Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

April 12, 2014

Area skier to reach milestone

TRAVERSE CITY — Bryan Groenevelt put down 309 runs on Nastar courses last winter.

At the time, he thought that was a lot.

Now, the Traverse City area skier is about to reach 1,000 this winter.

The 56-year-old Groenevelt will hit that magical mark today — to much fanfare — at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. It will add to his national record for most runs in a single season, according to Crystal officials.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Groenevelt said.

Groenevelt currently has 994 runs on the season, all at Crystal, where he is a season-pass holder. That’s already 80 more than the previously known record.

“There was a guy who did 914 about 10 years ago,” Groenevelt said. “He skied every day at Steamboat (in Colorado). He had like 90 starts, but he was only getting in about 10 runs a day. The challenge out west is that some of the courses are up the hill a ways so it takes time to cycle around to get back back up there.”

By comparison, Groenevelt averages close to 20 runs each time out. On Presidents’ Day, he outdid himself.

“I got 50 in that day,” he said.

Groenevelt attributes his record to a perfect storm — a long, snowy winter; Crystal setting its NASTAR course five days a week, including weekends; and a group of friends who “kept pushing me.”

Those close friends — Scot Perry, Geoff Payne and Perry’s son Scot G. — will also finish in the top 10 nationally for most runs in a season. Scot Perry will hit the 500 mark today.

“To have four NASTAR racers (on that list) out of one place is pretty darn good,” Perry said.

Payne has more than 400 runs, Scot G. more than 300.

The four ski competitively in a Thursday night league.

“When you’re 55 and older, you have to try and keep up with the younger guys,” Perry said. “We were using NASTAR as a way to practice and get better to keep up with the young guys. We started out a few years ago getting 100 runs in, then it turned into 300.”

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