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MWC2018 Minneapolis Team USA Information

This page is intended to help every USA skier taking part in the MWC2018. All USA racers should visit this page regularly until your last MWC2018 race day. This is the primary way the USA National Director will keep in touch with our 400 USA skiers for this Worlds! Updates will be posted daily until January 26.

Official MWC2018 Event Website -- schedules, course maps, ground transportation info, start lists, and results .

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DAILY UPDATES FROM USA NATIONAL DIRECTOR J.D. DOWNING

Monday, January 22 Updates: last update 2:05am CST :

RELAY SELECTION (draft)
Immediately below please find a draft version of MWC2018 USA Relay Teams. Until 9:30am please email jd @ xcskiworld dot com with any gross corrections such as skiers listed in the wrong age group -- a technique listed that you are totally unable to do -- a skier listed on a team or as an alternate (but you are totally unavailable).

No later than 10am on Tuesday the relay listings have to be starting the route to the Race Office. Relay Selections MWC2018.pdf

Skiers listed as alternates are asked to be ready to race until we know all bibs are picked up. So you need to be wiling to go to the race venue and basically hang around until your team is complete. At that point you are free to do whatever you wish (but we hope you'll cheer on your team).

Please note that we do not yet have specific start times for Wednesday relays. The typical time window is between 9am and 2pm -- but that could move up to an hour in either direction.

Sunday, January 21 Updates: last update 7:24pm CST :

General Notes and Updates

1.) REMEMBER USA NATIONAL MASTERS CEREMONY -- TOMORROW NIGHT (MONDAY) IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MWC2018 MEDALS ARE AWARDED (we'll use room next door in Hyatt). Tentative start time for USA awards is 7:15-7:30pm. Top three USA skiers in every age category from the FIRST FOUR RACES -- SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY -- will all be awarded. My goal is nothing less than the fastest National Masters awards in human history. Come and see if I can pull it off. The MWC2018 official party #1 will be rocking and rolling right afterwards.

2.) The MWC2018 official party celebrations are a brand new experiment by the World Masters Association instead of a boring, stuffy, waiting forever, never getting the food you want, paying way too much for what you get -- type of banquet. As you can tell from my description, I'm a fan of the parties being a replacement -- it was also my WMA Board motion (so you better love this folks!). Make sure to bring your party #1 tickets found in your packet plus two free drink tokens. Any guests can buy tickets at the door to enjoy beverages, light food (taco bar!), and music. It'll be giddy international fun.

3.) Because of the storm approaching, could have Monday events be postponed to Tuesday?
Answer: A full day postponement (now only a morning emergency decision) would only happen if the jury decided racing was unsafe or unreasonable or if there was an organizer emergency (for example, if volunteers could not make it to the venue). Because there are two races scheduled for tomorrow, a huge number of skiers (mostly USA -- but also folks from other nations as well) have based their MWC participation around those races happening on Monday. So if the races had to be moved a day, a bunch of people will not be able take part. In addition, volunteers and officials have based their personal schedule around race on Monday, ceremony/party Monday night, and rest day Tuesday. Postponing because of Monday's storm would throw all of these people into chaos and could easily result in not having enough volunteers on Tuesday (which means we have to outright cancel the races). Another factor is that the storm isn't currently appearing to be of monster size. We will love as many inches of snow as we can add to the courses, but right now the amount of snow seems reasonable both for road travel to the venue and certainly for course prep and racing. All of this can change quickly, but that's the scoop right now. We'll see after the Team Captain's Meeting what the jury has decided.

4.) Regarding the pole measuring tool used on Saturday...
The jury is aware of a few folks not particularly happy with the accuracy of the device and/or application before Saturday's races. More seasoned volunteers will be monitoring the same device on Monday. This should hopefully decrease any perceived inconsistencies. Please also remember that the root cause of this situation and this rule is the FIS Rule Committee and that same group is the one that has mandated that WMA and the appointed Technical Delegate (referee) enforce what remains (in some quarters at least) a controversial addition to our sport. Everyone is very encouraged to contact folks on that Committee via email (look it up on the FIS website) and let them know your feelings.

5.) When or if delays occur with the bus trips, please know the O.C. is doing everything possible to try and keep the charter company on schedule -- but it's proving challenging at times as driver inconsistencies and sometimes our skiers are putting spanners in the works. You can help by not trying to flag down the buses outside the official stops. Many of the international athletes are not getting this memo and the drivers are being too nice to stop in random spots that can add several minutes to the bus loop -- which then has that dreaded domino effect. O.C. is doing all that they can to keep things on schedule.

6.) If you have not already, you can pick up your packet/bib at the Theodore Wirth Park race venue on every race day starting at 7:30am (look for information area at the back of the large stadium tent). Packet pick-up at the Park will continue until at least last racer across the line on each race day.

7.) Please all USA skiers try and make it to medal ceremonies in the coming week. It is especially important for actual USA medalists to be there. First -- you should be pretty stoked you are on the podium in a World Championships. Second -- the organizers are going to a lot of effort to pull off MWC-quality medal ceremonies and you really diminish their efforts if you blow off the medal ceremony. Finally, on Monday and Friday nights there is not only the MWC ceremonies -- and the USA National Masters ceremonies (where top three Americans are recognized in all races...Monday, 22nd for all Sat-Sun-Mon races...Friday 26th for Thurs-Fri races) -- but also fun official MWC parties after the medals are awarded to enjoy. So......we'll expect to see YOU there!

8.) For folks driving downtown for MWC ceremonies, the smart plan is to do a quick Internet search of cheaper parking garages in the area of Nicolette Mall before you drive downtown. Walking downtown is super easy so even if you park several blocks from the Hyatt, you could save $10-20 on parking just by doing a little homework. Street meters also are much cheaper than garages. Also remember there is light rail to the Nicolette Mall Station that you can take for just a couple dollars. Scroll down to Ground Transportation for tips (the walk is really very reasonable if you aren't carrying all your ski baggage).

9.) Hot tip on parking downtown (for skiers that drive in to all Ceremonies), 3 blocks south of the Hyatt on Nicollet Ave there is a metered lot charging just 50 cents per hour. This is a great tip not only tonight for the Opening Ceremony, but also all coming night events. Another advisable parking garage is located at 11th and Market. The garage at the Hyatt itself is quite expensive and is largely reserved by the NFL for this little football game coming up in two weeks.

Notes for Classic and Freestyle Short Distance Races -- Monday, January 22

a. GROUND TRANSPORTATION NOTE FOR SKIERS THAT DRIVE TO RACE -- You can park in main Wirth Park lots until they are full -- then you will need to park at the Wirth Beach parking lot and there will be a short shuttle (5mins) to get to the venue. If you use the main lots, please carpool to the extreme. The more folks that load into cars, the more the parking will stretch. There is the lot across from the race stadium. There is the lot by the Chalet (where the buses load/unload) and there is a third lot another 200m past the Chalet (northeast I think up the Parkway road past the intersection by the Chalet) that will probably be ignored by many folks!

b. NOAA Forecast For Minneapolis is your best look at weather for tomorrow. Monday will be stormy. We will have temps just under freezing to start and snow is forecast to get busy (3-5 inches) right just after the classic races start and continue through the freestyle races. Wind will be pretty robust throughout the day. It's a winter sport.

c. OFFICIAL RACE DECISION BY THE JURY
The jury has decided that the 10km course extension will not be suitable for a world-class event by tomorrow so all 10km skiers will be making one loop of the 7.5km course -- identical course to Saturday/Sunday. All 5km skiers are doing 1 x 5km on your normal loop (same as Sat/Sun).

Additional coaching notes from your National Director...
--> For any 10km skiers prone to whine tonight, wait until you see the weather in the morning and then you may change your tune.
--> Remember the reasons we can't realistically do a 2 x 5km (scroll way down on this page).
--> This will be as close as masters get to a sprint race. So it's a super unique chance to channel your inner US Ski Team favorites and go for a full tilt burn start-to-finish.

d. Our designated USA-only tent should be fully operational on Sunday. The tent is heated very well and has chairs and tables in it. The tent is also in a spot where it should be very wind-protected (great thing). This will be the best secure place to store extra skis and big bags plus do weather-protected waxing. The tent is located around the race course-corner of the maintenance barn that is located mid-way between the the big stadium tent and the bus stop in front of the chalet. It's about a 1-2 minute walk to the stadium tent. The barn itself is divided up for use by other nations and there are national signs marking those spots. If the USA tent gets too crowded for actual waxing, then for waxing there is a shared international waxing tent just 3 steps behind the USA storage/changing tent. Please everyone just use the USA tent and do not invade areas in the barn!

What if I want to use the main stadium big tent for my pre-race prep? No one is going to stop you from changing or leaving bigger bags in the main big tent. But you are leaving your bags at your own risk, you cannot leave skis in the tent, and you'll have no guarantee of USA-skier only presence.

In addition to the USA tent, all USA skiers are welcome to use the downstairs locker rooms at the Chalet building for very nice and heated areas to really change clothes and also real bathrooms. Leave ski bags outside please. Many of you will want to really change everything if we have a true blizzard and unless you are comfortable with showing off your personal stars and stripes to the entire USA team -- the Chalet locker rooms will be your spot.

e. Race course grooming will be same as Saturday/Sunday. 2 classic tracks for morning races. Then as wide as possible in standard freestyle race format. If there's room to set one classic track for the freestyle race on the side of long downhills, it will be put in.

f. REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF -- the grooming crew will be out from 4-7am. After they are done, they do NOT want anyone skiing on the race course. No wax testers, No skiers even in the earliest starts. No coaches. They want the snow to have time to set up given they are grooming super close to the start intentionally. You go out, you ruin the course for others. Don't do it. After the final classic finisher is in the house, the grooming crew will go back out and re-groom the entire course for the freestyle race. You are NOT ALLOWED TO SKI ON THE COURSE AFTER FREESTYLE GROOMING -- until there are stadium announcements that the course is re-open. Again, you go out, you'll potentially ruin things for everyone. Don't be that guy or gal.

g. The manmade kick and glide testing will again be on the short hill section inside the far loop near the Chalet parking lot. This the little uphill/downhill loop is the only spot you can test on the manmade course for the classic race and the best spot for the freestyle race until fresh snow really piles up.

For actual warm-up or non-racer training, as with Saturday, the best plan is to walk across the Parkway road and the parking lot immediately opposite the big stadium tent. You will see where a natural snow trail heads out into the golf course. There several kilometers of gentle skiing on natural snow trails packed so you can easily get in a good warm-up. Please note that snow depth isn't great and there will not be fresh grooming -- you might want to use less-good skis (this is precisely why our races will be only on the manmade loop on the racing side of the road!).

h. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO TESTING OF SKIS OR WARMING UP ON THE RACE COURSE DURING RACES!
The race course is absolutely closed to all skiing, all training, and all access except for those actively racing or with an official Coach bib (National Directors and WMA Board members). Please do not be part of the problem that happens every year at the World Masters with non-racers on the course. If you are spectating or feeding someone, go out on foot off the trails to any spot you can get to. If you are warming up or cooling down, see item "e" above.

I. At the start area, you can take your official warm up bags (the ones your "packet" came in with your number on it) and put all your final warm-up clothes inside. Zip it up so nothing falls out. As you enter the start pen after timing chip check, put your bag into the black bins you'll see against the fence. Volunteers will move the bags from start to finish for you (nice folks these Minnesotans!). If you put your bag in the start pen outside of a black bin, it may not get moved (you can fetch it yourself after racing).

j. BE SURE TO BE NEAR THE RACE START AREA 5-10 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED START. You will hear announcements as to when your start group will be entering the ready area. Smaller groups take less time. Bigger groups take more time. If you are late, you will miss your start. It's your fault whether you hear a speaker announcement or not. Wear a watch, pay attention to similar numbers going in the start area, etc..

k. In the start area you will be placed by volunteers in a specific numbered spot according to the start list. It helps if you memorize the number, but the volunteers will have the charts to guide you. YOU CANNOT MOVE FROM YOUR SPOT TO ANY EMPTY SPOTS -- EVEN THOSE IMMEDIATELY AHEAD OF YOU!!! If you move around and are caught, you will be disqualified and mocked harshly for "start doping". Seriously. Don't do it. Totally uncool.

l. You must show up at the start line with your transponder (timing chip) on your ankle (doesn't matter left or right). You must show up with your MWC race bib. YOU WEAR THE SAME TRANSPONDER (timing chip) AND THE SAME BIB FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL RACE YOU DO AT THE MWC.

m. If you lose your transponder (timing chip), it's $55 for a replacement. When you are done with individual races, you are required to turn in the transponder to the Race Headquarters at the Hyatt or the Information desk at the race venue. Make darn sure that a volunteer recognizes you dropped off the timing chip and don't just put it on a table and walk away. You want credit that you did actually turn it in! Please note that if you have made yourself available for the relay, we may need you to have your transponder for Wednesday even if you finish up individual races Sat-Mon. So hang on to it if you are in the mix for relay selection!

n. The MWC format does allow for tracking other skiers. However, every USA racer is urged to follow the "J.D. rule" which means if you are younger and/or faster than someone else — go the heck around. You'll lose more time waiting for a slower skier to get out of the way than you just getting around them anyway you can.

That said, the actual FIS/WMA rule is that if you get a command to yield the track to a faster skier, you do need to make a good faith effort to get out of the way as fast as possible. You can be DSQ if you refuse to do this.

If you are a slower skier or just being overtaken by a faster skier (subtle difference that), a good rule of thumb in skate races is to shade yourself over to the right side on a straightaway and use the outside line on curves. When you give faster skiers the best line or a clear path to pass on a straightaway left and they still track you -- they are being just plain stupid and at that point tracking rules can rightfully be contested.

o. If for any reason you have to DNF, please pull up your bib halfway to cover the number, ski off the course and walk when safe, and notify (ideally) a jury member that you are abandoning the race or at least a volunteer in the stadium area. Make sure they get your number. This helps timing and safety folks after the race know you are OK.

p. Any official protests have to be via your National Director (me -- J.D. Downing), written, and submitted ASAP after your race. Per rules, you have until 30mins after each category race complete unofficial results are posted as window. Basically if there is something against FIS rules that happened on the course that can be verified by other skiers and clearly impacted a medal -- then, yes, an official race protest can be worth it. But if you don't have witness support or it was a true accident -- you probably will be wasting everyone's time.

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MWC2018 Start Lists

http://www.loppet.org/mwc2018/event-information/start-lists/

--> Reminder: NO MORE CHANGES POSSIBLE TO RACES or minor info like team affiliation.

--> Note: When you look at the start lists, please know that where the column on the left side is marked "Pos" (aka "position"), that number corresponds to an exact spot on a seeded grid of lanes and rows. The first name in your category is always the highest seed -- and thus they have the best starting position as determined by WMA and FIS rules. Your spot will be marked with the number you see listed, but there will also be plenty of volunteers to guide you to your spot at every start. If you do NOT see a start position number, that means you were an extended registration and thus the volunteers will place you in specific spots behind the seeded skiers.

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SNOW & WEATHER UPDATES

NOAA Forecast For Minneapolis

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BIB & PACKET PICK-UP DURING THE MWC2018

Starting the morning of Saturday, January 20 you can pick up your packet/bib at the Theodore Wirth Park race venue on every race day starting at 7:30am (look for information area) and lasting until the end of racing on any given day.

CRITICAL THING TO REMEMBER: The bib you get at packet pick-up is your bib for as many individual MWC2018 races as you've signed up for. You must remember the same bib for every race. You forget, you'll be subject to whatever punishment the O.C. wants to hand out. You literally might not get to start if they can't figure something out. SO ALWAYS BRING THE SAME BIB TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL RACE!!!. If you are selected for a USA relay leg, you'll get a loaner relay bib just for that Wednesday, 24th race only that you MUST return after you finish.

IMPORTANT ADDED NOTES: All USA skiers that didn't already put your name on the USA Relay Availability Sheet (scroll down to the relay section to read up on that), you will be asked to do so at packet pick-up.

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TEAM USA RELAY SELECTION PROCESS UPDATES

The “relay availability” sheet below is now posted for every USA skier to fill out your interest and availability for USA relay teams if you are selected. IT IS HELPFUL FOR EVERY SKIER TO FILL OUT THE SHEET EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING THE RELAY! Please click on the link and put in the info requested -- it'll take only a few seconds.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LO8jhr--w2O4XIs3GisFHQLTSKbhc99A...

The relay is a 4 x 5km with two classic and two skate legs. Per WMA rules, only one USA team can be entered in each age/gender category. No, we cannot field extra or unofficial teams in any category even when the Worlds is in the USA.

The men's relay is conducted in the normal 5-year age groups as the individual races. Because historical average attendance at the MWC has 50% women entered, the women's relay is conducted in 10-year age groups (example: F1 and F2 individual race age groups are combined into a (30-39 years) Relay F1 group. In total there are 10 age groups for men (capped at M10+) and there are 5 relay age groups for women (capped at F9+). In case anyone not familiar with the MWC relays is really worked up about the gender difference, WMA is working on a potential change for 2019, but in reality even if we had 5 year groups this year most of the extra USA teams we'd get would literally be racing themselves or (at best) a few extra Canadian women's teams. So the way things are, does provide better competition -- albeit at a cost of opportunities when we have a ton of women on the USA roster.

We have many hundreds of USA skiers on our contingent "roster" in total, so the reality is that relatively few USA skiers of all those registered will be selected for relay teams. But we hope everyone will support and cheer on the teams we field as we generally do really well when the Worlds are in North America. Relay team selection for all categories will be made by USA Director J.D. Downing late Monday night, January 22 and announced Tuesday morning, January 23.

The 2008 (McCall) and 2011 (Silver Star) Worlds showed us that you will typically need to be one of the top overall 5-6 USA skiers in your age/gender category to be in play for the official USA teams. What makes it even more complex is that often some top skiers are good in both CL and FS techniques, but they may not actually race both techniques at the MWC2018. Some relay teams pick themselves, some other teams involve brutal splitting hairs. Typically relay selections are based on performances in the first four individual races (mid-distance and/or short distance races). In rare situations, skiers that have established themselves as dominate age-group athletes in past MWC events may be considered for relay selection even if they have not posted MWC2018 results.

Skiers that have traveled with AXCS to MWC events in Europe will note that often relay teams are comprised using 1-2 strong skiers "dropping down" in age. This is often done in Europe to form a few strong teams because we typically do not have enough USA depth to go for medals in more than a few age categories. However, when in North America we typically have the depth we need to form actual age group relays comprised nearly entirely of athletes in that age category.

The preference of your USA National Director is to name the USA relay teams for 2018 as much as possible using classic and skate results from the first three MWC2018 race days (first four races) -- keep skiers that have done mostly CL or FS in those early races in the technique they've been doing -- and as much as possible stick with the best USA team we can configure using only skiers from the given age category. Deviations from this plan will only be made in extremely rare situations.

AGAIN -- The “relay availability” sheet below is posted for every USA skier to fill out your interest and availability for USA relay teams if you are selected. Please click on the link and put in the info requested -- it'll take only a few seconds.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LO8jhr--w2O4XIs3GisFHQLTSKbhc99A...

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HELP WITH REGISTRATION CHANGES

No registration changes are possible at this point except if there was a clear error on the part of the WMA or O.C. in managing your data. The start lists are now produced so any "preference change" from any skier causes a big domino effect. Ever see dominos in the snow? No? Well, there's a reason. It's not pretty.

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HELP WITH RACE SEEDING

We are now past the deadline for additional requests for help from the USA National Director for race seeding. The door is totally closed, shut, locked, key thrown away, (you get the point) for anyone to make changes of any kind. Please do not ask the O.C. or the USA National Director.

Start lists are published. So you are where you are. That said -- you can see on the start lists that one upside of a smaller-than-hoped-for MWC2018 is that every skier is really in a decent spot no matter what.

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EXACT CATEGORY START TIMES FOR MWC2018

Start times are posted for all race days and are also matched up on the start lists.

In general, these start times do not tend to move from what you see unless there is a weather or safety emergency. All USA skiers should make sure you allow plenty of time to get to Wirth Park and get ready for your race on all days.

http://www.loppet.org/mwc2018/event-information/schedule/

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HELPFUL TIP FOR SKIERS FLYING TO MINNEAPOLIS

Although we always hope that bags will arrive with us as we arrive on ski trips we fly to, sometimes you'll be missing stuff due to delayed or missing bags. Best advice is to not panic and be prepared ahead of time.

First step is to prepare a simple "cheat sheet" of information BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME that contains all the info you need to report to the airlines if/when you don't have a bag or two after your flights. You need the name/physical address of your hotel(s), hotel phone, cell number, email that you can access easily, and a good description of the missing bags. It will pay to make your bags unique in some way (stickers, bright scarves tied on handles, whatever). Having all this on a sheet of paper that is in your carry-on bag makes filling out missing bag forms much, much easier. Sometimes you can just give your printed paper with all this info to the airline person and they staple it to the form that has to be filed -- wicked easy!

The second step is to bring in your carry-on a few essential ski items so you can survive several days without your main bags. It can really pay off to carry-on a nylon duffle bag (light and easy-to-pack for the return trip) with the ski essentials including: ski boots (try and carry-on at least one pair in the technique of your first MWC race), head-to-toe ski race clothing including underwear (borrowing or renting ski gear is usually pretty easy -- borrowing ski clothes is a pain). Don't forget critical accessories like gloves/hat/glasses/etc.. Basically pack the duffle like it was a kit of stuff you'd need to go from your office straight out to a ski area to do a race. When we have a big USA team, it is usually pretty easy to borrow skis/poles/waxing gear so if you have this other stuff with you the entire time it's much easier to relax while you wait and hope for your ski luggage to arrive.

Finally, a word about waxes in baggage...Of late we are told by the industry folks that pressurized waxing sprays can sometimes cause issues with TSA. So they advise not flying with it even in checked bags. Any waxing liquids not under pressure shouldn’t be a problem if they are in your checked bags. Advisable to leave original packaging on wax so TSA doesn’t wonder what it is.

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RULES OF NOTE REGARDING SKI GEAR AT THE WORLDS

Rules for "legal" skis or boots are pretty much a non-issue for nearly all masters. Using skate skis/boots in classic races is allowed, but note that course monitors will watch for skating violations very carefully and it is very easy to unintentionally violate classic technique rules in various spots when using skate gear in classic races. Ye be warned.

With classic poles, WMA was forced last year to adopt the recent FIS rule which is that you are limited to poles no more than 83% of body height measured in boots. That did not prove to be terribly problematic at the MWC2017 for most skiers, but it is notable adjustment for guys (and usually it is only very strong men) that like to use really long poles for classic.

The exact enforcement of max classic pole length is subject to change by every race/event jury. The FIS-appointed Technical Delegate (basically referee) has a huge say in this final enforcement once on-site at the event. So AXCS cannot say for certain in advance how things will go. But what happened at the MWC2017 in Klosters, Switzerland is that skiers were provided with a measuring kiosk prior to race days to check the percentage height (of course you can do that on your own at home). Volunteers and jury members then visually looked for potential problem poles when skiers were in the staging area for category starts. If a skier looked potentially like they'd have poles that were too long, officials would pull the skier aside before or after the race to double check. Typically if a small violation was found, it resulted in a warning for the next race. No skiers were disqualified as no one was found intentionally violating the intent of the rule.

This is probably how things will roll in Minneapolis for MWC2018.

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TEAM USA MEETINGS

Because the 400-strong Team USA will be spread out all of the Twin Cities, we will not have any in-person USA meetings except possibly a short get together at the Hyatt Hotel the night before the relay.

Instead the USA Update Page (which you are reading right now) will have daily information posted that should cover all topics to have a great event week.

At the stadium, AXCS will try and have a posting board for USA-specific race and event information. This is highly weather dependent.

At the Hyatt Hotel, AXCS will try and have a posting spot for USA-specific notices -- but no promises. You know how fancy hotels can be.

You are welcome to post general interest MWC2018 items on the AXCS Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AmericanXCSkiers/

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USA AWARD CEREMONIES & MEETINGS

On Monday, Janaury 22 and Friday, January 26 there will be two USA-only 2018 AXCS National Masters medal ceremonies at the same location as the official MWC2018 ceremonies on those same dates. Because the MWC2018 doubles as the 2018 AXCS National Masters Championships, the USA Ceremonies will recognize the top three USA finishers in every MWC race event (so we toss out the internationals and just count USA vs. USA skiers).

The current plan is for USA medal ceremonies to be held as follows (subject to adjustment, but this is the current plan confirmed with the hotel and O.C.):

USA NM2018 Ceremony #1 covering races on January 20-21-22: Immediately following the MWC medal ceremony on Monday, January 22 (estimated start time is 7:30pm).

USA NM2018 Ceremony #2 covering races on January 25-26: Immediately BEFORE the official MWC medal ceremony and closing ceremony on Friday, January 26 (estimated start time is 5:05pm).

AXCS strongly advises USA skiers to show up on time to these special ceremonies. AXCS National Director is known internationally as the fastest and most amusing MC on the planet for award ceremonies. We will have fun and we will be fast to honor our top 3 USA skiers in every MWC races. Like so fast if you aren't on time, you will literally miss it. Ye be warned.

If you no-show to either ceremony, but actually want your National Masters medals, AXCS will mail your medals after the event to you IF you provide a self-addressed envelope with postage (one first class stamp per medal you want J.D. to mail you). Send the SAS envelopes to: AXCS Box 604 Bend, OR 97709. Please include explicit instructions as to which exact races you medaled in and didn't pick up medals. There is a time limit of May 31 for retroactive medal mailing. After that date your medal will be used for a future event.

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WHY HAVING THE MWC IN A BIG CITY IS GOING TO BE UNIQUE & FUN

NHL Games During Worlds Period
Saturday, January 20 — Wild vs. Tampa Bay (9pm)
Monday, January 22 — Wild vs. Ottawa (8pm)

NBA Games During Worlds Period
Saturday, January 20 — Timberwolves vs. Toronto
Saturday, January 27 — Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn

Notable Concerts
Thursday, January 25 — 2 Cellos
Fri/Sat, January 19-20 — Ben Folds

Just do an on-line search for ticket information.

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WAXING INFORMATION

At every official MWC2018 hotel (the hotels listed on the MWC2018.com webpage), there will be a designated covered space for waxing. Often parking garages are used at MWC events. All skiers will need to bring your own profile, your own iron, your own supplies. You might need an extension cord. But there should be some type of table to clamp profiles to plus power and light. If you can bring your own profile bench with legs (particularly for folks that drive to the Twin Cities) -- that is highly recommended.

At the race venue, there will be shared on-site tent(s) or structure provided for waxing to be used by all USA and international skiers. This waxing space is intended to be primarily for race day preparations (particularly classic waxing) for racers on any given MWC race day. The shared space is not intended to be a 24 hour facility so there will be set time limits. Registration totals may demand separation of certain nations (for example, if USA totals are really big compared to other nations). Anticipate the same as at hotels -- some type of table to clamp your own profile to plus power/light -- you bring everything else.

Every MWC skier is strongly advised against "guerrilla waxing" inside hotel rooms or on hotel balconies. Even if you are perfectly careful, you risk our entire sport getting banned from establishments by doing this type of thing. If you stay at a non-official hotel, just ask the hotel ahead of time if there's a shop or garage where you can plug in an iron out of the weather. If they want your business, they'll figure something out.

We are sure that all the great Twin Cities retailers will have some options for helping USA skiers wax their skis during the MWC2018. Several of the retailers below will have staff on hand at Theodore Wirth Park starting as early as the 18th and then on all pre-race and race days the rest of the event until the City of Lakes Loppet classic marathon on the 27th. So folks you have no shortage of options to get help with waxing! (Note to other retailers or waxing providers: send AXCS a note << axcs at xcskiworld.com >> and we'll get you on this page as well -- no charge!)

Because some USA skiers have been asking -- YES -- these retailers can also arrange to bring various waxes and waxing gear to either Wirth Park or the Hyatt Hotel downtown if you buy something specific early in the MWC2018 (such as wax cleaner) but don't have a car available to physically drive to the store. Just ask the representatives at the Park or in evenings and AXCS bets you can figure stuff out quickly.

http://www.bouldernordic.com/category/213/race-wax-service

https://finnsisu.com

http://gearwest.com/wmasters-17-wax/

https://hoigaards.com/articles/nordic-grinds-and-wax-pg65.htm

https://www.pioneermidwest.com/masters-world-cup-waxing-service.html

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RACE COURSE INFORMATION

See the official MWC2018 courses with profiles here.....
http://www.loppet.org/mwc2018/event-information/course-maps/

This section has been updated as of January 11. Additional information (if and when necessary) will be updated in the coming two weeks if not via other Team USA updates.

Previous info on this page and in AXCS media has explained in detail the five year development of the full MWC2018 race plan. But now that we are into the home stretch for the MWC2018, we now will focus on just the "real world" conditions and course scenarios.

The Twin Cities has less natural snow than one would hope -- but conditions for making snow have been excellent since mid-December and spreading manmade snow on the MWC2018 courses has been proceeded exactly as planned for six weeks now. What will make everything perfect is to get just a few inches more natural snow and hold daytime high temperatures below 32F/0C as much as possible the remainder of the month. The big upside about Theodore Wirth Park is that with trails on a golf course or recreational paths, as little as 4-6 inches fresh snowfall is enough to provide excellent skiing on nearly all trails.

Middle Distance Races -- January 20 & 21

The plan for men's categories M1-M6 (men 30-59 years) remains to race a 3 x 10km loop which will include the "core" 7.5km manmade snow loop that the Loppet Foundation plans to finish putting in place shortly.

The plan for the M7-M9 and F1-F8 categories is to race a 2 x 7.5km loop which will entirely be using the "core" 7.5km manmade snow loop that the Loppet Foundation plans to finish putting in place shortly.

The 5km "C" course specifically designed for the eldest MWC2018 courses is designed to be 100% included in the 7.5km manmade snow loop. This course will be used in the traditional MWC pattern of 2 x 5km = 10km (January 19-20); 1 x 5km on January 22; and 3 x 5km = 15km (January 25-26). Both the O.C. and AXCS National Director J.D. Downing feel this course is one of the better 5km "C" courses in recent years giving older skiers gentle rolling terrain free of hard downhills or brutal uphills -- yet avoiding the tendency of some "C" courses to be quite boring using only endless flat sections.

"What if" middle distance races contingency plans?
-->> For everyone except the M1-M6 categories, the middle distance race plan will soon be entirely in place via the 7.5km "core" manmade loop. Once fully in place, that loop will be very resilient to weather issues in the latter half of January.
-->> For the M1-M6 categories, currently local organizers and World Masters Association (WMA) remain confident that a combination of additional manmade snow plus even just a small additional amount of natural snow will allow for the full 10km as planned (or as close as possible to that distance). Officials would prefer to avoid using a 4 x 7.5km on the "core" loop -- but that is a contingency option.

Short Distance Races -- January 22 (AM classic, PM freestyle)

The plan for all skiers going 10km on this day will be to use the 10km mentioned above for the middle distances. Again, 7.5km manmade snow should be in place shortly.

