Busy Month for Adaptive Program!

On May 30th, the 35th Annual Hines Games at Edward Hines Jr. V.A. Hospital was a great opportunity to reach Veterans who are active and looking to increase their fitness through different modes of exercise. CXC, with the help of hard working volunteers from Hines, set up a Biathlon range in an auditorium. The range consisted of a skier ergometer and a five-rifle laser targeting system.

Participants ran through a similar modified testing simulation to that of the Paralympic Sport Club,  simulating either 200m or 500m on the skierg to raise the heart rate and body temperature to levels consistent with competitive Nordic skiing. Then they immediately went to the firing line to practice shooting with an elevated heart rate and breathing. We had over 25 participants who have never tried Biathlon or Nordic skiing before, all tried their best and were challenged in ways they never had before.

Adaptive Camp at the CXC Center of Excellence

Adaptive Camp at the CXC Center of Excellence

On the 12th of June CXC held our monthly Adaptive Camp at the Center of Excellence. Athletes in attendance worked on technique and endurance on the roller ski treadmill, and focused on conditioning workouts that can be performed throughout the year. Re-familiarizing with the roller skis and treadmill is physically exhausting, but gives a reference point to alter training protocols to encompass more balance exercises.

Treadmill work and resistance training is physically demanding, but critical for a well seasoned athlete as well as those pursuing biathlon. Practicing everything from the approach, to body placement on the mat making will make these techniques feel second nature in a race. Taking the first shot down range can make or break a race. Having a well rounded cycle of training is not only beneficial mentally and physically,  it’s actually fun.


Martin Donegan – CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

June Junior Camp Draws Record Numbers!

A core objective of Central Cross Country Ski (CXC) s building partnerships through collaboration. Over the past couple of summers we’ve taken the opportunity to pair our open summer junior camps along with Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR) of Minneapolis. For those that don’t know, LNR has earned the top spot at Junior Nationals the last two years as club of the year. Having this strong club in our region, we felt it would be a great opportunity to nurture this partnership by getting juniors from around the region to come together and train along side each other. All the athletes, regardless of whether they were from LNR or not, learning from one another and pushing their peers to go that extra little bit.

Yoga time!

Yoga time!

As a result, we capped off our largest camp to date with over 72 athletes coming together at Lakewoods Resort in Cable, WI for a solid week of training. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the coaching staff that included, Piotr Bednarski, Kelly Skillicorn, Sara Morse, Jenna Dickinson, Karmen Whitham, Jake Brown, and Lydia Anikin and myself. It takes a lot of work to coordinate workouts, meals, and keeping everyone behaved for a full week. Our goal was to do enough training that they were too tired to get into trouble.

Junior Camp 1

Hill bounding up Telemark

The week was filled with a variety of activities that took advantage of the awesome roads and trails around the area. We did it all,  with lots of biking, running, roller skiing, swimming, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, ski walking/bounding, and strength. With most days having two workouts, a majority of the athletes came away from the camp with over 22 hours of training.

Tough Girls!

Tough Girls!

As we look forward to these next couple months, we will continue to host these Junior Open Camps–  this upcoming month July 12 – 18 in Cable, as well as in Ironwood August 9-15. More opportunities to get athletes together to learn and train alongside each other. These collaborations will hopefully help us as a region represent and ski well when Junior Nationals comes to our area this upcoming March in Cable, WI.

Andy K

Andy Keller, CXC Head Coach

For further information or details on CXC Junior Camps for 2015 please feel free to contact Andy Keller by email at andy.keller@cxcskiing.org 

New School Joins Nordic Rocks Program

Central Cross Country Skiing is excited to announce that Robbins Elementary School is the most recent Midwest school to enroll into the 2015-2016 CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools Program. Robbins Elementary School, the Eau Claire School District, has agreed to a partnership with CXC to include Nordic skiing as part of their physical education classes this coming winter.

Kids excited for Nordic Rock Program!

Kids excited for the Nordic Rocks Program!

The goal of the Nordic Rocks for School Program is to introduce a new generation of children, Kindergarten thru 6th grade, to the excitement found in the sport of cross country skiing. By providing elementary and middle school students an opportunity to experience Nordic skiing during the school day, with their teachers and classmates, they will quickly learn health and lifestyle benefits associated with exercise and outdoor winter fun.

