News & Stories

Check In with the Anwatin Junior Loppet Team

Written by Anwatin Junior Loppet Head Coach Allie Rykken:

The Anwatin Junior Loppet team had an unusual season, as everybody else did, but it was filled with relief to be outside, in good company, and on snowy trails.

We got started after Winter Break in January, with almost 60 kids, and were able to meet at Anwatin Middle School, which felt grounding to me as the kids had been in distance learning all year and this was an opportunity to connect with the physical land. We skied in smaller groups, and went right onto the Eloise Butler trails, which are located behind the school. From there, we are able to jump over to the Quaking Bog, Wirth Lake, even the Chain of Lakes. As charming as the wooded trails are, it was also exciting to come over to the man-made trails a handful of times to participate in the TRAIL KIDS Super Ski Race Series, and explore the Terrain Park in early March.

We joined the races over the City of Lakes Loppet Festival, and really enjoyed racing the Northeast Junior Loppet team on their home course at Columbia Golf Course on a sunny day in February, which Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins’s dad Clay Diggins was featured as race starter!

So while we did get in a handful of races, the goals of the team were much less performance-based and spent more time just getting out on the trails. And playing Capture the Flag and Skiball, of course! We will be taking a short break after this week and will be back in the spring for trail running and mountain biking. Happy trails!