When we asked the man who's made the podium at every NASTAR Nationals that he's attended since the late '90s how he keeps it up year after year, his response was simple. 


"It's dedication or lack of anything else better to do," laughed Dennis Novak. "Nobody near my age is foolish enough to do what I do because people want to act normal I guess."


And maybe Novak's desire to do things a bit differently than others is what keeps him on that podium year after year. Or maybe it's his competitive nature. 


"I have been accused of being a bit competitive in the past," chuckled Novak. 


To Novak, NASTAR is less about the social scene as it is to many racers we have the chance to catch up with and much more about winning. For this retired paralegal, NASTAR is the opportunity to race and train. When he worked in Madison Wisconsin, he worked with the race crew and would jump in the course any chance he had. 


Dennis Novak


"I like to ski, I like to train, I like to get results, and that's why I like NASTAR," said Novak. And it truly is that simple for him. In fact, Novak drove solo for over 30 hours out to Squaw Valley for this year's Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR Nationals from his hometown in Metro Milwaukee where he also trains with the Metro Milwaukee Ski Council and the Alpine Valley Ski Program. 

Novak did admit that he likes going to Nationals to see friends he only gets to visit with once or twice a year in the ski racing community from all across the nation. 


"Nationals has grown bigger and bigger and it's nice to have been able to watch it grow," said Novak. "It's the biggest event that I go to and I don't know another large event a person could go to as far as well worth the effort, money and time."


Novak will be 72 years old next month and spends his days either training NASTAR or riding his bike. His words of wisdom to those hoping to podium at Nationals as many times as he has?


"I ski fall and spring when I can and I race and train as much as I can. I ski with teammates or freeski pretty much anytime there's an opportunity, it doesn't matter who I'm with or if anybody wants to go.