September 26, 2017

Race Team Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Jon at Callaghan BC Cup January 2012

Jon at Callaghan BC Cup January 2012

What to expect

Racers will be at Telemark skiing hard for about 2.5 hours Tuesday and Thursday night while Telemark is open (normally mid December through end of March).  There are several races throughout BC in December, January, and February.  Athletes new to the race team should expect to attend 5 races.  Most will be same-day commitments (travel to Vernon, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, or Penticton), but at least one will be a 3-day commitment (Canmore, Rossland, Prince George, Whistler).

The athletes who excel tend to train an additional several hours per week on their own — strength, cardio, or skiing.

This is not all work, though.  Racers have a lot of fun and develop a very close group of friends, outside of their normal school crowd, who are an invaluable support group who are “always there” during tough times.  Most of our athletes cannot wait to get to practice or on the race course!


Typical costs are $300-$750 registration fees, up to $1,000 equipment, up to $400 for a Telemark team race suit, and $500 for travel, accommodations, and food for out of town races.  The team and Telemark have a “financial need” sponsorship program to help ensure that costs do not exlude eager young athletes from participation — contact Head Coach Adam Elliot, 250-769-3750, if you need sponsorship.

How do I sign up?

Go to the “Join Race Team” page for instructions on registering for the team.  But not yet.  Read the rest of this FAQ first!

I signed my child up now what?

This website is your best friend.

  • The first thing you should do is subscribe to the mail list — click here.  We send out messages in the early afternoon in time to give last-minute schedule changes.
  • Please let the Head Coach Adam Elliot know that you have signed up so that you are on his radar.
  • Check the calendar regularly — it changes daily.


Dana at the top of Crystal Rim trail at Telemark Nordic Club

Dana — “I love to ski”

For Telemark Racers (TR1 and TR2) when there is snow at Telemark:  Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:00 to 7:30 and Saturday
from 9:00 to 12:00 at Telemark, plus races are January through March on Saturday and Sunday, usually out of town.

When the snow melts: one to three dryland practices per week around the city on evenings and/or Saturday.

For Junior Development (JD) when there is snow at Telemark: Tuesday evenings 6:00 to 7:45 and Saturday from 10:30 to 12:00 at Telemark. There are usually two races at Telemark which JDs are encouraged to participate in during the ski season.

There is also some optional dry-land training in the summer and fall for JDs including roller skiing, running, crunches and fun. These are usually run on Tuesday or Thursday evenings and some Saturday afternoons.

My Child has No Experience

Not a problem!  One of our recently retired TR2 athletes who won a silver medal at Nationals and made the Canadian National Team Development Squad and still training at Telemark under Coach Adam, first put on X-C skis when he was 14 years old.  One of our current Junior Girls attended her first ever X-C ski training when she was 13.  A third, a girl currently 10, skied with us this year, in the Peewee Girls category, for the first time ever and has made remarkable progress.

Give it a try!  Our program is flexible and there is lots of mentoring to help your child bridge any “late start” challenges.  All we ask of new team prospects is to come with a “can do” attitude and a smile.  We will even work with you on equipment needs, to ensure your child has race-quality gear to practice on while you check out the team.

What Equipment is Needed?

– One pair of classic-style skis (no-wax “fish scale” type are acceptible) — REQUIRED
– One pair of poles the correct length for classic skiing (shoulder height) — REQUIRED
– One pair of skate-style skis — REQUIRED
– One pair of poles the correct length for skate skiing (nose height) — REQUIRED
– One pair of “combi” boots, or else a pair of classic boots and a pair of skate boots — REQUIRED
– Headlamp, for night skiing (not too heavy or bulky) — REQUIRED
– Water bottle – REQUIRED
– Water bottle fanny holder, most athletes prefer the angled one — OPTIONAL
Grip wax, glide wax, and associated equipment.  Attend Coach Adam’s wax clinic before investing in this — OPTIONAL
– Heart rate monitor: not required for JD skiers unless Coach Adam tells you otherwise — OPTIONAL
– Bounding poles: only required if your child is participating in summer dryland practices (10-15cm shorter than classic poles), and Coach Adam will have some that you can borrow — OPTIONAL
– Roller skis:  only required if your child is participating in summer dryland practices, and the team has several pairs that you can borrow when starting out.  You will have the opportunity to purchase these in April as part of a bulk team purchase, so don’t worry about this now — OPTIONAL
– Roller ski poles: REQUIRED if you are roller skiing.  These are standard poles which have the baskets removed and replaced with a special roller ski tip which you can purchase at the local ski shops.
Racing uniform — OPTIONAL.  Watch the emails in September and October for notices on how to get a uniform.
– Clothing — your child will figure this out by talking to the other athletes.  Don’t worry about it.  Just make sure they dress in layers.  No parkas or snow suits, please!
Ski bag.  You will not need one for your first year, but if you decide to get one, make sure it is large enough to hold at least 4 pairs of skis and poles.  Be careful not to purchase a downhill ski bag which is too short for adult XC skis! — OPTIONAL.

