Home-field advantage worked out just fine for Doris Hausleitner and Travis Hauck.
The pair of Nelson natives each won the women’s and men’s Masters A 11-kilometre races respectively at the Teck Kootenay Cup cross country ski event, which was held Sunday at the Nelson Nordic Ski Club.
Hausleitner’s result was never in doubt – she finished 4:02 ahead of second-place Kerri Holmes while Abi Moore followed in third.
Hausleitner, one of the Track Attack youth coaches at the club, said she drew energy from the crowd of enthusiastic spectators on hand.
“Sometimes in the very back corner [of your mind] you’re sort of feeling a little less motivated,” she said. “But it’s nice, there’s lots of people out on the course, people are cheering, it helps you keep going.”
Hauck, meanwhile, won the men’s race for the third year in a row. He finished 1:40 ahead of Matthew Tonner with Gregory Mundy filling out the podium in third.
Hauck, who often visits the ski club before work in the morning and even at night with a head lamp, praised the skill level of the competition.
“I was a little bit nervous. There was a couple new guys out. I had to give it all I had and did that until I got out to the end of the trails and looked back and had a little bit of a break so I could slow down a little bit.”
Nelson’s course is scenic but no easy run. Hausleitner said the layout of the course keeps it fun for skiers and fans alike.
“It’s a pretty flat course here in Nelson, so that’s actually tough because there’s no rest,” she said. “You have to keep pushing. But it’s a nice course. They did a really good job. The fun part is they did loops around the stadium so you get more spectator leisure.”
Other winners included: George Edney (Masters B Men); Lesley Beatson (Masters B Women); Kurstun Smith (Recreational); Thomas Dodsworth (Open Men); Remi Drolet (Junior Boys); Michaela McLean (Junior Girls); Ira McKimm (Juvenile Boys); and Mackenzie McLean (Juvenile Girls).
Sunday’s event was the third of six scheduled Kootenay Cups this season, with the next planned for Jan. 30 in Invermere.