Vakava Info


Vakava Racing is a high-level training program and race team for the Twin Cities' most competitive senior and masters cross-country skiers.

Vakava means “serious” in Finnish – we’re based out of Finn Sisu, Minnesota’s best cross-country ski shop, and we’re definitely serious about our skiing. In the 10 years we’ve been in existence, we’ve become the most successful and recognizable group of skiers in Minnesota. In 2010 the Vakava team won 14 overall races and had over 50 age-group wins.

Vakava meets May through March at 6:30 to 8:00 on Wednesday evenings. Our workouts involve roller skiing, dryland ski imitation, and on-snow skiing, and are generally in St. Paul’s Battle Creek area in the summer/fall and then at Battle Creek and Como when we get snow. You get a mix of technique work and physical training, and you can count on working hard in both.

In Vakava, you improve your technique by working with coaches with many years of racing and coaching experience. We focus on both skating and classical technique, building from the basics to the finer points of racing strategy. We use a good deal of video-recording and analysis to help increase your skiing efficiency and translate your physical abilities into skiing speed.

In Vakava, you improve your conditioning by training and racing with a group of like-minded skiers committed to becoming faster and improving their results. Our workouts help to develop your endurance, power, and speed. We'll help you set up an individualized training plan that will put you on a systematic path to reaching your athletic potential.

Coaching is by Dave Christopherson and Mark Ahlers, with Ahvo Taipale concentrating specifically on ski technique through personalized video analysis.

Vakava Roster:
Ryan Atwell
Mark Ahlers
Evgeniy (Eugene) Beletskiy
Anthony Bramante
Carolyn Bramante
Dave Bridges
Craig Cardinal
Dave Christopherson
Kathleen Dewahl
Cheryl Dubois
Rob Edman
Kevin Ivens
Andrew Kromroy
Lindsey Marshall
Mike Nohr
Paul Olson
Brent Oja
Michele Oja
Anna Peterson
Nate Porath
Angie Robinson
Katy Splan
Paavo Taipale
Mary Beth Tuttle
Derek Wallen
Bonnie Weiskopf



Vakava Racing is sponsored and supported by: