Marine Cross-country Ski Race

Marine cross-country ski race returns Jan. 31


MARINE ON ST. CROIX - The 39th Annual Marine on St. Croix/O’Brien Cross-Country Ski Race will be held Sunday, Jan. 31 at William O’Brien State Park.


The park is located 12 miles north of Stillwater and one mile north of Marine on St. Croix, on Minnesota 95.


Steeped in history, the Marine ski race offers beautiful views of the St. Croix Valley over well-groomed trails.


The 12.5- and 25-kilometer races attract skiers of all abilities from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Both long distance races are great tune-ups for the City of Lakes Loppet, Mora Vasaloppet, and American Birkebiener ski races.


There are also four youth races, ranging from a 100-meter dash (age 3 and under) to a 3.5-kilometer race (ages 10-13.)


The 12.5K classic and skate races are one loop around the park. The 25K classic and skate races are two loops around the park.


Adult race pre-registration is $25 High school athletes get special pre-race pricing of $12. Race-day registration is $35 for adults and $17 for high school athletes.


Registration can be completed on-line at prior to 5 p.m., Jan. 30. Race-day registration will take place at the visitor center at William O’Brien State Park. Race-day registration begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 15 minutes prior to the start of each race.


The 12.5- and 25-kilometer classic races start at 10:30 a.m. The 12.5 and 25 kilometer skate races will start at 11 a.m.


The youth race for ages 2-13 will feature the 3-and-under “100 meter dash.” For ages 4-5 there will be a 1-K sprint; ages 6-9, a 2.2-K thriller; and for ages 10-13, a 3.5-K mad dash. Registration is 9 a.m. and continues until 1:15 p.m. Youth races start at 1:30 p.m.


Youth registration costs $7 per child. Registration for three or more children per family costs $18 total. All participants receive a ribbon upon completion of the race.


Past participants of this race have gone on to become Minnesota State High School Nordic Champions, U.S. Ski Team Biathletes, U.S. Nordic Ski Champions and Olympians.


Area merchants and manufacturers are donating prizes, gift certificates and other goodies for overall champions in each event and age group category. Prizes will also be raffled after the awards ceremony. All race proceeds benefit youth skiing through the St. Croix Valley Youth Ski Club.


There will be old photos, trophies and time cards on display to recognize where ski racing began in Minnesota.


Marine Ski Shop owners Ralph and Marian Malberg, Gary Olin, and Bill and Tina Hawkinson started the race with wooden skis imported from Norway. The race used to start at the Marine Elementary School with a mad dash across the ball fields where it funneled into a single file track into the woods to get into William O’Brien State Park. Broken bamboo poles were the norm.


For information contact Everett Myers at 651-644-2800 or email



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