Winter 2002 Forward to a Friend


By Peter Vordenberg

Barb Jones started cross-country ski racing in elementary school and continued through her college years. Every year, with the support of her family and school teams, she got faster. In 1999, her last year of college at Dartmouth, she was recognized as one of the country’s 10 best skiers.

Despite her success, Jones (shown at left) never thought competing after college was a possibility. “Going for the Olympics never seemed an option,” she says. “After college there was no way I could afford to pursue skiing – not without the Factory Team.”

The Factory Team was the brainchild of Andy Gerlach, a former athlete who recognized the dilemma competitive skiers such as Jones had been facing. “I’d watch these kids getting faster and faster every year. You could see the spark in their eyes as they began to really come into their own,” Gerlach says. “Then, because there was no support after college, they’d have to quit. I couldn’t stand it.”

Fortunately, Gerlach knew how to help. His love of athletics had led him to found Endurance Enterprises, Inc., a sports marketing firm that partners with businesses and athletes to promote active, healthy lifestyles. Gerlach started the Subaru Factory Team to help skiers chase their dreams. “We’ve come a long way,” says Gerlach. “With the support of our partners, we’ve gained enough resources to really expand our programs. When Subaru came on board as our title sponsor, we moved into a new world.”

Gerlach understood that Subaru of America had a commitment to supporting active, outdoor lifestyles, and would be a perfect sponsor for the team. Subaru even supplies three Outback Limited wagons for the team to use.


Visit the Subaru Factory Team compound at the Olympics, Feb. 8-24, 906 S. 300 W., Heber City, Utah. Meet athletes and race-service technicians, and see the newest ski gear.

nine olympians so far

Today the Subaru Factory Team is the nation’s premier professional cross-country ski team. Since its creation in 1995, nine of the team’s skiers have competed in the Olympic games. Eight skiers on the team hope to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City – including Jones, who is ranked fourth in the United States.

 

2002 Subaru Factory Team Clinics

You can meet members of the Subaru Factory Team at clinics throughout the U.S. Here is a sampling of events; dates are subject to change.

Ski Fest
Jan. 20-21, Blue Finn Bay Resort, Tofte, Minnesota

Subaru Noquemanon
Jan. 25, Marquette Coliseum, Marquette, Michigan

Women’s Ski Tour
Jan. 27, Grand Traverse Lodge, Traverse City, Michigan

Boulder Mountain Tour
Feb. 3, Galena Lodge, Sun Valley, Idaho

American Birkebeiner®
Feb. 20, New Moon Ski Shop, Hayward, Wisconsin

Tour of Anchorage
March 2, Alaska Mountaineering, Anchorage, Alaska

Subaru Masters Nationals
March 13, Pacos Ski, Truckee, California

Subaru Masters Nationals/California Gold Rush
March 16, Royal Gorge, Soda Springs, California

“I’ll be going back to school,” beams Jones. “But first I’m working on being Olympic bound.”

The mission of the Factory Team is to enable the dreams of all cross-country skiers, not just Olympic-bound competitors. According to Gerlach, the team’s motto is “The Factory Team is living out their dreams, and we wish to help you live out yours.”

To this end, the Factory Team provides free skiing clinics nationwide, and offers ski academies and coaching. It also has created a free guide for novice skiers, The Pocket Guide to Cross-Country Skiing, and has established www.skipost.com, which includes an e-mail newsletter and an e-mail answer service. The site’s features are designed to supply skiers of all abilities with the know-how and inspiration to achieve their skiing dreams – whether they want to get faster, become fitter or just have a great time skiing.

“That’s the lifestyle we promote,” explains Gerlach, “because that’s the lifestyle we love to live.”

Two-time Olympian Peter Vordenberg is a member of the Subaru Factory Team and loyal Subaru vehicle driver. To follow the Subaru Factory Team, visit www.subaru.com/outdoorlife (click on “SNOW”).


 
 

Subaru of America, Inc. is sponsoring two preeminent cross-country skiing events in the U.S.

Subaru is the official vehicle sponsor of the American Birkebeiner, a 51 km race from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin, to be held Feb. 23. A 23 km race, called the Kortelopet, will be held the same day.

Organizers of the Birkebeiner, which was FIRST HELD in 1973, are expecting nearly 10,000 skiers and 20,000 spectators. Participants range from recreational skiers to Olympic-caliber athletes. For details, call (715) 634-5025 or visit www.birkie.com.

The 2002 Subaru National Masters Championships will be held March 11-17 at Tahoe Cross Country in Tahoe City, California, and Royal Gorge, in Soda Springs, California. For the third straight year, Subaru is the title sponsor and official vehicle of this cross-country skiing event.

The Subaru National Masters Championships will be open to skiers age 30 and older. Past events have attracted between 150 and 600 participants, according to Kevin Murnane, director, Tahoe Cross Country. Amateur skiers of any ability level are welcome.

For details, call (530) 583-5475 or visit www.xcskiworld.com.