Race days always seem so chaotic! At races away from Buck Hill, everyone (coaches included) are trying to find out which course is whose and which course to be on. At Buck Hill races, the coaches are busy setting up the courses and are not as available in the morning to help out inside.
Out of the chaos, there is a system. One of the ways to deal with things is to be patient. Answers will come to questions, eventually. Just keep asking and don’t feel bad about asking multiple times.
The second way to deal with race day chaos is to be as organized as possible.
Organization begins the night before the race:
Be sure the racer’s bag is stocked and nothing is missing:
- team bib
- waterproof gloves/mittens (with extra pair)
- neck gaiter/ scarf/ other warm items
- boots (both of them)
- hat (and an extra one)
- sunscreen (even in Minnesota!!!)
- lip balm
- ski socks (2 pair)
- duct tape (to tape the number to the bib)
Be sure your racer has the proper clothes laid out and ready to go:
- long underwear
- ski pants
When dressing your racer, use layers and avoid cotton. It is easier to take off layers then the racer be cold.
- Bring a water bottle, even though it is cold we all get dehydrated
- Pack a lunch and lots of snacks for in-between times (unless you don’t mind paying ski area prices)
- Tune those skis (preferably older racers should do their own).
- Be sure you have directions to the area.
- Go to bed early. All racers need a good nights sleep. The days start early and can go long.
- Load your skis in the car, but keep the boots inside. You will want them to stay on the warm side.
- Grab some duct tape to tape the number on their bib or you can use safety pins, which are usually provided at the event. If you don’t have duct tape, others will and don’t mind sharing, just ask!
Morning of the race:
- Give yourself plenty of time in case of problems.
- Be sure the racer (and yourself) eat a good breakfast.
- All racers are pre-registered, there is no advantage to being the first racer at registration.
At the ski area:
- Buy lift tickets.
- Ask at the ticket window where race registration is held, they should know. (If not, follow the crowd—most likely, they are going to the same place you are.)
Registration opens at 8:30 am.
- At registration, find your racer’s age group and pick up your number. Find out which course your racer will be skiing. Pick up a map.
- Look for Buck Hill coaches. There will be one at the registration area (if you are very early, hang on, we’ll get there). Check in with that coach for any other directions and to get your racer’s bib marked.
- Find a spot to get ready; the ski area typically has an area marked for each team. Remember there will be hundreds of racers.
Getting ready to race:
- Racer should have boots on and be ready to inspect courses 30 minutes before they open for racing.
- Races begin at 10:00 am.
- Buck Hill coaches will be out inspecting courses one half hour prior to the race beginning. Typically you will see them gathering outside the chalet gathering up kids, if you miss them just look for the Buck Hill crowd of kids.
- All racers should find their course and inspect it with the coach.
- Coaches are stationed at the bottom of every course (and at the top if there are enough coaches) Use them!!
When the race begins:
- Racers run one event in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The second event usually begins about 1:00 pm.
- Racers take two runs of slalom and two runs of giant slalom. The best slalom time and the best GS time are added together to get the racer’s total time. If a racer falls or DQ’s one run, the other run can be used for a time.
- Racers run in numerical order for the first run of each event. Numerical order is usually reversed the second run.
- Girls usually race prior to boys.
- Younger age groups run prior to older age groups when on the same course.
It is the racer’s responsibility to be at the top of the course in time for their run. Any racer who misses their start will race after all the other racers have had their run. Sometimes it can be tricky to predict when the second run will occur. Usually it is about 30-45 minutes after the first one. Please help your racer make it to the second run. (Sometimes, they go free-skiing and miss that second run).
Some age groups will finish up much sooner than other age groups. Results and awards are announced about 60 minutes after the last age group is finished. Most areas attempt to get results and awards started by about 4:00 PM. Sometimes it can be later. If you need to leave before the award ceremony, the head coach will pick up any ribbons and will obtain results. Please notify a coach if you need to leave early.
Parents may elect to ski or not. If you have two or more kids racing, you may end up moving between several race courses. Wear warm boots!!
Race Day Cancellations—races will only be canceled if the host area closes.
Contact the race hosting area if you have any questions or need directions:
- Afton Alps : 651-436-5245
- Trollhaugen : 651-433-5141
- Kato: 1-800-668-5286
- Welch Village: 651-258-4567
- Wild Mountain: 651-257-3550
Race Day at Buck Hill
These races are different because the coaches are working to run the courses with your help. We couldn’t do it without you. About two weeks prior to race day, we will call you and ask for your help. We have lots of half-day jobs such as:
- Registration (begins early about 8:15)
- Gatekeepers (outside)
- Starters (outside)
- Timekeepers (mostly inside-one outside post)
- Score recording (inside and outside)
- Score “runners” (lots of walking)
- Computer entry/ribbons (inside)
If you request a specific job we will try to honor it, but we cannot guarantee you will get that job. If you work outside, we will put you on a course your racer is racing. You will be offered a lift ticket for the day you work if you wish to ski. On race day, check in at registration by 8:30 am to find out where you are assigned. If you are working registration, you will be notified ahead of time so you know to come early.
We cannot do it without you and appreciate your volunteering greatly!
Remember, keep smiling and have fun!