ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For the first time since 2010 the U.S. Nationals Cross Country Ski Championships will be back in Anchorage.
"It's an opportunity to go out and say, I deserve to be there and I’m ready to race against the fastest in the world," said Alaska Pacific University Elite Ski Team’s Chelsea Holmes.
Weather has been the biggest question mark heading into this week's championships, but organizers say lack of snow shouldn't be an issue.
"Without snow making, we wouldn't have enough snow,” said Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage Joey Caterinichio. “We've got a man made snow loop about 3.7 kilometers, we’re going to be hosting the event within that loop."
Olympic hopeful Scott Patterson trained at Kincaid on Tuesday, and says skiers were unable to do their typical ski testing procedures because they expect conditions to be so different Wednesday.
"Super icy because they are trying to preserve the snow for tomorrow so it was a little sketchy,” said Patterson.
With a home field advantage, many skiers on the APU ski team are eager and confident to kick things off at Kincaid.
"Everyone on our team does well when we've had nationals here, so having nationals here as well as the Olympic qualifier is just going to be really exciting," said Tyler Kornfield
Here is a full schedule of this week’s races:
Wednesday, January 3
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Men's 15k freestyle
Women's 10k freestyle
Friday, January 5
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Men's and women's freestyle sprints
Sunday, January 7
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Men's 30k classic mass start
Women's 20k classic mass start
Junior men's 10k classic mass start
Junior women's 5k classic mass start
Monday, January 8
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Men's and women's classic sprints