Some of the best cross country skiers in the world will be racing through Utah this week.
The 2013 U.S. Cross Country Championships begin Wednesday at Soldier Hollow, and officials expect more than 400 athletes will participate over the course of a week of races.
The event, considered the premier cross-country race in the United States, is another step toward Olympic qualifying.
"Many of these skiers are Olympics-bound," Soldier Hollow spokeswoman Beth Ann Schneider said.
Among competitors expected to be at the resort in Midway this week are members of the U.S. Ski Team, international racers and local athletes from the Park City Nordic Ski Club, Team Soldier Hollow, the Utah Nordic Alliance and the Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy.
But Kikkan Randall, believed to be one of the U.S.'s best hopes for a cross country medal in Sochi, Russia, will not be at Soldier Hollow. Randall will be competing in the World Cup at the Tour de Ski race in Oberhoff, Germany.
At the same time, Soldier Hollow will also be hosting the 2013 U.S. Nordic Adaptive Nationals. Disabled athletes will participate in a series of stand-or-sit ski races, including a biathlon sprint.
All races are free and open to the public.
U.S. Cross Country Championships
O Classic Sprint • Wednesday, 10 a.m.
Free Individual start • Friday, 10 a.m.
Sitski Adaptive • Saturday, 8:30 a.m.
Classic Mass Start • Sunday, 10 a.m.
Sitski Sprint • Monday, 8:30 a.m.
Free Sprint • Jan. 8, 10 a.m.
Biathlon Sprint Adaptive • Jan. 9, 9:30 a.m.