THEODORE WIRTH PARK, in Minneapolis, MN was packed with ski enthusiast for the City of Lakes Loppet.
Event organizers did a fantastic job in creating a course that would hold the 226 racers who came out for the Hoigaard’s Classical Marathon. The lack of natural snow did not stop skiers from completing the hilly 32km course, which was 5 laps around the 6km man-made loop.
In the men’s event, Matthew Liebsch (Orono, MN) 1:14:05 took the lead by over two minutes to second place finisher Chris Pappathopoulos from Sun Prairie, WI (1:16:09). Rounding out the podium was Krystof Kopal (Marquette, MI) with a time of 1:17:17.
On the women’s side with an astonishing lead was CXC elite team winner Felicia Gesior of Marquette, MI finshing the course in 1:28:51, nearly seven minutes ahead of Canadian skier Isabella Howden (Barrie, ON) 1:35:49. Kelly Skillicorn of Winona, MN skied to her third place podium in a time of 1:36:20.
With just three more races in the series, this weekend marked the halfway point in the CXC Marathon Cup point standing.
The series will continue with the last three races, including the highly anticipated American Birkebeiner just about two weeks away.