RUMFORD — Chisholm Ski Club and Black Mountain Ski Resort will hold the John Roderick ski marathon Sunday, Feb. 10, at the mountain’s cross country venue in honor of Roderick’s dedication to the sport and his lifetime of participation and support.

Participants can elect to race or tour 50, 25, 15, 10 or 5 kilometers on the John Roderick trail system and Broomhall Stadium. A course will be recommended for racing and four other courses to mix as desired to explore all the segments of the trail system. Each course is approximately 5.3 kilometers long.

Each loop will pass through the stadium and by the lodge, where skiers can stop for refreshments and to warm up. Hot chocolate will be available on the course in a central location. Performance will be recognized with awards, certificates and pizza.

Few skiers have had a competitive career as long as John Roderick. As a teenager in the 1920s he joined the Chisholm Ski Club as a charter member of the junior organization, beginning a competitive career representing that club for 68 years. Starting his career as a ski jumper his first documented event was as a jumper in the Rumford Winter Carnival in 1925. During seven decades the Rumford native piled up victories and high finishes at local, New England, National and North American events.

Although he started as a jumper and competed in alpine races as well, Roderick made an early decision to focus on cross country and that discipline received his full efforts. In 1940 he earned a class A rating in his chosen event which he maintained through age 57. After that he competed successfully in class B and eventually in class C, running in 10 to 12 races each season and sometimes more, earning a reputation for finishing every race he started.

Through his career he won at least 77 trophies, medals and bowls along with numerous citations.

Roderick was also involved in course design and layout, designing and actually building most of the original 18-kilometer Chisholm Ski Club race course that was the site of those World Championships in 1950 and many more races over the years including national championships and NCAAs. He was also a tireless worked maintaining the trails.

Roderick served as president and treasurer of Chisholm Ski Club and as a race/meet official. Chief of Hill for jumping, Chief of Race and Chief of Course for cross country events, he was always available wherever and whenever a helping hand was needed.

As a competitor Roderick was active into his 80s. Although he claimed to have retired from racing at 75, that was only from the 50K races. He ran 10K and 15K races for another seven years.

Details of the marathon are posted on the Chisholm Ski Club website by going to the calendar and clicking on the race date. For more information, contact Paul Jones at [email protected]

Proceeds from the event will be shared with the local Youth Nordic Ski Program and the cost of publishing the “History of Chisholm Ski Club.”


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