Silverthorne’s Swift Skedaddle Qualifier Skedaddles Start

Here is a start for you: Downhill! What a concept (see photo).

Snowshoe racing just got more fun with this big surge off the start line and not having to redline it like, say, at the 2010 Syracuse Nationals where the start was uphill.

And for good measure, the finish, too. Of course, Silverthorne is some 9,000 feet above real air, so the flatlanders among us wouldn’t be able to breathe anyway, up or downhill (see photo). All the reason to go earlier and be acclimated in this resort city. What to do? Well, for one thing, stare in the window of race sponsor Blue Moon Bakery.

Look around: You can see the Red Mountains, Buffalo Mountains, Ptarmigan peak, Tenderfoot Peak, and Ten Mile Peak. Then check your heart rate peaking, too, preparing for the challenge.

“Don’t miss out on this epic snowshoe adventure,” the race tells us. “The 10K course provides action-packed snowshoeing at its best. With a starting elevation of 8776 ft, over 680 feet of elevation gain and at least 90% on single track, this is a race for the audacious.

Expect a nice warm up on the rolling hills of the golf course, and then be ready for the steep climbs to follow. Experience open space, beautiful vistas, an enchanted forest, and challenging tunnel.”

This race has a steel tunnel, often known at lower elevations as a culvert that is one of its classic features. Where else can you race through an obstacle like that?  Now you know how it feels to escape prison in all of those movies where they crawl through tunnels!

“Our aid station at the 5 km marker offers an escape for those who have had enough . . . or relief that the finish is near for those who have completed the second loop.”

The layout for the 10 km is basically the outline of a snowman, with the start at the feet and traveling counterclockwise.

Brian Smith (see photo) , Gunnison, won handily with his 55:15 clock, leading Mark Burgess, who broke the 60-minute mark, and Darren Brungardt.

No surprise, but Helen Cospolich won the women’s race in 1:03, fourth overall, followed by, naturally, Cheryl Paulson, USSSA’s second place medalist at the national championship. Third, Anna Lieb in 1:09.

Best medal race of the day was in the men’s 30-39 group where a fight was going on for third. Brian Krombein edged Chai Engtrakul by a fist full of seconds for the medal. Seconds later was the 40-49 male winner, Eric Black.

In the 5 km, Tim Hola, Highlands Ranch, won easily in 30:37. James Kahkoska, Colorado Springs, captured second, and then two minutes later, Boulder’s George Scott won third.

After finishing, have a meal at either sponsor Chipotle Mexican or an Old Chicago pasta or pizza. With the hard race, one earns a desert at the Blue Moon Bakery, a sponsor who is a specialty cake maker in the city. Get one with the USSSA logo on it . . .


United States Snowshoe Association:

HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life, or why you should snowshoe, for example, at

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About Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition, including drag racing, his favorite motorsport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra-distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING: Keys" in a unique way. Currently, he has two books in the works. Write to him at, or find him on Twitter or Facebook @iHarmonizing.