Duncan Douglas blew away the field at the Lake Placid Loppet on 5 February, winning the 50 k freestyle race in 2:26:43. On a day that started cool and warmed quickly to near freezing, Douglas skated across the finish line at Mount van Hoevenberg seven minutes ahead of second place finisher Jake Hollenbach. The women’s 50 k freestyle finish was much closer, with CSU’s Alex Jospe beating Jessica Snyder by only 2.5 seconds.
Phil Shaw won the 50 k classic event in 2:55, the only classic marathoner to break three hours. Lisa Gerstenberger was the women’s 50 CL winner in 4:48.
388 skiers toed the start line, choosing either 50 or 25 k distance or freestyle, the original technique for this race, or classic.
Early on race day, temperatures hovered in the mid teens but warmed up quickly by the time the freestyle race started. 18 inches of cold, moist, sharp-crystalled snow had fallen on Wednesday, making for a soft track despite the best efforts of Mount van Hoevenberg grooming crew. The steep uphills on Porter Mountain turned into mashed potatoes as skiers climbed, while several of the technical downhills became badly rutted with no clear lines.
Full results are posted by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).