by Sue Deyoe ~ December 10th, 2009
If last weekend wasn’t busy enough, there was also the 2nd Annual Olie and Lena Ski Race held Saturday morning at the Ski Hill Nordic Trail at the Overlook in Talkeetna. This year, the Su Valley Nordic Ski Team hosted the unusual race. Two-person, co-ed teams – 28 people in all — raced 2.5 kilometers each, around the hilly trail. If the team did not consist of one male and one female, then participants were encouraged to dress accordingly. At the relay point, racers were required to tell a ”Olie and Lena” joke to the Joke Judges.
The race had a new look this year as half of the entrants were from the Wasilla High School ski team. The team got into the spirit of the event arriving in flannel shirts and other ‘old country’ Scandanavian-style dress. First, second and third place finishers were awarded ribbons. A “Best Joke Told” award was also given. Joke judging was done by Rick Schreiber and Wendy Battino. Schreiber, who is of Swedish descent said, “Being a Swede, I was impressed by the accents and humor, and made to feel like I was back home in the old country.”
Wasilla High School ski coach Jeff Kase and out of town competitor, Meghan, won the joke award with a very funny joke that amused the crowd and wowed the judges. Three Su Valley middle school ski team members competed: Dana Hogan, Ayla Loper and Lilla Fortunoff, and two skiers from the high school team, Raven Balou and Thomas Wagner, also competed.
Thanks to volunteers Chris Mannix, Martha Wright, Karl Swanson, the joke judges and others who helped to make the event a success. Ski Hill is groomed for skate or classic skiing until the next snowfall.
Thanks to Laura Wright for this ski report.