Loppet Foundation

Ski Club Spotlight: Blair Anderson and Fawzia Khan

This article was posted on Thursday, October 6, 2016

Photo: Michael Bash

Photo: Michael Bash

The Ski Club Spotlight shines a light on passionate members and coaches. This month we are featuring husband and wife members, Blair Anderson and Fawzia Kahn.

If you’re a Ski Club Member and would like to be featured, please e-mail Anthony Taylor.

The Loppet: Why did you join Ski Club?

Blair Anderson: I joined the Ski Club because I took up cross-country skiing only several years ago and realized I just wasn’t getting everything I should out of it on my own. I joined the Club simply to learn to ski better, but more importantly, it made skiing more fun and I met a lot of great people. Ultimately, the social aspects have been a bigger reward than merely improving my ski technique.

Fawzia Khan: My husband Blair joined Ski Club a year before me. When he signed up for his second year, he told me how nice everybody was and encouraged me to join, and I did because I wanted to learn how to cross-country ski. I’ve been skiing with the Ski Club for four years now and have become friends with many members. It’s a great group! After the winter, we hike together throughout the spring and summer, and some of us have run other Loppet events together.

The Loppet: What was your Aha! moment in the club?

Blair Anderson: I joined the Loppet Run Club as a way to stay in shape for skiing, but then I discovered how much I love trail running (Aha!). It has also led me to every nook and cranny in Wirth Park. Between the two Loppet clubs, I get year-round exercise and a chance to socialize, while in nature.

Fawzia Khan: I had an Aha! moment with skiing last year when we were doing dryland training. I watched as Chris Bercaw (another member) bounded up a hill. After seeing his movements, I realized that my skiing technique would improve if I shortened my stride and slide my foot forward rather than lifting it.

The Loppet: What is your favorite Loppet event?

Blair Anderson: Of course the City of Lakes Loppet Festival weekend is number one. I take time off work so I can be part of every day at the festival. To me it is the apex of “Minnesota-ness.”

Fawzia Khan: I can’t pick a favorite event, but I do love the Luminary Loppet. It never fails to take my breath away.

I first started with the 10K Classic ski race, then added the Trail Loppet. This year I also did the City Trails Loppet. I haven’t participated in the Tri-Loppet yet because I don’t mountain bike, but if I can find someone to relay with, I would do that too!

The Loppet: What is your favorite Loppet Story?

Blair Anderson: My favorite story from a Loppet event is when I was hosting my sister and brother-in law from California. I was able to give them a true Minnesota experience by getting them out on skis for the Luminary Loppet. There is nothing like the Winter Festival in California!

Fawzia Khan: I’ve got a great Loppet event story! A few years ago, before I joined Ski Club, I signed up for the 10K Classic race. Blair was doing the longer event with our neighbor, and our neighbor’s wife was going to ski with me. We started going down the first hill (about 20 seconds into the race) and I ran into a gentleman who was stepping into the track at the bottom of the hill. No one was hurt, but I snapped the binding on one ski and I thought my race was over. Jocelyn (my neighbor) was so wonderful. She and I went back on the bus to the parking lot and drove back home. . . where I picked up my 15-year-old heavy, fish scale skis and boots. We drove back to parking lot, took the bus back to the start and we restarted the race two hours late! The going was slow, but we finished about four hours after the start. I remember how people were so supportive and encouraging of us at the end of the race coming down the street in Uptown, thinking we had been skiing for four hours. It was so funny! And, I’m so glad we didn’t just give up!

The Loppet: What is your favorite Loppet Volunteer experience?

Blair Anderson: I’ve engaged in many different types of volunteer activities over the years, but I think the thing I have enjoyed the most is being part of the setup crew before the Loppet Festival. It is quite interesting to see the endless things that must be put into place in order to pull off such a big event!

Fawzia Khan: My favorite volunteer experience was directing runners and cheering them on during the Tri-Loppet event!