Where can I get the Equipment?

Purchase new.  We are sponsored by Fresh Air Experience and Kelowna Cycle, and they both offer outstanding equipment at outstanding discounts to our team athletes.  Tell them you are shopping for a Telemark Junior Racing athlete and they will know exactly what you need and will apply the negotiated discount.  I suggest you stay away from the mass retailers — you will get better equipment properly fitted at better prices from our sponsors.

Purchase used.  Our athletes often “trade up”.  Ask Coach Adam and/or send me an email and we will see if we can find outgrown race gear in the basements and garages of our older athletes.  I recommend you stay away from Castanet, Kijiji, and Craigslist unless you really know what you are doing.

Rent for the season.  Telemark Club supports Junior Racing with a special rental package.  Race athletes can rent a complete ski package (skis, poles, boots) for $70.00 for the year.  Note that the skis cannot leave the property (except as pre-arranged by Coach Adam for out-of-town races) and they must be returned to the rental room after each practice.

Rent as required.  You can rent a ski package for $8 per day from the rental room.

Coach Ross wrote an excellent article on ski selection for Junior Race that will help you understand what to look for and what the tradeoffs are.  I suggest you start with that article.

Parent Involvement

We only have 1 paid coach for 40-plus athletes.  Many parents participate as volunteer coaches during practices.  The race parents meet once per month during race season to make decisions about team finances and other administrative issues that might arise.  And, of course, we hope that all race parents are active in recruiting sponsors, fundraising, and promoting the team in the community.

Team Structure (JD, TR1, TR2)

“JD” is the junior development team.  Targeted at the 13 and under crowd, the JD practices focus on having fun in the snow, technique fundamentals, and developing a love for the sport.  JD team members are welcome to start racing whenever they feel ready, but racing is not a priority.  The JD team practices on Tuesday night and Saturday morning at Telemark.

“TR” is the Telemark Racing team.  Group “1” are athletes who are still developing technique, strength, and stamina.  Group “2” are athletes who have proven to be competitive at a high level and are expected to race at a Provincial or National level.  Group “2” athletes tend to train longer and more frequently and participate in more races, otherwise the training and practice programs and team expectations are identical.  All “TR” team members are expected to race as directed by the head coach.

Tamasin at BC Cup #2, Revelstoke, 2015

Tamasin at BC Cup #2, Revelstoke, 2015

How Do I Sign Up for Races

Each athlete must register for each race.  The coaches will not do this for you.  Most race registrations are on Zone4.  Registration information is normally posted on our calendar page.

Do I need a Cross Country Canada Race License?

Anyone 14 or older as of December 31 MUST purchase a race license to participate in major races (BC Cup, Westerns, Nor Am) or to qualify for Provincial or National teams.  If you are old enough (13 this calendar year) and wish to make any BC teams for trips or the season you need a Cross County Canada Annual License.

You can purchase a Day License when you register for a race, or an Annual CCC license here.  Typical day license fees are $5 to $10 per race and the Cross Country Canada license is $55 per year.  The race team recommends you purchase an annual CCC license if your child is 14 years or older.  For the application form, Coach Adam’s Coaching Number is CC984975 and level of Certification is “Learning to Compete” L2C Completed, Brent Hobbs is the “Club Official”.

You can check your CCC point totals here.

Do I need a Race Uniform?

While most of the team members have a uniform and it is recommended, it is not a requirement, especially for JD people.  Uniforms can only be ordered online anytime — click here.  There may be some “outgrown” uniforms available — ask one of the coaches for help on this.


For the 2014/2015 season:

Head coach Adam Elliot (full time)
Assistant coach Corrie Allen (part time)
Assistant coach Jeff Kerkovius (part time)
Parent volunteer James Williams
Parent volunteer Ross McKinnon
Parent volunteer Paul Shipley
Parent volunteer Joe Wessel
Parent volunteer Deepa Filatow


Parent  Committee:
Committee Chair and Telemark Executive Liason- Brent Hobbs 250-864-2303
Committee Vice Chair – Rebecca Tyson
Treasurer – Wendy Wickstrom
“Day of Race” Coordinator – James Williams
Secretary – Ron McDougall 250-979-1255
Marketing – Scott Davis
Web Page – Barry Allen
Publicity / Media Relations – Tom Walker

To volunteer, or for information about the race team, contact Jill Stamp Email or phone 250-979-1255.