Robbins Elementary School joins a growing list of schools across the Midwest to become part of the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools Program. In two short seasons, the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, along with the Knicker Nordic Ski Bumps program in Wausau, Wisconsin have made an impact on thousands of new skiers. The future looks bright. There are over 3,500 elementary schools across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan with an interest in teaching children the joy of winter sports.

For more pictures from the Nordic Rocks Program click here!

Bruce Manske, CXC Sport Development Coordinator

Bruce Manske, CXC Sport Development Coordinator

For further Information or details on the Nordic Rock Program please feel free to contact Bruce Manske bruce.manse@cxcskiing.org or 651.304.0647

CXC Team Athlete Hilary Patzer Qualifies For Boston Marathon After Racing Grandma’s Marathon

A few weeks after I competed at Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI, I decided I wanted to race Grandma’s Marathon in hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Four months before Grandma’s I started to “train.” I had a few bumps in the road; weeks off of running due to a calf injury, stress, busy schedule, travel… but I was excited to race.

The day before Grandma’s was gorgeous, chilly, but sunny and calm. The morning of the race was a different story. The weatherman was calling for rain, and he was dead on! It was a torrential downpour before the start of the race, it rained until about mile 19, the sun came out at mile 22 and I finished with a smile on my face and the sun beating down on me. I raced in way more clothes that anyone else, and didn’t throw my rain jacket off until mile 15. 

Go Hilary!

Go Hilary!

All in all, it was a great day. It wasn’t the weather I was hoping for, but all 6,000+ racers were running through the rain together! We could support each other! The spectators were awesome, they braved the weather to help keep our spirits high. I crossed the line in 3:27 and earned an early registration to the Boston Marathon. I didn’t run with a watch and I didn’t know my time. I ran from my heart and just kept my legs moving. I was vastly under trained, but things came together well for me on Saturday. I am so grateful for the athletic community in MN, I’m honored to be a part of such an amazing group! 

– By: Hilary Patzer, CXC Team Member

All smiles after the race!

All smiles after the race!

No pain, no gain

No pain, no gain

JOB OPENING – CXC Sport Development and Performance Director

Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) is please to announce job opening for Sport Development and Performance Director

CXC Sport Development and Performance Director position will provide service and support through education, communication and leadership to coaches and clubs, while facilitating the success of CXC clubs as businesses and organizations. Technical and sport science education will be communicated and provided to coaches and clubs with the goal of enhancing athlete performance.

“This strategic move by CXC is in direct alignment with our sport development goals nationwide, and especially in cross country skiing. Supporting every aspect of the sport from entry to adult, from club management to community development, and from programming to coaching at every level is the way we will grow the sport in both participation and performance.” – commented Brian Krill, Director of Sport Education, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

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Educated, experienced, fun and energetic coaches are the backbone of our sport. It takes the leadership of quality coaches at each level of the training system for athletes to reach their full potential in sport and in life. At the same time well-organized and managed clubs are the key to a successful sports experience. Just as the profession of coaching has become increasingly more complex, demanding a broader base of knowledge and skills, so have the difficult challenges facing a club.

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation joins CXC as a partner to support this position as well as coaches education and club development program. “We believe that sport development is critical for getting more people skiing and living a lifestyle” commented Ben Popp, Executive Director of American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.



Yuriy Gusev, CXC Athletic Director

For further information or details on the job opening please feel free to contact Yuriy Gusev yuriy.gusev@cxcskiing.org

2nd Annual Igor Legacy Camp at Iola Winter Sports Club Recap

This past weekend, 44 energetic athletes ages 10-14, hailing from 13 different Nordic ski programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota gathered at the Iola Winter Sports Club (IWSC) in Iola, Wisconsin for the second annual Igor Legacy Camp.  The Iola Winter Sports Club is a perfect location for a Nordic ski camp. The venue features a spacious area for tent camping, a sports field for soccer and Ultimate Frisbee, over 25 kilometers of trails, and a beautiful chalet for dining and presentations.

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Ready for the Igor Legacy Camp!

According to Bruce Manske, Youth Development Coordinator for Central Cross Country Skiing, the goals of the Igor Legacy Camps include promoting fun and fitness, and an enthusiasm for Nordic skiing as a life-long sport. On Sunday afternoon, while helping athletes gather their equipment, Manske was beaming, “This has been an awesome weekend. Skiers and coaches from many different teams and backgrounds came together, as one big team, to have fun and help each other learn the finer points of training and Nordic skiing.”

