News & Stories
The Puoli Loppet Results
In the inaugural “Puoli Loppet” in both the skate and classical skiing styles showed a strong field of competitors. The Puoli Loppet course (“puoli” means “half” in Finnish) is a 20-kilometer point-to-point race that starts in Theodore Wirth Park and ends in the finish area of Loppet Village at Lake Calhoun Center. The Saturday Puoli Loppet Classic has a beautiful morning for the start – there was little wind, the sun was shining and people were happy to be out racing.
In the men’s classic race, Jason Kask finished in first place at 1:10:35, almost three and a half minutes ahead of Dave Bridges who finished at 1:14: 59. Zach Dietz rounded out the top three with a 1:23:04 finish.
In the women’s Puoli Loppet 20k Classic, the Loppet Foundation’s very own Allie Rykken, the head coach of the Anwatin Middle School Ski & Bike Team, as well as our graphic designer, adventure camp director and Minne-Loppet coach. With all of these hats Allie wears it is a wonder she had time to train! But she found a way because she came up more than three minutes ahead of Jordan Marie Prusznenski (1:27:23 and 1:30:07, respectively). Rounding out the top three was Bria Kask at 1:36: 52.
On Friday, Jan. 31, the Loppet Foundation’s race officials and medical directors decided to push back the start of both the Puoli Loppet Skate and the REI Skate Tour until 11 a.m. to allow for the temperatures to climb. It turned out to be a good call as the temperature did feel considerably warmer at 11 a.m. as the racers took off than it was at 9 a.m.
But judging by the serious beardsicle worn by the men’s Puoli Loppet Skate winner, Nels Thompson (1:04:35), it was still a bit chilly during the race. Fred Scheer came in behind Nels at 1:10:03 and Ethan Holdahl finished in third place at 1;11:58.
For the women, Kristin Smith won the Puoli Loppet Skate race while Kira Peterson and Greta Danielson took the podium with finishes of 1:18:33, 1:20:42 and 1:21:39, respectively.