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  • Writer's picturerganderson915

Minneapolis World Cup

This weekend I raced in a World Cup in Minneapolis. It was the first time a World Cup has come to the US in over 20 years. As you can imagine, there was a lot of hype for this event, and it lived up to and exceeded that hype in every way imaginable.

I grew up a few miles away from Wirth, and it is the definition of my happy place and home. I’m an annoyingly proud Minnesotan and Wirth Park promotor. The feeling I get when I’m in those woods - peace of mind, gratitude, and love for the community buzzing around the trails year-round, gets me consistently trying to convince people that it’s the best place in the world, and hoping they can see it the way I do. 

I am deeply proud of the Midwest ski community that raised me and the passion that exists here for cross country skiing. I’ve been lucky to find that energy in other ski communities throughout the US along my career, and it might have been the coolest thing ever to see the US come together and bring absolute electricity to a home-soil World Cup. The world didn’t need any convincing of the passion in US skiing (or the magic of Wirth Park) after this weekend. 

The weather could be no better described as a miracle, with 6 inches of fresh snow falling the day we arrived, and bluebird sunny days around 25 degrees F for both races.

Most conversations I had this weekend were some variation of “well this is amazing" over and over. Around 20,000 people (so I’ve heard) came to cheer their hearts out, lining every inch of the trails with screams, cowbells, horns, chainsaws, posters, and extreme energy for everyone who skied by. 

photo: @gpowersfilm on instagram

My teammate described racing in that atmosphere with a metaphor: “like when you’re trying to park your car with the music blasting, but it’s hard, so you turn down the music to focus.” I feel like I almost forgot how to ski during my race. It took everything I had just to make sure I stayed on my feet with almost overwhelming stimulation from thousands of people putting their soul into making noise for me. We are simply not used to that kind of hype at nordic ski races!! It was the coolest experience of my life.

This race felt like a culmination of my entire ski career, and a celebration of every step that led me to this point. Coaches and teammates from youth skiing, high school, college, and everything in between and beyond showed up on my home trails to share some love for skiing. I never would have thought I’d be competing on the World Cup, let alone at home with all my people, and it was incredible.

Thank you to every one of you who showed up, and every one of you that has supported me throughout my journey. I’m not done skiing by any means, but I do feel like all my dreams have come true. That’s wild. Time to make some new ones I guess. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Love, Renae


encouragement boards in the trailhead building

aunt anita



bowdoin bears

legendary rob fuhr

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Feb 22

Such a cool experience for you and very eloquently written. Proud of you and to watch who you have become! Cheers Renae!


Feb 21

Such perfect words from Legendary Renae Anderson


Feb 21

It was AMAZING to cheer you on at the World Cup!! I have never had so much fun cheering at an event!!

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