Annual Centaloppet set to hit slopes Sunday

The Flin Flon Ski Club’s trails are ready for the next edition of the annual Val and Ivor Hedman Centaloppet.

The event is set for March 3, with a mass start at the Beaver Pond at 2 p.m. sharp. Registration will take place from 1 to 1:30 p.m. with no entry fee. Skiers are encouraged to dress up during the event, which takes place along a 3.4-kilometre loop starting from the Beaver Pond before heading north around to Spirit Hill, south through the club’s trail system along the Valley Loop, then circling back toward the finish line at the chalet.

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Unlike a typical skiing event, the top honour of the race does not go to the first person across the line. The Centaloppet Cup instead is given to the best finisher after race times and results are run through a complex proprietary formula, taking into account factors like age and experience level.

Last year’s event, which featured skiers ranging from one year old to seniors, ended with then-six-year-old participant Janae Neufeld winning the cup.

“Our handicapping system ensures that each and every skier has a chance at winning the prestigious Centaloppet Cup,” read a statement supplied by the ski club.

This year, organizers hope to clear the 100 participant mark, something the club has not reached since the 1980s. A total of 73 skiers participated in last year’s event.

Organized by the ski club and not an officially sanctioned race, the event does not require cancellation in the event of cold temperatures.

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