Hitting the trails: Christi Nowak, ex-Royal, going strong as skier, marathoner, triathlete

by Bruce Strand, Spors editor

Christi Nowak, former Rogers Royals skiing and academic star now in medical school, is compiling an admirable record in triathlons, sking, and running.

Nowak, 23, of Duluth, placed 71st among 2,679 women at Grandma’s Marathon, her first 26.2-miler, on June 18, with a time of 3:08.50.

Christi Nowak, 2006 Rogers valedictorian and all-state Nordic Skier, is now a second-year medical student.

She has won three ultra (50-mile) marathons including last Saturday, when she led women in the Minnesota Voyageur Trail race at Carlton with a time  of 8:37:35.

“The trails around Duluth are so nice that I fell in love with trail running,” Nowak told the Duluth News Tribune. “It was warm enough today that whenever I came to any creek, I stopped and splashed around.”

She won the Chippewa Moraine race April  23 in Auburn, WI, and the Spring Superior Trail on May 21 in Lutsen.

On skis, she won the City of Lakes Loppet 35K on Feb. 6 and the Pepsi Challenge 48K at Giants Ridge on Jan. 22.

In triathlons, she placed fifth in 2010 and fourth in 2009 in the Heart of the Lakes event in Annandale (where her parents now live) and second in the Granite Man in 2009 in St. Cloud.

The 2006 RHS valedictorian who scored a 36 on her ACT (achieved by only 250 students in the U.S.) is a second-year medical school at Minnesota-Duluth. She was a Nordic Ski athlete at College of St. Benedict’s. In high school, Nowak placed 17th and 13th in the state.

The Star News wanted to interview Nowak, but she was not available. Her mother, Mary, informed us: “Christi is in India, backpacking for a month in the Himalaya’s with a group of doctors, dentists and medical students.”