Save the date!  Set aside December 26th on your calendar to get to Birch Hill and attempt to ski your age in kilometers – or at least a portion thereof.

The Eighth Annual Wells Fargo “Ski Your Age in Kilometers,” presented by Banner Health, will once again provide local (and visiting) skiers with three great opportunities:  1) burn off excess Christmas calories; 2) get rid of (share?) Christmas dinner leftovers; 3) finish off the year in style by trying to ski as many kilometers as you are years old.

For the sixth straight year this event will be a fundraiser for the NSCF’s youth and junior ski programs.  There is no entry fee, but participants are encouraged (but not required) to donate whatever amount they would like, as well as  bring leftovers from their Christmas dinners, so that they and the skiers who ski large numbers of kilometers will have some healthy food to keep fueled up during the day and after they have finished.

The Birch Hill Cross Country Ski Center will officially open at 10AM (but you can arrive earlier if you wish to start on your own) and the event will officially close at 4PM, during which time skiers will try to ski as many kilometers as possible to achieve their “Ski Your Age” goals.  There are bronze, silver, gold and platinum achievement levels, so even if you can’t ski your full age in kilometers, you can earn recognition for your achievement at another level.

Skiers will be asked to sign in, noting their age and their goal in kilometers.  A chart showing the bronze, silver, gold and platinum achievement levels for each age will be available, as will maps showing loops varying in length from 1Km to 10Km or more which can be used as a guide.

Last year more than 200 participants skied more than 4600Km – an average of more than 23Km per person.  That’s pretty impressive.  The earliest starters began skiing around 7:30AM, and the last finishers finished up around 6:50PM.  Ninety-nine of the skiers, between the ages of seven and 60, skied their ages in k’s.  65 skiers reached the platinum level, 40 reached the gold achievement level, 52 met the silver standard, and 37 made bronze.

Besides recognizing individual achievements, the top performances will be recognized in several other categories:  family (the family with the most participants and the family that skis the most kilometers), father-son, mother-daughter, father-daughter, mother-son, grandparent-grandchild, 50-50 club (skiers over the age of 50 who ski more than 50Km) and Century club (skier’s age plus Km skied = 100).

In addition, for those looking for something more strenuous, there will be a sunup-to-sundown challenge, in which skiers have from sunrise (10:58AM) until sunset (2:45PM) to ski their age, or 50Km, whichever is greater.

The event also marks the the annual kickoff of the “Friends of FXC” campaign.  This effort will give people the opportunity to support the NSCFairbanks-FXC Racing Program by making donations and receiving recognition for their gift in the form of FXC materials or clothing.  An anonymous donor will match all donations up to $5000.