In the 50k freestyle women's division, Rebecca Dussalt of Gunnison, CO defeated Holly Brooks of Anchorage, AK by half a ski boot as they both dove across the line at the finish. A photo was needed to determine the winner of that race. In the men's 54k Classical race, the question of whether Norwegian cross country legend, Bjorn Daehlie, planned to treat this as an exhibition or not was answered on Main Street in Hayward. The scene was described best by the winner, Gus Kaeding, from Marquette, MI.........
“We were coming across the lake, and I’m sure, as anyone who has skied the Birkie knows, there are a lot of thoughts going through your head coming across the lake because there is nothing much else out there,” Kaeding said. “So about 1K to go, I looked around, and it was just me and Bjorn, and I said to myself, ‘Holy Cow! I’m leading Bjorn Daehlie.’
“And I bet you that Bjorn was not thinking, ‘Holy cow! I’m behind Gus Kaeding.’”
“Obviously, it was an honor, and Bjorn pushed me hard and with about 10 feet, I thought he had me, but I dug deep and found another gear.”
Kaeding wound up beating Daehlie by the razor thin margin of 1/10 of a second. I'm sure the reports will be rolling in fromfrom my friends and acquaintances that skied the race but the snow and weather looked to be excellent. It was everything I had expected it would be and it would have been great to have been there watching from my favorite viewing area, the front steps of the Anglers Bar. Maybe next year I can train and be in shape for the grueling a Prince Haakon 8k or even maybe the 23k Kortaloppet. I've got an entire kayak season ahead of me before I need to think about that; we shall see.