Race News Continues Through Winter’s Wonderland
Just because the calendar says January doesn’t mean that race excitement dies down in the high country. And it’s not about waiting to see how you fared in the Leadville Trail 100 lotteries, although that’s important too.
Rather it’s outdoor enthusiasts hopping on the fat tires or strapping on the snowshoes and hitting up the start line. So Leadville Today (LT) is bringing you some winter races news. First up, is a piece by LT contributor Brennan Ruegg about the kick off for the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series which takes place two weeks from today on January 23 down at Copper Mountain. If you haven’t given this fast-growing a try, consider taking on this challenge, and you’ll be hooked for the series, of which the other three races take place in Leadville and Lake County.
The second report provides the race results from the Pedal Power Winter Race Series: Pazzo’s Holiday 5k/10k Snow Shoe Race which was held on Jan. 2 in Eagle-Vail.
See how the two Leadville competitors fared. Readers can also find information about the next race in the Pedal Powers series which takes place up at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville on January 23. FYI, part of the proceeds from the Pedal Power series benefit Lake County nonprofits.
So clearly there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to winter racing in Leadville. On a different note, a reminder that there’s a great indoor sports competition for the kids being held tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 10 at the high school. The 5th Annual Nuggets Skills Challenge – it’s all about basketball. So round up your hoopsters and check out the details: HERE.
Leadville Series Returns with WinterBike at Copper
by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today contributor
If winter can’t stifle your lust for adventure then strap a helmet on and get ready to take on dauntless gear heads from far and wide. The Cloud City Wheelers of Lake County are bringing back the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series (WMBS) returning in its 16th year and beginning at Copper Mountain on Saturday, Jan. 23. Registration begins for the nighttime WinterBike race at 4 p.m. at Jack’s Slopeside Grill for $20, and the race begins at 6 p.m.
The Wheelers have operated as a subordinate of the International Mountain Bicycling Associate (IMBA) since 2007. Since their conception they have seen the persistent growth and improvement of new and existing trail systems in Lake County, giving passage to previously inaccessible regions. They are currently at work to adopt unpaved existing trails on Lake County and Colorado Mountain College – Leadville property, to expand them into a stacked loop system that would offer one go-to location for all terrains and levels of cycling skill.
These trails aren’t just for mountain bikers either. They become an invaluable year-round addition to Lake County’s vast portion of public land and grow upon the rogue network of footpaths and animal trails that already spider through the county.
The Wheelers also work to educate and aid youth with biking initiatives. This past summer they hosted a free bike repair clinic at Mountain View West and in conjunction with Trips for Kids Leadville helped out with Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
They have experience seeing projects through to completion, as Sterling Mudge, chair of the Wheelers said, “Every project has to have a driver and that is always a big commitment if you plan to get something finished.”
The winter race series will have its first starting line two weeks from today on January 23 at Copper Mountain, bringing people up from the front range and beyond for the WinterBike race. As each year has increased in size, entrants, and wheelbase (80 fatbikes in 2015 up from 30 in 2007), this year should be the biggest yet
Three more races will follow WinterBike until April, slowly drawing nearer to the heart of Lake County for the East Side Epic, a tour of Leadville’s historic mining district.
For more about the Cloud City Wheelers and the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series, visit www.cloudcitywheelers.org, or contact them directly via email at email@example.com. They are always actively seeking help from volunteers and partners with common goals. Keep posted on Leadville Today as the series continues throughout the season.
Brennan Ruegg is fat and happy for winter.
Pedal Power Second Race Kicks Off New Year
The Pazzo’s/K.O. Eagle-Vail Holiday 5K/10K was held on January 2, kicking off the New Year with a classic snowshoe race. Over 40 racers shoed-up to the start line between the two divisions although there were only two competitors from Leadville.
Josiah Middaugh of Avon took top honors in the 10K with a finish time of 49:53. In the men’s race, Eric Black, of Dillon, took second (53:58) and Will Despotes, also of Edwards, rounded out the podium in third with a time of 54:01.
The women’s top honors went to Anita Ortiz, Eagle, First Place (1:01:45); Janel Klug, Avon, Second Place (1:08:01), and Sharon O’Grady, Vail, Third Place (1:09:57). For Complete Results: LINK.