Latest News – March 7

Leadville Ski Joring, Other Competition Results

The 68th Annual Leadville Ski Joring (LSJ) competition was held in Leadville on March 4 & 5 on historic Harrison Avenue. Dubbed as Leadville’s Downtown Winter Celebration, this event stands as a testament for this small mountain town’s ability to have fun in the snow!

The weekend’s schedule was streamlined in response to resident feedback, by establishing an online registration process and shifting on-site registration to the night before the day’s competition allowing organizers to move up the race day’s racing schedule in order to get things started early. While there were some hiccups in the new process, overall the benefits proved successful with an earlier race time with a High Noon start – as promised – for each day.

The opening ceremonies on Saturday, March 4 included a moving tribute to Jody Manly, whom many know as The Godfather of Ski Joring. Longtime LSJ organizer and friend, Paul Copper led the presentation, outlining Manly’s involvement and contributions to the sport. In fact, he continued to influence the sport with his course design knowledge, something he passed on to Leadville groomers before he passed away earlier this year. After the Manly tribute, his son Joe Jr. officially kicked off the sporting event with a rocking rendition of the National Anthem, played on a guitar signed by the LSJ family in honor of The Godfather of Ski Joring. It was a fitting way to commence what turned out to be an action-packed weekend of racing combining horse and rider with skier! 

Skier Greg Dahl (left) holding his son Wyatt, and Savannah McCarthy (right) were named Champions of Leadville Ski Joring 2017. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

When the last run was over, it was skier Greg Dahl and rider Savannah McCarthy who were named The 2017 Leadville Ski Joring Champions. For complete results: CLICK HERE.

There’s no doubt that the sport of Ski Joring is growing in popularity across the country, with many looking to the “Granddaddy-of-them-all” to lead the way. However, in Leadville, the event’s genesis remains in the spirit of tourism. Much like the famed Ice Palace or today’s Leadville Trail 100 races, the event provides a way to attract tourists to the area.

To that end, this Wild West Show brought good crowds to Harrison Ave to watch the thrills and chills, as well as pump some money into local businesses. And a quick check with business owners, law enforcement and event organizers, tallied a overall win for the event.

For more photos and videos of the event, please visit the Leadville Ski Joring Facebook page.

Leadville’s historic Harrison Avenue sets the stage for Leadville Ski Joring held the first weekend in March. Photo: Leadville Today/Jesper Kristensen, with permission.


 Nordic Knockouts in the Dark: Winter Fun @ Harrison!

Competitors in the 2017 Harrison Nordic Knockout Sprints gathered under the Harrison Avenue lights last Friday, March 4 to kick off the annual downtown winter celebration. The conditions set up nicely under clear skies.

For many skinny skiers the Harrison Nordic Knock Outs is the last race of the winter season! Photo: Julia Martinez

For many skinny skiers the Harrison Nordic Knock Outs is the last race of the winter season! Photo: (file 2015) Leadville Today/Julia Martinez

Many of the local student Nordic skiers tipped up to the start line and fared quite well. Participants raced the main drag with great Nordic spirit, marking for many, the last race of the season. The competition was a double elimination with two skiers starting and the fastest racer advancing to the next round of competition.  Congratulations to the winners: RESULTS HERE.

Paintball Biathlon Held at Tenn Pass Nordic Center

The Annual Paintball Biathlon was held on March 5 at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The event saw a growing, record number of participants (127) that combines the skinny ski with a paintball gun. 

The Paintball Biathlon continues to see growing entries into a sport that combines the skinny ski and the paintball gun – fun for all! Photo: Leadville Nordic.

At the top of the 10k Division it was 16-year-old Joe Koch who took top honors at (23:36), followed by 17-year-old, second place racer Parker Rodeen (24:31), and rounding out the 10k podium in third place was Simon Kearns coming in at 26:02.

The 5k saw 77 racers ranging from 8 to 62 years in age, but it was the teens who took the top three places:  Nick Apps, 17, with a 10:55 final time; Parker Rodeen, 17, placed second at 12:34; and David Reilly, 15, closed out the top three posts at 13:08.

For the younger set, the 1k was the right pace and distance, and 9-year-old David Krieger came out on top with a final time of 2:49. The youngest competitor was 4-year-old John Horning – good for you!

Full Results can be found at Leadville Nordic.

Championship: A Really Big Shoe . . . SNOWSHOE!

The Colorado State Snowshoe Championships 5k/10k were held last Saturday, March 4 at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center at Ski Cooper outside of Leadville.

2017 State Snowshoe Champions Sharon O’Grady (left) and Smokey Burgess (right)! Congratulations!

Congratulations to Leadville’s Smokey Burgess took top prize in the 10k Division with a time of 1:10:22. For the women, it was Sharon O’Grady of Vail who took top spot. In the 5k Division, Brian Kates of Colorado Springs, Colo. (32:40) and Ann Pence of Eagle (39:40) took first place. For complete results: Connect HERE.

This race is a regional qualifier for the United States Snowshoe Association National Championships, so good luck for those shoers who move on in the competition!

This race is part of the Pedal Power Snowshoe Series, the oldest established competitive snowshoe race series in the region. In addition, the series is the only completely non-profit event of its kind, with all proceeds from the popular race series benefitting local Lake & Eagle County charities.  Past beneficiaries have included the Full Circle mentoring program for at-risk youth, high school athletic scholarship programs and individual families in need of medical and educational assistance. Check out the Pedal Power website for more INFO.

Mayhem on the Mineral Belt Sees Repeat Champion

Leadville’s Mineral Belt Mayhem mountain bike race saw 112 racers take their fat-tired bikes to the start line last Saturday, March 5, but it’s hard to believe that not ONE Leadvillite took a podium spot in any of the divisions! Wait, wait, except for Jeff Spencer who took second in the single speed where there were only 3 entries (represent!) Guess that just means that the sport is continuing to grow and bring in challengers from other areas of the state! 

Cyclists get ready to saddle up for the Mineral Belt Mayhem in Leadville on March 6. Photo: Meghan Buzzan

Cyclists get ready to saddle up for the Mineral Belt Mayhem. Photo: (file 2016)  Meghan Buzan. 

For complete Results, connect at the Cloud City Wheelers website.

The next local race in the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series will be the East Side Epic on April 15. The Cloud City Wheelers, who host the entire Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series, advocate that winter racing is a great way to keep up riding and racing during the off-season. The Cloud City Wheelers are a Leadville club dedicated to providing bicycle activities to promote individual health and recreation. The Wheelers also support education and advocacy to help promote a more bicycle friendly environment and a more livable community for members, bicyclists, and the community at-large.





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