News & Stories

Junior Loppet TRAIL KIDS and Alumni Stay Cool at the Trail Loppet

–by Coach Andy Harris

We at the Loppet like to say: every City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival is like a snowflake; each year, different in its own special way.

Well, if that is true of all Loppet events, you can bet that the Surly Brewing Company Trail Loppet’s snowflake for 2017 was melted into a puddle. Ninety degrees and the relative humidity of a swimming pool made this a daunting race.

Not that that stopped twenty-nine North Minneapolis youth, both racers and volunteers — from Anwatin, Northeast, and Franklin Junior Loppet TRAIL KIDS teams and high-school-age alumni — from finding creative ways to overcome both a challenging course and the heat!

Junior Loppet TRAIL KIDS and alumni participated in races across the board — the Salomon 13.1K, the North Face 5K, and the short-but-fast Age Gap Relays. For some this was an opportunity to showcase a summer and fall of hard work and training — reflected in speedy race times, with some of the kids hanging with seasoned racers!

victorVictor Morales up on his toes, finishing off the Salomon 13.1K

aeloaAeola Lu (right), along with some Loppet notables

But, for others, the Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet was an opportunity to overcome a challenge bigger than the race; a challenge bigger than the heat index. The challenge to start the race in the first place.

We have another saying at the Loppet — every race completed is a victory over yourself. But, each race, we are also reminded that to start, to toe the line, is a victory already won, and that victory doesn’t always look like a spot on the tallest podium and a bouquet of flowers wilting under the sun.

Li’Tavius Munn (middle), and a whole bunch of energy
Li’Tavius Munn (middle), and a whole bunch of energy
Sometimes victory looks like kids with zany sunglasses racing their first race over 5K.

Sometimes victory looks like jumping in Wirth Lake.

Sometimes victory looks like filling up copious, copious amounts of energy drink for racers approaching the wall.

Yes, the 2017 Trail Loppet brought — for Junior Loppet TRAIL KIDS and assorted alumni — new meaning to the phrase, “beat the heat.”

They beat the heat, beat the race, and, most importantly, won a hard-earned victory over what they thought their own limits were the day before. Oh, and they had a whole bunch of fun doing it, too!

But now, finally…can we say it? Will we jinx anything? It’s high time to think snow.

The Franklin TRAIL KIDS team — all of them winners!

Special thanks to our sponsors, Surly Brewing Company, Salomon, and the North Face — and photo credit to Coach Sandra and Skinnyski! There’s nobody we’d rather toe the starting line with.