Spring meetings for U.S. Ski & Snowboard were held earlier this month, in person in Park City and virtually for those following along via Zoom. Among other business, the schedule for high-level domestic racing in the 2023/2024 season was presented, discussed, and ultimately, in some form, approved.
Here is the final version of the SuperTour and national championship schedule for next season. This document reflects concerns from the fundamentally logistic (“Which venues submitted a bid to host races in this period”) to the more philosophical (“It is important for us as a national ski community to have an interval-start classic race and mass start skate race at U.S. Nationals in January, because those race formats mirror those to be used at World Juniors/U23s in Planica in February”). It presents in user-friendly table form information found on the first tab of this spreadsheet.
Period 1, Alaska (Anchorage)
|Tuesday, Dec. 12||Kincaid||skate sprint|
|Weds., Dec. 13||Kincaid||classic mass start (10 or 15km?)|
|Saturday, Dec. 16||Kincaid||classic sprint|
|Sunday, Dec. 17||Kincaid||skate mass start (10km?)|
Period 2, U.S. Nationals in Soho
|Tuesday, Jan. 2||Soldier Hollow||10km interval-start classic|
|Thursday, Jan. 4||Soldier Hollow||skate sprint|
|Friday, Jan. 5||Soldier Hollow||20km mass start skate|
|Sunday, Jan. 7||Soldier Hollow||classic sprint|
Period 3, East
|Saturday, Jan. 20||Lake Placid||classic sprint|
|Sunday, Jan. 21||Lake Placid||classic pursuit or mass start|
|Friday, Jan. 26||Craftsbury||skate sprint|
|Sunday, Jan. 28||Craftsbury||mass start skate (20–30km?)|
(to be held on a “popular course”)
[also in February: World Cup races in Canmore from February 9–13, and in Minneapolis on February 17 and 18]
|Saturday, Feb. 24||Cable to Hayward||50km mass start skate|
Period 4/SuperTour Finals, Midwest (Duluth)
|Thursday, March 21||Spirit Mountain||10km interval-start skate|
|Saturday, March 23||Spirit Mountain||classic sprint|
|Sunday, March 24||Spirit Mountain||skate team sprint|
|Tuesday, March 26||Spirit Mountain||mass start skate (40km?)|
This is a total of 17 races for the year: three skate sprints, four classic sprints, one interval-start skate, one interval-start classic, five mass start skate distance races, two mass start classic distance races, and one skate team sprint.
Perhaps notably, there will be four Period 1 SuperTour races in Alaska, bringing the SuperTour to The Last Frontier for the first time in… uh, a long time. U.S. Nationals were held in Anchorage in 2018, Spring Series in Fairbanks in 2017, and Spring Series in Anchorage in 2014. Before that, U.S. Nationals also hit Anchorage in 2009 and 2010, though one of those was the infamous deep-freeze year when only a portion of the scheduled races were held.
As for “just” a SuperTour? It’s been a while. I can readily search by the category of SuperTour in the FIS database back through the 2006/2007 season; there are no standalone SuperTour races to be found through that time. I therefore conclude that these will be the first SuperTour races in Alaska in at least 17 years. This reporter will presumptively be on site for all four of them, and will jump into the distance races if he can do so without too grievously embarrassing himself. There is to be one (1) interval-start skate race held on the SuperTour or at U.S. Nationals this year, and it comes at Spring Series in Duluth in late March, so mass start it is for most athletes in most distance races.
— Gavin Kentch