Spam Queen Robin Nyce looks regal in her costume at the She Can Ski event Feburary 2007. The Tsalteshi Trails Association holds the event as a way to get women out of the house on Super Bowl Sunday. at the Skyview High School trailhead. Nyce, a Tsalteshi Trails Association board member, positively
Photo courtesy of Lee Johnson
Women with better things to do than watch husbands and other football fanatics swill beer and inhale nachos while glued to the tube this Super Bowl Sunday can load skies into the car and head to Tsalteshi Trails.
The Tsalteshi Trails Association invites women of all ages to the Skyview High School trail head for a glide through the spruce stands. Appropriate dress will be anything the imagination can generate. The annual She Can Ski event kicks off with a five-kilometer classic race at 11:30 a.m. followed by a five-kilometer skate race at 12:30 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for The LeeShore Center and Tsalteshi Trails.
Men will not be left out of the event. They have a chance to drag race, or more specifically a short dress-in-drag race that will be held after the two women's races.
"It's kind of a takeoff on the Anchorage Ski for Women and it happens on Super Bowl Sunday," said Leslie Boyd, coordinator of the event. "The idea is to empower women to get out and move their bodies and do stuff at a time when guys are hanging around the TV."
About 80 women took to the trails last year. Boyd said this event coincides with other women's ski events across the country that are held specifically on Super Bowl Sundays because of the day's high rate of violence toward women. But locally, Boyd said, the association was just interested in having an event for women that also could make money for the Tsalteshi Trails.
"We wanted something locally because we couldn't all go up to Anchorage," Boyd said, adding that skiers can race as a team or individually.
People also dress up as almost anything, from cud-chewing bovines to canned-meat products. Prizes are awarded for the most creative costumes.
"We want to get beginners and all kinds of people out on the trail," she said.
To help skiers hit the trail, Beemun's Variety in Soldotna will provide free ski-waxing Thursday and Friday for the first 20 customers participating in the event, Boyd said. The Skyview High School ski team also will wax skis at Kaladi Brothers Coffee Company from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday during preregistration. The She Can Ski event is just one of many events Tsalteshi Trails puts on during the winter. Association board members and experienced skiers put on a skills session the third Sunday of every month. Robin Nyce, a member of the Tsalteshi Trails Association, said the skill series is for people interested in the sport and looking for a few tips. She said instructors not only will demonstrate different skiing techniques, but also offer tips on purchasing skis.
"We're all kind of obsessed with skiing," Nyce said. "It's such a great healthy thing to do in the winter when it's so dark and hard to get outside."
Nyce said instructors will demonstrate the skate ski technique and the classic technique. Both are distinctly different styles of skiing that require different skis. It's hard to skate on classic skis, Nyce said, and it's almost impossible to classic ski on skate skis.
"They're just built differently," she said. "The beauty of this (event) is that Beemun's is also renting skis this year."
Beginners, Nyce said, should come with a friend and fellow beginner and either borrow or rent skis, then come to a class or find a more experienced skier willing to share expertise.
Cross-country skiing on the Kenai Peninsula typically begins around November, but Nyce said it could all go away with a good rain. Even though the trails weathered the last bout of rain the peninsula had, Nyce said folks walking along the trails could ruin the experience for everyone.
"It punches holes in it and it's almost impossible for a groomer (to groom) until the next snow," she said. "You've got these holes all over the trails. It can actually be dangerous."
Skiers can preregister and pick up racing bibs for the She Can Ski event at Kaladi Brothers in Soldotna from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Skiers also can register at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
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