Pedal Power Nordic series starts well | VailDaily.com

Pedal Power Nordic series starts well

David L'Heureux

The Pedal Power Nordic Snowshoe Adventure Series began the 2003-04 season Saturday as 46 competitors turned up for the Vail Nordic Center Four-Miler.

For some, though, it was the four-plus miler. Several racers in the lead group, including local triathlete Josiah Middaugh and Greg Krause, misread the course markers and veered off course costing them minutes and a shot at the podium.

Snowshoe racing “veterans” Tom Sobal and Mike Moher correctly navigated the course to finish first and second in the men’s division with times of 51 minutes, 55 seconds and 52:03, respectively.

“I missed one turn, but Mike (Moher) yelled at me and told me to go the other way to get back on course,” said Sobal, a 16-year Leadville native, who recently moved to Salida.

“The front group was long gone when they missed the turn. They probably would have won if they didn’t miss it.”

In all, the racers who went off course added approximately another half-mile to the race.

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Not a single racer complained about the mix up, a fact that race organizer Bruce Kelly attributes to the quality of competitor the series attracts.

“We had a little bit of controversy today,” said Kelly. “But everyone handled it great. It says a lot about the kind of sportsmanship we have out here. I really have to hand it to the racers, I appreciate them more than I can say.”

Most of the racers who went the extra distance seemed glad to get in a few more miles.

Not surprising for this super-fit crew.

Boulder’s Darcy Piceu won the women’s race crossing the finish line in a time of 1:04:40, just ahead of local runner Lisa Isom, who finished second in a time of 1:05:01.

“It was a great course and a great day for a race,” said Piceu at the finish. An important not about this year’s snowshoe series -the proceeds will be going to the Sobal Family Fund to help Melissa Sobal, wife of race-winner, Tom, in her fight against cancer.

“We have raised some money for some good causes and helped some people out along the way,” said Kelly. “This year we thought we would try to help Tom and his family by donating any money we make through the series.”

Just another reason to get out there and participate, as the Adventure Series continues Dec. 27th with the Eagle-Vail 5K/10K race.

David L’Heureux is a freelance writer based in Vail.