More than 30 of Anchorage’s top cross-country skiers will rollerski their way across town Wednesday morning in an effort to raise money and promote awareness of roller skiing and safety on the city’s streets and trails.
The APU Nordic Skiathon aims to log a cumulative 1,000 kilometers in a single morning. Members of Alaska Pacific University’s elite ski team are taking pledges for the skiathon and have raised about $30,000 so far, a team spokeswoman said.
Olympic and World Cup skiers will be among the 32 people scheduled to leave APU at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. They’ll rollerski the 50-kilometer Moose Trail, a series of trails and roads that, when connected, form the pattern of a moose’s head.
The trail uses the Chester Creek, Ship Creek, Campbell Creek and Coastal trails and goes through Russian Jack, Kincaid and Bicentennial parks. Though the trails and roads have long existed, the concept of “the Moose Trail” is a recent marketing effort by the Anchorage Parks Foundation.
It also uses several roadways, and drivers should expect to see morning rollerski traffic on Sand Lake Road between Raspberry Road and Dimond Boulevard, and on Dimond between Sand Lake Road and Minnesota Drive.
The skiathon marks the first official gathering of APU skiers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March.
It will also mark the official return of team member Hannah Halvorsen, who was hit by a car while crossing a street in downtown Anchorage last fall and missed the 2019-20 season with serious injuries. She plans to rollerski part of the trail and bike the rest of it.
The money will help fund travel and training costs for APU’s elite-level skiers, who compete on the World Cup and SuperTour circuits.
Eight skiers from APU are among 23 skiers nationwide named to the 2020-21 U.S. Ski Team.
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