TD Bank Bill Koch League Festival at Great Glen Trails Brings in Record Number of Participants Full Weekend of Festivities Draws More than 2000 Nordic Skiers and Families to Great Glen Trails
PINKHAM NOTCH, NH- It looked like a version of Nordic Olympics for kids at Great Glen Trails this past weekend, as nearly 600 young cross country skiers (from 1st to 8th graders) and their families enjoyed a weekend of fun competition, games and on snow activities at the TD Bank Bill Koch League Festival.
Legendary Olympic Nordic Silver medalist Bill Koch was in attendance, with his own 10 year old son, Will, and daughter Mehana, 11, skiing with a club from Southern Vermont. “I could hardly be more pleased or think of one thing that could have gone any better,” Koch said afterward. Despite the event being named for him, Koch is still surprised at all the attention he still gets, more than 30 years after his Olympic glory. “I still don’t understand why I get so much attention—cross country skiing is really the thing-Bill Koch is only a circumstance. It’s the spirit of the sport that will always be the basic gold standard,” Koch observed, after marveling at the hundreds who lined up for his autograph.
Participants and their families came from throughout the Northeast and enjoyed a full weekend of fun activities and competitions, including the opening ceremonies and parade; relay races based on grade levels; a non-competitive ski tour including themed elements and characters; a fairy house trail; on snow obstacle course and other usual Great Glen Trails activities (like snow tubing). From the Lollipop race for the youngest kids to the on snow graduation (including a short run down the bottom of the snow covered Auto Road) for the 8th graders, each relay and race came off without a hitch.
“We are all so thrilled that the event went so well. It’s just so wonderful to see all these families enjoying time cross country skiing together. I’m incredibly proud of our staff, the volunteers and the local skiing community who all pulled together to make this such a successful event—and we had a taste of every kind of Mt. Washington weather—except rain!” noted Sue Wemyss, Ski School Director at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (and a XC Olympian herself from the 1984 US team).
The event was co-hosted by the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA). The title sponsor for this event was TD Bank and the presenting sponsors were the “The Valley Originals”, a group of locally owned and operated restaurants in the Mt. Washington Valley. Other event sponsors included: LL Bean, The Trapp family Lodge, Swix, Stonyfield Yogurt, Choucas, Rossignol, Toko, Alpina, Salomon, Ragged Mountain, Polartec and Dasani. For more information about the TD Bank Bill Koch League Festival visit the event website at: www.2012bklfestival.com or contact Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center at 603-466-2333 or www.greatglentrails.com
Photos from the festival: