Shortly after the collegiate skiers were done tearing up the Nordic trails at the UNH Winter Carnival on Saturday, it was time for the alumni and coaches to take their turn.
The rules for the annual Alumni and Coaches Race are simple: Have fun. No whining. Race for your school’s honor.
And while no one was keeping score or recording times, the UNH Nordic alumni and coaches made a strong showing, rallying four Wildcats to take part in the 2.5 kilometer race around the Eagle Mountain House Golf Course in Jackson, N.H.
“I broke out the vintage UNH ski suit I kept from when I was on the team,” says Cathy Thompson ’93, who now works as a recreation therapist for The Northeast Passage. “It still fits, although thankfully it’s pretty stretchy fabric.”
The race is a unique tradition for the UNH Winter Carnival, which brings together the strongest collegiate teams in the Northeast for two days of alpine and Nordic competitions in the Mount Washington Valley. UNH finished third overall in team scoring against 15 schools, behind the University of Vermont and Dartmouth.
“It’s not about racing seriously or anything like that,” Thompson says. “It’s more about supporting the current team, and going out there with other alums and celebrating the New England skiing community.”
Thompson also serves as a coach for The Northeast Passage Adaptive Nordic Ski Team, which often trains with the UNH team.
Steve Monsulick ’07, who now works at the assistant UNH Nordic ski team coach, still races on his own and at a high level. But the alumni and coaches race, he says, is more about getting together with former teammates, coaches, and competitors from other schools and enjoying a little good-nature ribbing.
“It’s a short race, but just long enough to remind you what the pain of racing is all about,” Monsulick says.
Other veteran UNH alumni lining up were Katie Miller ’11, who is now a UNH graduate student in justice studies and a volunteer coach for the team; and Sarah Walker, a former assistant coach.
The UNH Wildcats took third in the carnival, which featured two days of alpine and Nordic racing against the best teams in the Northeast. Learn more.