Mickey Todd.
The teams traveled to the Valley for a mixed bag in field conditions. The Houston game was hosted on Colony’s new turf field — a bittersweet luxury, according to Todd.
Rock climbing junkies roughed-up their calluses on Saturday for the fourth annual HoWL Climbing Competition at the Bay Club. This year’s turnout brought climbers from as far as Anchorage and Yosemite with professional routes set by Anchorage’s Alaska Rock Gym route setters.
The 17 climbers competed in various divisions such as beginner, intermediate, open, lead and speed. Each division has participants climb three judged routes. Judges base their scoring on difficulty of route, the number of holds the competitors successfully reach, and cleanliness of climb.
The Mariners boys soccer team has started the season with a few injured limbs, but the hope is the healing will finish before the snow melts. The team of 36 boys started its first official day of practice March 25.
“Practice ends at 8 p.m., but when the boys heard the gym was going to be open later, they stayed. It is 8:40 p.m. now and these boys are just wrapping up. It proves that they are eager and excited for the season,” said Head Coach Warren Waldorf on the first day of practice.
In a celebration of spring, the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club’s Sea to Ski Triathalon rang in the warm weather with a wet run, a muddy bike ride and a slushy ski on Sunday.
“The weather was great for this race. The trail slowed down at the end because of the new snow, but overall it was great,” said race coordinator Mike Byerly.
For those of us who saw the northern lights electrify Homer’s sky early Sunday morning, those lights of emerald green and vivid violet could not come at a better time for the remaining 14 Homer Epic 100 athletes still on the 100K.
“For these racers, it was a long day and now it’s night. Every muscle in their body aches, their food reserves are running low, and they are trying to stay warm. Then the northern lights start dancing all around the sky. It was as if someone was smiling down on the race,” said Race Coordinator Kathy Sarns.
Just because the weather says it’s spring doesn’t mean ski movies should be taken off your Netflix queue. The Down East is making sure the ski season stays alive and strong next Wednesday with the showing of the 2011 ski film “Being There” and slush-skiing rock of the band Salem from Breckenridge, Colo.
The one-hour film by Norway-based Field Productions is the eighth ski movie on the company’s curriculum vitae, featuring Norway’s biggest names in modern freeskiing from big mountain to big jumps.
A grueling 26-mile marathon ski race, known to be the most difficult in the state with its big steep hills and backcountry feel, took place under picturesque conditions Saturday.
The 25K and 42K (the equivalent to the traditional 26 marathon miles) race started at the Lookout Mountain Trails and ended at the Baycrest Trails.
Pins were racked nonstop at Kachemak Bowl on Saturday, where packed lanes of young and old bowled for the "Bowl for Kids Sake" event, a fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Homer program.
More than 100 participants and 16 teams attended the event to raise a goal of $9,000 for the Homer program. Aside from individual donations, 54 Homer businesses donated items for the raffle. Wells Fargo, GCI, First National Bank of Alaska, and Petro Express also made corporate donations to the event.
The Mariners young small team showed the competition whose home course it was at the Nordic skiing Regions meet last weekend at the Lookout Mountain Trails on Ohlson Moutain.
Seven teams competed in the last meet before State meet this weekend in Anchorage. The Lady Mariners took a strong third place, less than a minute behind second place Colony. Grace Christian won the Regions title for the girls.
The Mariner boys took fifth place behind Soldotna, Kenai, Colony and Grace as a result of Friday's dissatisfying race according to some.
The Lady Mariner Nordic ski team smoked the competition last weekend at the Borough ski meet held at Lookout Mountain. The boys team held strong, taking third overall against Kenai, Skyview, Seward, and SoHi.
"It was a tough course and I thought the team did well. We practiced the course all week," said Head Coach Eric Groth.
With a home course advantage, the Mariners proved Saturday that they have been practicing hard on Lookout Trails' steep hills and tight turns.
Homer's 10th annual Ski for Women event brought skiers of all ages clad in spandex, paper-maiche, and wigs to Ohlson Mountain's Lookout Ski Trails on Super Bowl Sunday to benefit South Peninsula Haven House.
"Ski for Women is one of those events that demonstrates how creative and fun the community of Homer is," said Event Organizer Kris Holderied.
Seventy skiers of all levels came out on the sunny day, raising $1,400 for Haven House programs.
The Mariner Nordic ski team got to test-run new trails last weekend at the Colony Invite, held at the newly opened Government Peak Trail at Hatcher Pass. Homer raced against Palmer, Colony, Grace Christian, SoHi, Skyview, Seward and Valdez.
“It was a great race. We had good classical conditions with a lot of good kick which made for a lot more stride rather than double pole placements,” said Head Coach Eric Groth.
Driving home from Soldotna last weekend, Barae Hirsch’s feeling of accomplishment filled the car. The Homer High freshman just took her second Besh Cup win in her young Nordic skiing career.
“It is really great to see my hard work pay off and the improvements I’ve made,” said Hirsch.
The aggressive competition of the Besh Cups qualifies racers for the Junior Olympics (JO), yet the13-year-old won’t be going to JO this year.
“I won both sprint days in the age group J-3 [those born between 1999-2000]. Only J-2s can qualify for Junior Olympics,” said Hirsch.
For the Mariners Nordic ski team, the highlight of last weekend’s Skyview Invite on the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna was not the good trail conditions Friday night nor getting back into racing after the long winter break.
According to Head Coach Eric Groth, his team showed the most enthusiasm for skiing under the lights.
“We had a good race Friday night before it got warm. The trails were still soft and the kids really enjoyed racing under the lights since it’s something they rarely get to do,” said Groth.
It all started with Little Feet according to Homer siblings Drew and Lyndsay Brown. The two Homer High School students’ soccer talents are taking them to Hawaii and Vegas in 2013 respectively.
Both put on their first pair of soccer cleats before entering elementary school with the help of Homer’s Little Feet program, and have stuck with the sport ever since. Nearly 10 years later, Lindsay leaves next week with fellow Homer High classmate Samantha Draves to play for the Alaska team in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) in Las Vegas, Nev.
Lack of snow on the trails didn't deter the Mariner Nordic ski team from competing in the first meet of the season at Headquarters Lake in Soldotna. The Flat-Out Flight Races was an unofficial meet attended by SoHi, Skyview, Kenai and Homer.
Skiers were split into three different flights based on their experience and skill level.
Mariner freshman Barae Hirsch dusted the competition and came in second place in Flight 1.
The Homer Rope Tow is getting a new face this season with a new braided eight-strand rope to replace the previous twisted three-strand rope.
“There had always been an issue with twisting with the old rope. It was hard to hold on to,” said honorary Kachemak Ski Club board member Doug Reid.
Reid and official KSC board member, Doug Malone, have put in the work to find and install the new braided eight-strand rope on top of the Ohlson Mountain ski hill.