Keith Kogut managed to pass Ed Lis and hold off late charges from Jim Kobak and Chris Rose in the annual Viking Helmet Championship Finale: the HELLmenkollen Skimarathon. By beating Kobak and Rose to the line, he managed to allow the overall leader going into the race, Jon Santor, to hold on and capture his first Viking Helmet championship.
The race featured a reverse pursuit where skiers went off based on their average % back over the course of the season. Kogut made up 43 seconds on Ed Lis, and cruised to victory 42 seconds ahead of Jim Kobak. Kobak, knowing he had to win today’s race to have any hope of repeating as Viking Helmet Champion, relentlessly hunted down Ed Lis and desperately out sprinted him at the line. But, he couldn’t reel in Kogut. Chris Rose, despite a heroic effort and the fastest time of the day, managed to pull in only in fourth place, just behind Ed Lis.
If Santor had shown up and finished higher than 4th, he would have won the title outright. But when he was a no show on the day, a frenzy of “what if” scenarios had many thinking they could go home with the Helmet. For example, had Kobak caught Kogut and finished 1st, he would have taken the title. If Rose finished first and Kobak 4th, Rose would have won his fourth Helmet. If Kobak had finished third, Kogut would have won it all with today’s victory. And if Ed Lis had finished 1st with Kogut 2nd, Rose 3rd and Kobak 4th, Ed would have been the Viking Helmet champ. It was truly a frenetic finish to the Viking Helmet Championship Series. However, when the dust settled, the efforts of Kogut and Kobak gave Santor the overall win by a scant 0.3384 Viking Helmet Points.
Next Race: The Patch Sprint!