Aspen Nordic skiers go 1-2 in New Zealand |

Aspen Nordic skiers go 1-2 in New Zealand

Simi Hamilton (bib 5) and Noah Hoffman (2), both of Aspen, push to catch up with Sweden's Henrik Forsberg (115), to eventually take first and second place in last week's 42K Merino Muster Nordic ski race in New Zealand. Hoffman won by 23 seconds over Hamilton.
Matt Whitcomb/Courtesy |

A pair of Aspen Nordic skiers got their season off to a strong start last week in New Zealand.

While training with the U.S. Ski Team during its annual summer on-snow training camp, the skiers took a “break” to compete in the 42-kilometer Merino Muster, held Sept. 3 near Wanaka, the third stop in the global Worldloppet long distance ski series.

Aspen’s Noah Hoffman won the race in 1 hour, 45 minutes, 8 seconds. He edged fellow Aspen skier Simi Hamilton, who took second in 1:45:31. Sweden’s Henrik Forsberg was the third male finisher in 2:03:33.

“The training season can feel exceptionally long and having a world-class race like the Muster in the middle of one of our hardest training periods reminds us what we’re training to do,” Hoffman said in a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association statement. “The organizers and volunteers put in a world-class event and my teammates and I had a ton of fun.”

Winning the women’s race was Minnesota’s Jessie Diggins in 1:59:12, while Vermont’s Liz Stephen was second in 1:59:24.

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