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Wasatch Citizens Series Director Dave Hanscom Steps Aside

PARK CITY, Utah. – The Wasatch Citizens Series (WCS), cross country skiing’s Saturday staple, is synonymous with one Park City man: Dave Hanscom. Hanscom, Race Director for The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA), oversaw his final race and season today before stepping aside.

For 30 years, by his design, the WCS was the most noncompetitive competition in town. It was also business as usual for elite teams who show up with an agenda to win – like the cross country athletes of the University of Utah as well as those representing Soldier Hollow (SOHO), Park City Ski and Snowboard – Nordic, and  TUNA. Participants ages 8 to 80 come out as much to ski with peers as against them. The WCS has offered a little bit of everything for just about everyone. Perhaps the least of those offerings has been the famous post-race raffle table. 80% of the participants’ names on any given Saturday go onto paper, into a bag, and are blindly drawn to bestow gratis gifts galore worth more than the nominal price of admission.

More often than not, race mornings, complete with all the Cliff Bars one could fit in their pocket for breakfast, was followed by a buffet of sandwiches included in the stressless registration.

For as many as 20 years, many of Hanscom’s all volunteer course crew and race administrators have kept those Saturday mornings running like a well-oiled machine.

Hanscom said, “The race crew will carry on, they’ve got it all under control.”

Rotating venues have included SOHO in Midway, White Pine Nordic Center in Park City, The Farm in Park City, and Mountain Dell between Park City and Salt lake City. Plans are in the works to continue the series into the future.

Hanscom was turned on to the sport growing up in Maine; later he competed as an elite cross country athlete himself for four years at Middlebury College. It’s not out of the question for youth athletes to get their competitive start at this race series, ascend to an Olympic level, retire, then settle right back in to the groove(s) of the WCS. Hanscom wants the whole community to know that he’s grateful to all involved and that thanks to them, “It’s been a great ride.”

Just yesterday Hanscom was passing his torch of knowledge and wisdom, training folks on the ins and outs of running the races. Today, Hanscom’s last on the circuit, would have seen a rollicking sendoff inside the church adjacent to the farm course flanking HWY 224. Due to COVID restrictions, Summit County’s non-indoor gathering policy had attendees feeling festive outdoors, where these locals like it best anyway.

 

Energetic young racers lining up for fun this morning through the Wasatch Citizens Series. Photo: TownLift

 

For more information on WCS and Nordic skiing events, please visit Utahnordic.

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