Special to the EagleHerald
Kurt Breuer at the Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette, Mich.
Special to the EagleHerald

Kurt Breuer at the Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette, Mich.

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MARINETTE — One Marinette family is happy to see the cold weather blowing in because it has signaled the start of cross country skiing season. Kurt and Erik Breuer are two races in with only minor frostbite to show and a big race on the horizon.

Erik, who is a member of the Nordic Ski Club at the University of Minnesota Duluth, had a successful run at the 10th Annual SISU Ski Fest in Ironwood earlier this month. The SISU featured 680 participants in five races. Erik ran the 31K Classic race and placed 38th among 114 competitors with a time of 2:23:56.

Hunter Dercks (20) of Houghton, Mich., won the event with a time of 1:51:51. Kurt Aschim, also a Marinette resident, finished 87th with a time of 3:05:02.

The SISU was run in ideal conditions with temperatures in the mid-20’s, clean powder and low wind.

Erik’s father, Kurt was not as lucky last weekend at the 21st Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette. The 50-kilometer race went on despite sub-zero temperatures. More than 800 skiers braved the frigid conditions in 11 events.

The conditions were challenging for competitors as the race began with the temperature sitting at -17. However, snow conditions were good and the primarily forested trails were well groomed. Athletes used layers, tape and petroleum jelly to combat the cold.

“It was enjoyable,” Kurt said following his sixth Noque appearance. “I didn’t fall down and hurt myself, that’s always my goal!”

“You do have to dress a little more warmly,” Kurt said about the conditions. Kurt came out of the race with some minor frostbite on two fingers, but said his hands are a little more sensitive than most. He went with three layers on his upper body and two on his lower body, and said he was pleased with the selection, but actually got a little overheated.

Kurt finished 135th overall with a time of 5:27:36. He was 11th among men age 60-64. Other local skiers included Kim (21) and Brittany Barrette (19) of Peshtigo who placed 25th and 51st respectively in the 12K Freestyle.

The Noque was won by 2004 Olympian Brian Gregg (34) of Minneapolis, who finished in 2:37:32.

Next up for the Breuers is the Slumberland American Birkebeiner on Feb. 23 in Hayward, Wis. The race is billed as North America’s largest cross country ski race and spans 55 kilometers from Cable to Hayward. Erik’s time at the SISU qualifies him to go off with Wave 1 in the 55K Classic race just behind the Elite Wave skiers.