Bitter cold doesn’t stop Barnelopet

HANCOCK — With sunny skies, single digits, and a stiff wind the races went on Sunday.

The annual Barnelopet (kids’ race) brought area families out with at least 52 kids participating in the races. Families skied along with older siblings. Grandparents and a few dogs waited at the finish line. Onlookers rang bells and cheered as racers crossed the finish line.

Intended to promote skiing, particularly among children and families, the Sons of Norway created the Barnelopet, explained safety volunteer Nancy Imm.

The ages ranged from 3 to 17, each participating in line with their ability.

“Four is usually the reasonable age to get kids to do a 1K and complete it,” Imm said. “We’ve got some really young skiers out there.”

“Kids and families look forward to it,” said Sharon Kisiel, a parent. “My kids started when they were five.”

Kisiel skied along when they were young like many parents of the younger children. Some of the kids go on to ski competitively or at least return to race again.

“We really encourage the kids to get here because this is the only race the younger ones usually go to,” Imm said.

Though not a competitive race, times were kept including the fastest racers.

In the 6K, Sage Resh-Chimner finished with a time of 28:25. David Eskola completed the 4K at 26:16. In the 2K, Molly Kisiel got a time of 18:58 and Miina Leinonen earned a time of 13:36 in the 1k.

All participants were rewarded with a medal and hot chocolate and cookies, though the snacks had to be moved indoors this year due to winds and temperatures.

Race organizer Wayne Stordahl was pleased with another successful year.