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High School and Middle School Cross Country Ski Race


The 2023 Hodag Challenge cross country ski races take place January 21-22, 2023 at the Cedrig A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) in Rhinelander.   

We'll get around to updating the rest of this page as we get closer to ski season.  Till then, have a wonderful summer everyone!


High School and Middle School skiers are expected to participate each day of the weekend race activities.  Teams and individual skiers come from all across Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula and even Minnesota skiers have attended.   An untimed Youth Race will be held on Saturday.

The High School course is 5 kilometers and the Middle School course is 3.3 kilometers.  Both courses are very challenging with plenty of elevation changes.   The width of the course is 6 meters for undulating terrain and 9 meters for uphills.   The Youth course is 1.1 kilometers and utilizes a trail with less hills.  Course maps are provided at the links on this page.

Saturday, January 22nd.   

Varsity, JV & Middle School Skate with Interval Starts @15 second intervals.

Youth Race – Mass Start (5th grade and younger)

Sunday, January 23rd: Varsity, JV & Middle School Classic – Pursuit-Style Start

The Middle School with have two separate divisions, 5/6 and 7/8 grades.  You may register a 4th grader in the 5th grade classification, however, they would not be included in the team scoring.

The Youth Race is primarily for youngsters not in Middle School.  However, we know some Middle School Racers that are not yet ready to ski the Hodag Challenge.  Those Middle School kids may participate in the Youth Race.  We say under 5th grade, but honestly we don't check ID's.  The Youth Race is not timed, no registration is necessary, and no placement awards are given.  We do have a treat for the participants.

Volunteer to Help at the Hodag Challenge

We need volunteers to help at the Hodag Challenge High and Middle School Cross Country Ski race on January 22-23, 2022.  Register to help by using

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on

2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

On-Line Start Order and Results

The Web Scorer link below will have Saturday's and Sundays starting order along with results after each race.   Scroll down to the appropriate tab to retrieve the information.



Temps are forecast to be -4 at start time and may be lower.  We will delay all scheduled events by 1 hour.

Please forward to all parents as well.



The Hodag Challenge is setup to use MileSplit at the link provided below.  Entries are due by Tuesday, January 18th at 6:00 PM.  Enter your athlete into the appropriate wave for their event.  Questions on the registration process can be directed to

Changes to rosters after January 18th must be directed to . Additions and deletions will be accepted until 1:00 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2021.

We are also requesting that payment on MileSplit be done during registration to make registrations go quicker and be more COVID friendly.  You can use either your own PayPal Account or use a credit/debit card.  Then you can just come to registration and pick up your teams packet. MileSplit will only let you register a skier for the full weekend fee of $25.  If you have a skier that is only skiing one day, register for that day as directed in MileSplit and pay the $25 fee.  We will reconcile this and refund the $10 difference, and if you end up with scratches, we can reconcile that later as well.  We will reimburse for COVID related cancellations.  We will follow same procedure that John used for the Snekkevic for scratches and reimburse to your PayPal or credit card.

If you do not have a MileSplit account, you may register by filling out the Hodag Challenge Roster found at the link below.  This roster must be emailed to  by Tuesday, January 18th at 6:00 PM.  Bring a check to the venue for the exact amount made out to Northwoods Nordic Ski Club.

  • Coaches are to rank skiers according to the WNSL rules of competition according to the seeding format below.
  • The same 5 Varsity skiers must ski both races as Varsity for the pursuit race. No changes to the Varsity registrations are allowed. There must be 3 Varsity skiers each day to score in the Team Pursuit standings.
  • If you do not have a 4th and 5th Varsity skier, you will not be able to participate in a possible tie breaker and would fall to the next finishing position if a tie ensued with another team.
  • The pursuit race will be a “time back” start with results from Saturday’s race determining Sunday’s start times.  After a predetermined time, limit or number of skiers, the remaining skiers will start in groups of three at 15-second intervals.
  • Any skiers who scratch after the production of the start list will remain on the start list and receive a ‘Did Not Start’ (DNS) in the results.
  • New registrations (skiers) will be placed at the end of the start list (in the appropriate race) in the order registered.

Registration is not required and should not be attempted at MileSplit for the Youth Race on Saturday.

Milesplit Registration

Click on the Milesplit link to register participants.

Email changes to your roster to Northwoods Nordic.


Varsity, JV and Middle School - $25/skier/weekend or $15/skier/day
The Youth Race is free. 
On-line payment is requested during registration.  Please bring the appropriate amount of registration fees to the venue.  Checks payable to: Northwoods Nordic Ski Club, PO Box 105, Rhinelander, WI 54501.  We will have a card reader to accept credit card payments.


High School and JV seeding for individual starts for the first day Skate race will be a combination of Coaches Self-Seeding and the discretion of the Race Director.  The seeded lists will be randomized for each A, B, C and D seeding to create the start list.

