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MWC2018 Organizing Committee Mid-Year Meeting With WMA President

This article was posted on Monday, July 17, 2017

On June 29, 2017 members of the 2018 Masters World Cup Organizing Committee met with World Masters Association President and American XC Skiers National Director, J.D. Downing at the Theodore Wirth Park race venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota to continue planning efforts for the upcoming MWC2018 event to be held January 19-26, 2018.

The MWC2018 Organizing Committee and Downing inspected the construction site for the new Trailhead building and stadium/trails improvements currently underway at Theodore Wirth Park.

The anticipated opening date of The Trailhead is late winter 2018. The building will be a 14,000-square-foot space that will augment existing Park infrastructure and portable tents/buildings. At the ground level, much of the grading required for the new stadium and trails has already been completed with future work concentrated on bringing the construction site up to existing Park golf course standards.

After viewing the construction site, the MWC2018 Organizing Committee and Downing touched on numerous topics over several hours ranging from revised race courses to plans for numerous MWC2018 ceremonies and social events.

WMA President/AXCS National Director Downing summarized the meeting as extremely productive and encouraging. “It was fantastic to see the new stadium almost entirely graded out and the construction work started for The Trailhead after so many years of planning and fundraising. As of today, the new stadium meets every MWC criteria – it’s going to be great skiing this January!”

The latest race courses – which are now posted here – have been revised to maximize utilization of the new Park improvements and offer maximum flexibility to adjust around snow/weather variability. Some highlights…

— 3 lap x 10km option for the opening 30km races for men 30-59 years to be held January 20-21. Although typically held on a 2 x 15km course, the O.C. proposal using a 10km loop will better utilize Park snowmaking capacity (meaning far greater reliability in variable snow/weather) and avoid two extra days of having to shut down the main Park access road. The new design also enhances spectator and race support opportunities. Skiers scheduled to race 15km/10km distances on the opening two MWC races will ski two laps on cut-off courses within the same 10km loop.

— The basic 5km loop to be used by the most senior MWC categories for all races (women 70+ and men 75+) has been finalized with a wonderful mixing of gentle rolling terrain.

— The plan for the longer distance events on January 25-26 will be to cross the Theodore Wirth Parkway (closed to traffic both days) to add a 5km loop on park paths and golf course fairways mainly southeast of the stadium. This added terrain will allow age/gender categories scheduled for 45km and 30km distances to stay with 3 and 2 lap courses as per WMA traditional guidelines.

Downing was also excited about the growing Organizing Committee (O.C.) which features a wealth of experienced volunteers and Loppet Foundation staff members. “One thing WMA and AXCS representatives have known all along is that the people needed to run this show were ready and waiting in the Twin Cities. It was really great to see how large the O.C. has grown in just the past year and the increasing state of readiness as the months go by. There is still six months of planning left, but I feel very confident that when the curtain goes up in January skiers will have a wonderful time at the MWC2018!”