Thanks to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah is home to some of the finest Nordic ski racing venues in the US. The Soldier Hollow Cross Country Ski Area, and the year-around ski jumping facility at the Utah Winter Sports Park, host national and international Nordic events each winter. In addition, Park City is home to the US Ski Team, so the best Nordic athletes in the country train and race here.
The Utah Nordic Alliance organizes a number of events for local and regional cross country skiers. Principal among those is the Wasatch Citizens Series, which was started in 1979 and has grown to be one of the nation’s premier cross country ski race series. Designed for people of all ages and ability levels, participation is usually about 300 in skate events and 200 in classic races. This includes many families (three generations is not uncommon), as well as US Ski Team athletes.
We also sponsor a fun race, the TUNA/White Pine Relay, in which each skier is given a handicap based on previous performance (or age and gender for first timers). Winners aren’t known until handicaps are subtracted and results are generated.
For many years, Utah cross country skiers have traveled to nearby states to participate in longer racers. The Boulder Mountain Tour in Sun Valley, ID, and the Yellowstone Rendezvous in West Yellowstone, MT, have been long time favorites. After the opening of Park City’s Round Valley Trail System in 2011, Mountain Trails Foundation initiated a local marathon, the Round Valley Roundup. This 40-kilometer race attracts skiers from around the intermountain area.