  • A Seed – Skiers expected to finish in top 1st through 20th place.
  • B Seed – Skiers expected finish from 20th to 40th place.
  • C Seed – Skiers expected to finish in 40th to 70th place.
  • D Seed – Skiers expected to finish in 70th plus place.

Middle School seeding for individual starts for the first day Skate race will be at the discretion of the Coaches and the discretion of the Race Director using an A, B, C, ranking.

  • A = Expected Top 25%
  • B = next 25% of finishers.
  • C = being all others.

Skiers who only ski on Sunday will start at the end of the skiers from Saturday’s results.

Pursuit Team Race Scoring

A point system will be used for scoring:
  • The first-place finisher will score 1 point, second place will score 2 points, third place will score 3 points, etc. The lowest three scores for each team are added to obtain a team score and the team with the lowest point total wins. (Individuals not on a team will be removed from the pursuit scoring.)
  • Only the top 3 skiers from each team score points.
  • Tiebreaker for team scoring will be the 4th place finishers. The team with the fastest 4th place finisher shall prevail. If still tied, the 5th place finishers’ times will be used. The team with the fastest 5th place finisher shall prevail.

Race Waiver

Northwoods Nordic Ski Club will accept one of the following three options for submitting race waivers.  Links to all three of these documents are provided below.  A waiver must be signed by every racer and/or parent or guardian for racers under 18 years of age, and be emailed to by Thursday, January 20th.
  • Use the  Northwoods Nordic Race Liability Form.
  • Use the "generic" WNSL  High School and Middle School Amateur Athletic Waiver and Release of Liability or 
  • Use the Coach Signature for WNSL Race/Events Regarding Amateur Athletic Liability Waiver and Release of Liability with the following additional language, which has been added to the downloadable document below.
    • _____________________________ (Name of Team/Club)  agrees to indemnify Northwoods Nordic Ski Club for any resulting injury/damages to a race participant who did not have a waiver on file at the time the coach/team/club submitted the form.  This is specific to Northwoods Nordic Ski Club for the 2022 Hodag Challenge Cross Country Ski Race.
We request this submittal to eliminate the congestion at the registration table that results if we have to check waivers against the race roster.  If we receive your teams’ waivers prior to the event, bib pickup will proceed much quicker and without waiting.  Just assemble your team’s rosters, scan, and email to us.  No one will be permitted to pick up a bib unless the waiver is received by the race venue.

Link to submit Coach Signature for WNSL Races

Follow this link to acknowledge coach's have race waivers on file that can be sent to Northwoods Nordic upon request.

Email race waivers to Northwoods Nordic at this email address.

Race Schedule and Format

Saturday Skate Schedule – 15 second interval starts
8:00am - 1:00pm Bib Pick-Up, Cavoc Lodge
8:00am - 9:30am Course Open
9:15am - Coaches Meeting
9:30am - Course Closed
9:45am - National Anthem
10:00am - 11:00am Varsity & JV Girls
11:15am - 12:15pm Varsity & JV Boys
12:00 - Coaches meeting for MS Coaches that could not make earlier meeting.  We will keep this short.
12:15 - 12:50 Course Open/Closed
12:45pm - JV & Varsity Awards
1:00pm - 1:02pm - Adaptive Skier(s)
1:02pm - 1:30pm MS Girls
1:30pm - 2:00pm MS Boys
2:30pm - MS Awards
3:00pm - Youth 1 km Race
3:30 pm - Course Closed for Grooming
Note - Updated Schedule for open course at 12:15. We may open earlier based on registrations for earlier races.
Course will be open after the conclusion of the MS Boys race at 2:00pm until 3:30pm.  Please respect the Youth Course during this time and do not interfere with that race and ski on the other trails.
Sunday Classic Schedule – Time back, pursuit starts
7:30am - 12:30pm Bib Pick-Up, Cavoc Lodge
7:30am - 9:00am Course Open
9:00am - Coaches’ Mtg.
9:00am - Course Closed
9:30am - 10:15am Varsity & JV Boys
10:20am - 11:30am Varsity & JV Girls
11:30am -12:00 am Course Open/Closed
11:45am - Varsity & JV Awards for Classic and Pursuit
12:15pm-12:17pm Adaptive Skier (s)
12:17pm - 12:40pm MS Boys
12:45pm - 1:15pm MS Girls
1:45pm - MS Awards for Classic and Pursuit
Note - Updated Schedule for open course and MS races.

Bib Pickup and Timing

  • Coaches will pick up bibs from registration outside the CAVOC Lodge for the team each day and distribute to skiers.
  • Race bibs are to be placed in receptacle at the finish line after the racer finishes.
  •  Any skier that misses their assigned starting time will be started after all other skiers in that wave have started their race.


Individual Medals for: Top 5 Male/Female 5/6 MS, 7/8 MS, JV, Varsity (Skate, Classic & Pursuit)
Team Pursuit Plaques for: Top 3 Varsity Male/Female Teams
The Youth Race will not be timed and no placement awards will be awarded.  However, we will have a special treat for all participants.

