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Sarah Max

Nordic Ski Goddess

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Sarah Max, 38, is a writer, cyclocross racer and mother of two. She's also won the Pole Pedal Paddle an impressive three times and is arguably Bend's fastest female Nordic skier.

Athlete: Sarah Max, Nordic skier

How long have you been a Nordic skier? How'd you get started? I started Nordic skiing about 10 years ago after having twins. I realized it was the most efficient way to get a workout and my snow fix. 

What's the biggest misconception about the sport? That it's just a shuffle through the woods. Anyone who thinks that should take a run down Oli's Alley at Mt. Bachelor [editor's note: It's steep!].

Best ski memory from last season? Wearing a traditional Swedish victory wreath after winning a ski marathon in Minnesota. It was one of many Garrison Keillor moments that day—oh yah! 

Favorite piece of winter gear? If I had to single out one item, it's probably my Peet boot dryer. I use it for gloves, boots, hats and hydration bladders. 

What new gear are you most excited about (or, what's on your wish list)? The new Madshus Super Nano boots have some nifty carbon technology that makes them super light and stiff. That translates to fast. I hope.

Got any ski trips on the calendar? I have three or four U.S. trips on the calendar, but my big trip will be the Vasaloppet in Sweden. It's one of the largest and best-known ski marathons in the world. It's also pretty long—90 kilometers on classic skis. 

Favorite regional ski destination? I love skiing to Elk Lake and staying over in a cabin with my family. After the groomer comes through, the Cascade Lakes Highway becomes a giant ski trail. 

What are your winter goals? I'd really like to do more skiing in the backcountry and spend a little more time on alpine side of the mountain. Now that my kids ski with me I don't have to worry as much about efficiency.

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