State snowshoe champions descend on Tennessee Pass
TENNESSEE PASS — When racers toe the line at 10 a.m. on Saturday, there will be a whole lot more at stake than race series bragging rights, as the Pedal Power Snowshoe Winter Race Series holds the seventh and final event of the 2014 series. The 10K version of the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse 5K/10K race will also serve to determine the top men’s and women’s snowshoers in the state, with the winners garnering the state title.
According to race founder Bruce Kelly, the race brings the series into its second decade as the official State Snowshoe Championships.
“We’re proud that it has become one of the highlights of competitors’ winter race calendars, drawing racers from all over the region vying to take the crown,” Kelly said.
The Tennessee Pass courses have won raves from the USSSA, the sanctioning body for the nation’s official snowshoe competition. The course changes each year, taking advantage of interconnected Nordic and biking trails. Because of the challenge and variety of terrain, along with the untracked snow conditions, the championship track is considered one of the premier snowshoe courses in the country, attracting some of the top local and regional Nordic and endurance competitors.
Noting the amazing snow conditions throughout this winter’s race series, Kelly said that recent snows and the timing for this last race of the series will add to the experience.
Mother Nature Smiling
“Mother Nature has smiled upon us this year, and conditions for the championships should be absolutely prime with all of the fresh snow we’ve received. This will definitely separate the best from the rest,” he said.
Racers will meet at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center at Ski Cooper, located between Interstate 70 and Leadville. Pre-registration for this event is $20 and racers can register on the day of the race for $25. Participants can also pre-register directly online at http://www.pedalpowerbike.com or get forms at Pedal Power Bicycle Shop in Eagle-Vail by calling 970-845-0931.
Title-sponsors for this year’s series are Gorsuch Ltd., Maximum Comfort Pool and Spa and Dollar Rent-a-Car. Individual event sponsors include, Colorado Mountain College, Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, Pazzo’s Pizza, Arrowhead Alpine Club, Eagle-Vail Metro District and Tennessee Pass Cookhouse.
The Pedal Power series is the oldest continuous snowshoe race series in the state and one of the oldest in the nation. All proceeds from the completely nonprofit series will benefit local Eagle and Lake county charities. Pedal Power Bike Shop is Vail’s oldest full-service bike shop and is located at 40784 U.S. Highway 6 in Eagle-Vail.