North American Snowshoe Championships hit the Beav |

North American Snowshoe Championships hit the Beav

Daily Staff Writer

The country’s top snowshoe racers are going to need some fancy footwork as they compete for top honors in the 2004 North American Snowshoe Championships, the final event of the four-race Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series, this Saturday.

In addition to the prestige of becoming the North American Champion in the 10-kilometer event, the Championships also feature a $5,000 cash purse, with a total of $2,500 on the line for the top-five finishers in both men’s and women’s divisions.

Heading into competition, Vail’s Josiah Middaugh has proven to be a strong contender, picking up two 10K victories in the series to date. Bernie Boettcher nabbed his first 10K win in the third event of the season Feb. 21. On the women’s front, Eagle’s Anita Ortiz earned two 10K wins with Dillon’s Danelle Ballengee close behind with one 10K crown. Ortiz claimed victory in the first and third event, while Ballengee took top honors in the second. If Ballengee wins the Championships, this will be her second consecutive Championship title.

“We’re gearing up for a great day of racing,” said Jeff Brausch of Highline Sports and Entertainment, the organizers of the event. “The excitement has been building for these Championships since the beginning of the season, especially with $5,000 on the line.” All Championships activities are slated to get under way at 11 a.m. at McCoy Park, located at the top of the Strawberry Park Express Chairlift at Beaver Creek.

“Competitors need to remember that the Championships feature a different start/finish venue,” Brausch said. “Everyone needs to allow themselves a little extra time to get to the start as it will involve riding the lift as opposed to being at the base of the chair.”

In addition, all competitors, whether season-pass holders or individual entrants, will need to check in at registration to receive a new race number for all of Saturday’s competitions. The registration tent will be located at the top of the escalators in Beaver Creek Village in its usual location.

Along with the North American Championships 10K event, Saturday’s finale will also include the Beaver Creek “Dash For Cash”, a 100-yard sprint, and the East-West 5K Quest for adults, as well as the Kids K for those participants 12 and younger.

Registration for Saturday’s North American Snowshoe Championships is available online at or in person at Christy Sports in Avon and Vail Village or Ptarmigan Sports in Edwards. Entries are priced at $20 in advance and $25 on race day. All entries will include a pedestrian pass for the chairlift.

“We have had a tremendously successful season with the Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series,” Brausch said, “And the North American Snowshoe Championships will put the perfect exclamation point on a great winter of racing.”

The 2003-2004 Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series is presented by Beaver Creek Resort, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, BMW and Nike ACG and sponsored in part by East-West Resorts, Peak Dentistry, Beaver Creek Merchants Association, Nature Valley Granola Bars, the Vail Daily, KZYR-The Zephyr and KVBA-TV8.

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