Loppet draws thousands to Theodore Wirth, Chain of Lakes

Four-day festival saw relatively mild temperatures

Skiers begin the Loppet's classic marathon race Feb. 2 on Bde Maka Ska. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

The big chill lifted just in time for organizers of the annual Loppet cross-country ski festival, held Jan. 31–Feb. 3 at locations around Southwest Minneapolis.

Thousands of bikers, skiers and snowshoers participated in the 20 events throughout the weekend, from a 37-kilometer cross-country ski race to a 10-kilometer snowshoe race. Other events included fat bike races, a snow sculpture contest and skijoring (a race in which a dog pulls a person on skis).

The snow and subsequent cold in the week before the festival worked out well for organizers, according to Loppet Foundation Marketing and Communications Coordinator Alora Jones. She thanked the 50-plus volunteers who helped shovel the courses in the week before the festival.

Here’s a look at a few events from the festival.

Skiers line up for the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Skiers line up for the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A skier tags his teammate during the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A skier tags his teammate during the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A skier tags his teammate during the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A skier tags his teammate during the youth classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Skier participate in the adult classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Skier participate in the adult classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A cross-country skier participates in the adult classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A cross-country skier participates in the adult classic team sprints event Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Bikers participate in the Penn Cycle fat tire team sprints Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Bikers participate in the Penn Cycle fat tire team sprints Jan. 31 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Skiers begin the classic marathon race on Feb. 2 on Bde Maka Ska. The 37-kilometer course went across Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and before eventually finishing in Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Andrew Hazzard
Skiers begin the classic marathon race on Feb. 2 on Bde Maka Ska. The 37-kilometer course went across Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and before eventually finishing in Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Andrew Hazzard
A group of skiers crosses onto Lake of the Isles during the Puoli Loppet Classic on Feb. 2. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A group of skiers crosses onto Lake of the Isles during the 21-kilometer Puoli Loppet Classic on Feb. 2. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Tyler Govek, Dallas Erdahl and Thomas Bales (from left to right) create a snow sculpture during the Southwest Journal snow sculpture contest Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. The team created a sculpture of an octopus called "Frozen Fingers." Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Tyler Govek, Dallas Erdahl and Thomas Bales (from left to right) create a snow sculpture during the Southwest Journal snow sculpture contest Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. The team created a sculpture of an octopus called “Frozen Fingers.” Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Vince Goeddeke of Minneapolis nears the finish in the Puoli classic marathon race on Feb. 2. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Vince Goeddeke of Minneapolis nears the finish in the Puoli classic marathon race on Feb. 2. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Keith Ailey nears the end of the Puoli Loppet classic race on Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Keith Ailey nears the end of the Puoli Loppet classic race on Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Braden Estenson of Eagan holds his sister's dog before the start of the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Braden Estenson of Eagan holds his sister’s dog before the start of the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
James Hess skis with his dog in the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
James Hess skis with his dog in the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
John Bostrom of Minneapolis skis in the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
John Bostrom of Minneapolis skis in the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Ryan Kraft of Andover skis in the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Ryan Kraft of Andover skis in the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Steve Young of Minneapolis skis in the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship with Hugo, a bichon maltese mix, Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Hugo was perhaps the smallest dog in the race. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Steve Young of Minneapolis skis in the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship with Hugo, a bichon maltese mix, Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Hugo was perhaps the smallest dog in the race. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Glenn Ronning of Minneapolis with his dog Bill, a catahoula, at the end of the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Glenn Ronning of Minneapolis with his dog Bill, a catahoula, at the end of the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A very tired golden retriever named Rudy lies in the snow after finishing the Chuck & Don's Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
A very tired golden retriever named Rudy lies in the snow after finishing the Chuck & Don’s Skijoring Loppet and One-Dog National Championship Feb. 2 at Theodore Wirth Park. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Steve Young and Hugo smile for a picture after completing the race. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Steve Young and Hugo smile for a picture after completing the race. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
Browse

More in Features