The Igor Legacy Camp began Friday afternoon. First, skiers set up their tents near the trailhead of the Ice Age Trail and settled into their central Wisconsin surroundings for the weekend. During the opening ceremony, the coaching staff of 15 Nordic ski coaches and parents greeted the athletes with smiles and high-fives, and outlined the schedule ahead. Coach Steve Swenson briefed the group on the benefits of running for skiers, before staging a 1-mile time trial at the Iola High School track. After a refreshing dip in Sunset Lake, the evening activities included a chicken dinner, an Igor Legacy presentation, along with a stimulating game of Capture the Flag, a campfire, and S’mores.

Skiers Setting Up Camp

Skiers setting up camp 

Songbirds provided an early morning wake-up call, which made for a perfect start to day two. Before a hearty breakfast, the youngsters headed out on 4-kilometer trail run, and then participated in a stretching regimen lead by Coach Kevin Johnson.  A mid-morning thunderstorm altered the camp schedule, but didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.  Outfitted with poles and rain gear, we toured the sprawling 250 acres of the IWSC while ski walking, striding, and bounding our way to the 60-meter Nordic combined jump situated at the summit. The afternoon workout included classic rollerskiing, dryland technique drills, and a swim at Sunset Lake County Park. After a delightful pizza extravaganza, Coach Ken Schoville led a rousing game of Ultimate Frisbee, followed by a Teamwork presentation, a poetry challenge, and again a campfire with more S’mores.

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Skiers warm up before their 1K running time trial 

Sunday morning, Father’s Day, the melody of songbirds again set the stage for the day, as did the pre-breakfast pole hike and stretching routine. The Sunday session began with a presentation on understanding training levels; a workout that focused on skate rollerskiing followed. The session highlights included Coach Kris Hanson’s agility course, Coach Ted Theyerl’s uphill technique drills, and our third visit to the Sunset Lake beach. According to Coach Jake Barnes, “The Igor Legacy Camp was a success because young skiers from across the Midwest got together to work and play in an outdoor setting, and to learn about Nordic skiing from each other.”

For more photos from the Igor Legacy Camp at Iola Winter Sports Club Click Here!

Bruce Manske, CXC Sport Development Coordinator

Bruce Manske, CXC Sport Development Coordinator

For further Information or details on the 2015 IGOR LEGACY CAMPS please feel free to contact Bruce Manske bruce.manse@cxcskiing.org or 651.304.0647



Athlete Cory Ellertson Checks in from Minnesota

Hello CXC family!

I just wanted to check in and update everyone on my spring so far.

The biggest news to report is my wife and I bought a house in Robbinsdale! It seems like we have been moving once a year since we first went to college, so it’s nice to put down some roots and have a place to hang my hat. It’s also nice to have a room dedicated to waxing my skis! I’m no longer relegated to garages and puffy jackets.

New House!

New House!

Wax Room

Wax Room

This project unfortunately replaced an Over Distance (OD) workout, but I’m happy with the finished product. My dad, Scott, and I spent one weekend sanding and varnishing what the previous owner covered with carpet!

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The biggest draw to Robbinsdale for us, besides being close to work, was access to infinite miles of trails and proximity to Wirth. Being 5 minutes from skiing will be nice! I’m also thrilled to be able to roller ski, trail run, or ride my mountain and road bikes from home. No more driving to train! I know there are many other Nordic skiers that live in the area, so if you have any hidden rollerski gold mines, let me know. My email is ellertson7@gmail.com ;)

On the training side of life, things are going great! After a month off and a couple rounds of antibiotics, I was feeling recovered and ready to go again by the end of April. After the eye opener that was this year’s Birkie, I decided to refocus my training on 3 things. Rebuilding and strengthening my base before even thinking about intervals, RECOVERY and properly fueling my workouts(and racing!)

Trail Run at Battle Creek

Trail Run at Battle Creek

I followed the advice detailed in the article, Common Training Mistakes that I saw on FasterSkier, about limiting your level one workouts to only breathing through your nose. I’m using that tip as my primary goal for periods 1, 2 and 3. This is my third year in the transition from hockey player to endurance athlete and the first couple months of long, slow and easy are the most important for rewiring my anaerobically trained body to be more efficient aerobically. I’m just finishing period 2 and I’ve never felt better. I occasionally add short 10-15 sec speeds to my workouts and even though I have avoided intervals, I have never felt faster or recovered from workouts better. So things are headed in the right direction and I am chomping at the bit to start intervals!

Thank you for following CXC and we’ll see you out there!

Cory Ellertson