See notes under middle distance races above for all skiers going 5km on this day.

"What if" short distance races contingency plans?
-->> Same notes as above regarding the 10km loop. Everyone remains confident the full 10km loop will be ready by the 22nd, but we'll have options ready as needed if the 7.5km "core" manmade loop is the extent of world-class skiing available.
-->> In case anyone is wondering, because the short distance schedule is already so hectic with classic races in the AM and freestyle in the PM, it's simply not practical to do 2 x 5km entirely on the "core" manmade lop. So that is the least likely contingency option.

Long Distance Races -- January 25 & 26

For everyone except the "C" 5km loop eldest classes, the plan remains to use a 15km loop which includes the 10km mentioned for all previous races plus an additional 5km of natural snow trails on the south/southeast side of the Theodore Wirth Parkway. This plan has always depended on sufficient natural snow to be available to be able to utilize the entire intended loop. Not very much natural snow is needed, but we do need the natural stuff to ski a full 15km loop. These extended courses will have two road crossings -- one using a golf course bridge and one at road level. Skiers going 45km would do 3 x 15km (men's categories M1-M6) and skiers going 30km (M7-M9 and F1-F8 categories) would do 2 x 15km -- all this per normal WMA operational plans at the Worlds.

See notes under middle distance races above for all the eldest skiers going 15km on this day. Their 3 x 5km planned loop is already in place using the manmade snow loop.

"What if" long distance races contingency plans?
-->> Only if sufficient natural snow is NOT available for the planned 15km loop latest by mid-way through the MWC race schedule (roughly by the 23rd) will the long distance races have to be re-formulated -- presumably a plan entirely using the "core" 7.5km manmade loop. -->> In any contingency plan, WMA and local officials will strive to provided the highest quality race (meaning: not too many laps and not too much crowding) vs. longest length relative to planned distance (meaning: we want you to feel like you get your money's worth!).

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GROUND TRANSPORTATION

For those staying at the official hotels, your daily trips to/from Theodore Wirth Park for skiing you can take care of with the official shuttle bus. This daily MWC shuttle will run from Thursday, January 18 until the night of Friday, January 26. The materials provided at official hotels will show you the times (every 30 minutes, 8am - 3pm on training days and 7am - 4pm on race days. For the Hyatt the pick-up is right in front of the hotel. Other hotels ask at front desk if the info is not part of a welcome packet.

If you drive to Minneapolis, please be advised that on all race days you’ll need to plan on parking at designated spots near the T. Wirth Park and taking a short shuttle with your gear. Also note that you’ll need to factor in downtown parking garages when you attend ceremonies. See the official website for details if it doesn't get posted here.

MWC2018.com

For the training days (18th, 19th, and 23rd) you will be allowed to park at the Park on two regular lots and one specially-plowed out lot.

For those flying in, AXCS believes most skiers will not need a rental car if you stay in the official downtown hotels. This will save you both the cost of the rental as well as parking fees downtown. You are always welcome to rent a car -- but just be advised that you don't necessarily need one.

For your inbound and outbound airport transfers you can book a private shuttle or taxi (make sure to factor in ski bags). You can save money on these transfers by sharing a shuttle or taxi with ski buddies traveling on the same flights or at similar times.

The really economical option is to take Light Rail from MSP airport (the station is minutes from bag pick-up) direct to downtown Minnepoalis for less than $3 per person! Note you will have a walk from light rail station to hotels (15-18mins total time factoring in crosswalk lights) with your bags from the Nicollet Mall Light Rail station (really just a wide outdoor platform on 5th Street between Nicolette and Marquette) to the downtown hotels with this option. Look for the Nicolette Mall/Center walking corridor slightly to the southwest. It’s an eight block walk south to the Hyatt Regency and Millennium. Smartphone maps will help you make sure you go the right way when walking. The walk down Nicolette to the hotels is totally flat, but if you have a lot of gear (your USA National Director was weighted down pretty good), it'll be a good hike. But it is a wicked cheap way to go.

For anyone that sticks around for the “bonus” City of Lakes Loppet classic marathon on Saturday, Janaury 27, the Loppet Foundation is still researching (for fee) options for transport. USA National Director advise is to plan to share a taxi service ride to start and potentially the same back from finish.

Since you’ll be literally in the middle of a big city, you can easily walk to dozens of restaurants, entertainment options, and (via nearby stations) use Light Rail to get to the Mall of America and other city spots. Note also that Minneapolis has an elaborate walking skyway network of elevated indoor walkways throughout downtown. So whatever the weather is doing, you’ll be comfortable!