The Leadville Loppet: Nordic Ski Race + Family Fun!
The 11th Annual Leadville Loppet saw fair weather and big crowds last Saturday, Feb. 22 as racers took to the Mineral Belt Trail on Nordic skis to compete and raise money for the popular multi-use trail.
This winter event held at Colorado Mountain College – Leadville, continues to grow and saw 173 competitors in the Loppet’s 44k, 22k and 10k races. Add to that another 60 competitors signed up for the 5k Fun Race and the Loppet exceeded its desire to bypass the 200 participant mark by more than 30%.
Leadville Nordic skiers fared well on their home turf. First place in the 44k classic division was Chris Lange, 23 of Leadville with a time of 2:34:57. Close behind was Clay Moseley (2:35:03:16) taking top prize in the 44k Freestyle class. On the women’s side, Becky Edmiston took top spot with a 2:48:39 finish time in the 44k Freestyle and Rache Watson was the top female finisher in the classic division with a time of 3:08:3.
The 22k saw local favorites Karl Remsen (Classic) and Kelli McCall (Freestyle) as the top finishers, with a time of 1:12:44 and 1:21:28 respectively. “It was great to see Kelli in the lead of a pack of ten guys,” noted racer Erin Allaman during the awards ceremony. You go girl!
When it came to the 10k race, it was two members of the Salida Nordic Club who crossed the finish line first (overall) first. Fifteen year old Taylor Stack finished with a time of 35:46.38 in the 10k Freestyle and right behind him was sixteen-year-old Russell Orris at 36:38.12.
For complete race results, go to the Mineral Belt Trail website.
Wrapping up the day’s start lines was the happy, snappy 5k Fun Race which included a 3 year old (who dropped out 1/2 way) and a couple of 5 year olds who finished on their own.
“It was a challenging course, slightly longer than 5K, with a couple of steep climbs,” said 5k organizer Vicki Koch, owner of High Mountain Pies which is also the 5k race sponsor. This year’s fun awards went to Mike Slack, one of the high school track coaches, who came in as the oldest finisher. The competition for “hottest mama”, or the fastest adult pulling a child, was fierce, including Amy Peters pulling two kids in her sled. But it was Leadville artist Amanda Good who borrowed a daughter from the Staneks of Leadville to finish first in that category and won a new Melanzana dress.
“It was a super fun and successful day,” concluded Koch. Afterwards the community of racers and fans gathered for a variety of homemade soups and desserts served up during the awards ceremony.
The Leadville Loppet is a fundraiser for the Mineral Belt Trail, but additionally, the event serves to celebrate winter recreation in Lake County. What better a way than to host a Nordic event?!
And don’t forget, there are two more Nordic events scheduled over the upcoming weekend: the Nordic Sprints on Harrison and the Paintball Biathlon. Get out there and have some fun!