Taking his skis overseas
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Growing up in Aspen in the 1950s, all forms of skiing surrounded Greg Feinsinger. With a background as a track and field athlete, a foray into cross-country skiing made too much sense.
“The ski coach thought that, since I was good in track, I’d be a good cross-country skier,” Feinsinger said.
All these years later, cross-country skiing is a pastime that still fills the 69-year-old physician’s free time. So much so that he’s embarking on a three-week excursion to Europe for a trio of marathon-esque races.
Feinsinger and his wife, Kathy, left Wednesday for Worldloppet Ski Federation stops in France, Estonia and Finland.
“I just thought it’d be a neat thing to do,” Feinsinger said, “and a way to see the world in a different way than you’d experience otherwise.”
Worldloppet organizes a wildly popular series of cross-country races on four continents – Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
Feinsinger will be one of more than 4,000 skiers at La Transjurassienne, which features 42-kilometer classic and skate races in the Jura Mountains of France. He’ll be among 8,000-plus at the Tartu Maraton, a 63-kilometer classic jaunt in Estonia and one of more than 4,000 in Finlandia Hihto, a 50-kilometer classic race in Lahti, Finland.
Feinsinger, already a veteran of two Worldloppet races, is aiming to complete 10. Skiing races in 10 different countries earns Worldloppet Master status.
“I’m 69 now,” the Carbondale resident said. “I’m getting older and I need goals. I thought this was a neat goal to have.”
Worldloppet races are more about finishing than anything else. While elite skiers do participate, exercise and social interaction are the prevailing reasons behind the series’ big numbers.
“More than anything, it’s a citizen race,” Feinsinger said. “It’s more about participating to finish, mostly having fun and enjoying the camaraderie.”
A longtime participant in the local Aspen Cup Nordic Series, he’s well initiated with the merits of cross-country skiing.
It’s what, after all the years, keeps him gliding along the trail.
“It’s very technical,” Feinsinger said. “It’s one of the few sports where you can keep getting better the older you get.”
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