COVID-19 Information and Event Requirements

The Northwoods Nordic Ski Club is a US Ski & Snowboard (USSS) club and will be following  USSS COVID-19 Domestic Competition Guidance, October 1, 2021 during the weekend races.  COVID-19 guidance documents are linked to this website and should be reviewed by coaches, parents, and racers prior to coming to the event.  Listed below are some, not all, of the criteria that Northwoods Nordic will be following leading up to, and during the weekend races. 

  • If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, do not travel to or attend this venue.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14-days, refer to the CDC guidance on quarantine and travel arrangements (do not come to this venue).
  • Coaches Meetings will be held outside near the CAVOC lodge.
  • Waxing and race service will be held outdoors.
  • Use of indoor facilities by participants, coaches and visitors is discouraged and will require proof of vaccination, masks are required, and entry to the buildings will be limited to <10 minutes. 
  • Technical staff, judges, event officials where indoor interactions are essential to job function, proof of vaccination is required.
  • Face coverings are encouraged outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained.  It is requested that buffs be worn by the participants in the start and finish area and then they can be removed once on the course.
  • Update - We are asking that all skiers either be masked or wear a buff while in the start/finish or stadium.  You may remove the mask/buff immediately before you start your race.
  • Entry to the start/finish or stadium, will be through a controlled access point.  Anyone entering the stadium is requested to be masked or wear a buff.
  • Social distancing, 6-foot spacing, by skiers in line to start will be monitored and enforced in the stadium.
  • Please make an effort not to congregate, move steadily along and out of the finish area after completing the race.

Updates on COVID-19 protocols will be updated on this webpage as they become available.  Links to USSS COVID-19 guidelines are provided on this webpage.

Coaches Meeting

• 9:15 Saturday
12:00 Saturday - Coaches meeting for MS Coaches that could not make earlier meeting.  We will keep this short.
• 9:00 Sunday
• Meet outside near the CAVOC Lodge.

Parking at the Venue

  • General parking will be in the big lot. Overflow across the road.
  • Buses will be directed to park at one end of the lot. Please let us know if you are bringing a bus so that we can reserve an appropriate space for parking.

Start Area Course Comments

Start Area/Course Comments

  • For warmup, athletes may choose to ski the entire race course before its closed each day or complete a shorter warm up course that will be clearly marked.
  • Sunday, we anticipate that 3 lanes will be groomed at the start, with two tracks set all the way around the course, using best line.
  • Arrows indicate direction of travel and skiers should not ski backwards on the course.
  • The start area is located adjacent to the main parking area.
  • The course will be open to coaches throughout the day and always ski in the direction of the race.
  • Two Coaches bibs will be issued to each team during bib pickup.  Only Coaches wearing these bibs are allowed on the course during the race. 

Wax Regulations

Both days of the Hodag Challenge are NON-FLUORO races. CH/paraffin waxes only!

The pavilion near the Lodge has electrical outlets and may be used for waxing.  The pavilion will be enclosed on two sides providing some wind protection.  The other two sides will be open so as not to create an indoor building condition.

Team waxing tents may also be set up in the upper parking lot in the designated area on a first-come, first-served basis. The warm-up loop passes close by this area as well as the course for easy access. 

Food or Concessions

No concessions will be provided at the event based on COVID-19 implications.  No hot plates or cookers are allowed in the CAVOC facility.   Gatherings in the CAVOC facility are discouraged and limited to no more than 10 minutes.  Bottled water will be provided and available to athletes near the Stadium.

Photography from Sunday's Classic Races

  • A photographer will be on course on Sunday for the classic races.
  • Event photos will be posted at Extreme Photography Unlimited and can be downloaded free of charge.

XTR Photograpy

Follow this link to download photographs from Saturday's race.

Live Stream the Races

We are currently working on a live stream of the races.  Please check the website as we get closer to the race for live stream information.

Update - Doesn't look like this is going to happen this year.  

Hodag Challenge Contact Information

Email Brian Hegge at  for specific questions.

Past Results and Photographs from Previous Hodag Challenges

2020 Results

Hodag 2020 race results.

Photographs of the 2020 Ascension Hodag Challenge

XTRPhoto was at the race on Saturday. The link has several thousand photos to download for free.

Thank You 2021/22 Northwoods Nordic Ski Club Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor of Northwoods Nordic Ski Club?

Sponsored by Aspirus


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Promoting recreational access and active, healthy lifestyles for the whole community.

Sponsored by Mel's Trading Post

Mel's Trading Post

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Fitting Rhinelander youth, residents, and visitors to fantastic winter experiences.

Sponsored by Nicolet National Bank

Nicolet National Bank

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Annual sponsor

Sponsored by A-1 Septic Service

A-1 Septic Service

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Dedicated to sponsoring our trails and events for many years