Glenwood Springs’ Ann Hopkinson earns gold at Nordic Masters event in Canada
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Glenwood Springs resident and avid skier Ann Hopkinson topped off her cross-country ski season with a little golden frosting recently.
Competing at the March 4-11 Masters Nordic World Cup in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, Hopkinson won the gold medal in her 60+ age division in the 10-kilometer classic race.
She also came away with a bronze in the 5K race, and was fifth in the 15-kilometer freestyle. Another local, Carbondale resident Greg Feinsinger, took bronze in the 5K freestyle in his 70+ division, and was fourth in the 15K freestyle.
“It was really fun just to see all the enthusiastic older people in such good shape and with such good attitudes,” Hopkinson said of her first-ever trip to take part in the worlds event.
“It’s such a great venue, and an incredibly beautiful place,” she said of the training center in Canmore, located near Banff, which served as the Nordic events site for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
The competition was a collection of ex-Olympians from around the world and people like herself who are avid skiers and were just there to have fun.
Hopkinson has been competing in a variety of Nordic events this winter, including a series of ski marathons around the region. She also finished fourth in a giant slalom race in Wyoming in February.
At worlds, her 10K time of 41 minutes, 29 seconds bested the second-place finisher by 19 seconds. Her third-place time of 21:18.7 in the 5K was just 11 seconds off the winning pace. She finished the long-distance 15K event in 57:13.6, a little over 5 minutes off the winning time.
When not racing, Hopkinson spends many a winter day training and enjoying the outdoors cross-country skiing at Sunlight, Spring Gulch, Aspen and on the Grand Mesa.
Next year’s Nordic Masters World Cup is slated to take place in Austria, which Hopkinson said would be fun, but maybe a bit ambitious from the travel standpoint.
“This year’s was within driving distance, so that made it doable,” she said. “It was just really fun to have a goal, and to train for it a bit over the winter.”
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U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced in a Wednesday news release that the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund will provide financial awards to 44 athletes across all disciplines.