In our own Backyard

Story last updated at 4:33 PM on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ski your age: calories evaporate in ski trail fun

In our own backyard

By Hal Spence
For the Homer News


Photos by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Early morning chill and fresh snow marked John Roedel (left), A.J. Isenhour, Wil Roedl, Liz Roedl and Alina Rykaczewski's start of the Ski Your Age event on Monday.

An astute physicist might figure the calories burned by straining joints and muscles at Monday's Ski-Your-Age event on Diamond Ridge, but for the 79 participants young and old, it was all about having fun.

One of the advertised draws to the Homer High School Ski Team benefit event was the chance to burn off Christmas dinners. A few slices of turkey, gravy-bathed sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce surely evaporated in mists of flavored perspiration.

The action started at 9 a.m. at the Sunset Loop Trailhead off Diamond Ridge Road where skiers of all ages became Ski-Meisters for skiing their ages in kilometers, or alternatively, joined the Century Club by skiing their ages subtracted from 100 kilometers.

A Family Ski Challenge totaled up distances skied by entire families. The course was open for skiers any time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Of course, many avid sliders easily exceeded their ages. Take for instance Pete Alexson who covered 75 kilometers in all, the most for the day. Jan Spurkland, who coaches the high school team, finished with 67.5 kilometers, and Homer fisherman Alan Parks tallied 58.4 kilometers.

The accomplishments of George Matz and Jeannie Woodring might be the story of the day. Matz, 70, joined the Century Club by skiing 30 kilometers, then went out and skied alongside his wife, Jeannie, 61, as she finished her final 9K. Matz and Jeannie each covered 39 kilometers.

The Schmidt family topped the family competition, racking up 108.6 kilometers, while the Alexsons got 87.5, the Spurklands 80.5.

In all, skiers covered a combined 1,383.9 kilometers. Ages ranged from as young as 5 to as old as 70.

Participants were encouraged to bring leftovers and there were plenty to go around, including Wisconsin cheese curds and other cheeses from around the world, along with homemade beef jerky and lots of pies and cookies, Spurkland said. Participants warmed themselves by a large campfire drinking warm cocoa and tang.

Sixteen inches of new snow dumped just prior to the event made for easy gliding, but did require some trail work.

"The (Nordic Ski) Club did a fabulous job getting the trails ready," Spurkland said. "Then those same groomers who'd been up at 5 a.m. were out skiing."

Hal Spence is a freelance writer who livs in Homer.

Ski Your Age Results:

Total Participants: 79

Age range: 5 years to 70 years

Total kilometers skied: 1,383.9


(Skied their age in km; by name, km):

Pete Alexson, 75

Jan Spurkland, 67.5

Alan Parks, 58.4

Dan Adickes, 37.2

Kyle Wentz, 35.8

Tim Blackmon, 33

Dan Olsen, 33

Suresh Sethl, 32

John Roedl, 30.7

Jasmine Maurer, 30

Baby Red Cheetah Maurer, 30

Katie Schmidt, 26

Marina Critchett, 25.9

Denali Critchett, 25.9

Marie Schmidt, 25.8

Emily Schmidt, 25.8

Liz Roedl, 24

Will Roedl, 24

Alina Rykaczewski, 24

Katie Miller, 23.2

AJ Isenhour, 23

Patrick Schneider, 23

Clarie Laukitis, 21.1

Emma Laukitis, 20

Brian Rowe, 20

Kevin Rowe, 19

Josh Vantrease, 19

Tian-En Liu, 16

Akane Schmidt, 16

Annie Worsfold, 15

Mia Alexson, 12.5

Sylvia Clemens, 5.4


(Skied 100 km minus their age, by name, km):

Pete Alexson, 75

Jan Spurkland, 67.5

Alan Parks, 58.4

Glenn Seaman, 50

George Matz, 39

Jeamie Woodring, 39


(Total km skied by a family by name, km):

Schmidt family, 108.6

Alexson family, 87.5

Spurkland family, 80.5

Roedl family, 78.7

Matz/Woodring family, 78

Maurer family, 60

Laukitis family, 54.1

Critchett Family, 51.8

Rowe Family, 39

Ditton/Green/Blackmon Family, 38.4

Worsfold Family, 28

Otis Family, 25.8

Dupree-Kilcher family, 23

Soistman Family, 23

Lovett Family, 20

Aderhold Family, 20

Dickerson Family, 18.3

Field Family, 10.8

Clemens Family, 10.8

Reinhart/Kelly Family, 8.1

STORY OF THE DAY: George Matz and Jeannie Woodring (70 years and 61 years) skied together all day to get to the Century Club, supporting each other the entire time. George went back out with his wife, to ski with her as she got her last 9 km.