Love Me Tender Snowshoe Adventure Scores 100%

The race organizers of the Love Me Tender Snowshoe Adventure have been praying to the Norse god Ullr (God of snow sports) for well over a month now.  The snow accumulation at Farmer’s Korner (site of Summit High School and the LMT Race course) has been extraordinarily low this year, and Ullr would have delivered fresh powder a week before the race to renew the race course; Ullr was not answering their prayers.

A Norse God did answer their prayers, but not Ullr.  Loki, the Norse God of mischief, decided to bring knee high powder and strong winds to the beautifully packed and well marked race course.  The racers of the Love Me Tender Snowshoe Adventure were in for a real adventure Saturday morning.

The racers at the LMT were undeterred by Loki’s practical jokes; 51 brave souls mustered the strength to fight through the deep powder and complete the 2Km, 5Km, and 10Km courses. 100% of them finished the race; the racers had the last laugh!

Race director Darren Brungardt (Dillon, CO), wearing Atlas Race snowshoes, won his challenging race course in a time of 1:02:30.  Brungardt, as every good race director would do, waited to make sure second place runner Brent Popadich (Boulder, CO) in a pair of Atlas Racers followed him up the toughest hill of the course, St. Valentines Day Massacre, that has a vertical gain of 300′ over a quarter mile stretch.  (photo:Sam Lewis front in purple and Jack Hamilton wearing bright green near the finish)

Brent gladly took the challenge as did the other nine runners in the 10K race.  “Mountain Man” and legendary burro racer Kevin Mastin (Silverthorne, CO) was third in the men’s race wearing Redfeathers.  Lisa Mills (Aurora, CO) won the women’s race in a time of 1:16, followed by Jill Heil (Summit Cove, CO) in Tubbs, and Susan Mocatta (Breckenridge, CO).  All of the top three women’s racers were unscathed by the winter weather and smiling after the race asking Loki if that was all he had to give them!

The true story of the day was the youth movement at the LMT race.  The 5K served as the Colorado Junior State Championships.

35 year old triathlete super star Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, CO) won the race in a time of 27:59 wearing Atlas Race-ers.  Cheyenne Mountain High School (Colorado Springs, CO) sent five of their best boy runners to the snowy mountains to partake in the championships.  The boys won the coed team championship race with a score of 18, finishing in front of Summit High School with a score of 28.  (photo:Brett Tomlinson our “Best Dressed Elvis” Winner)

Mitch Kayson (Colorado Springs, CO), wearing a borrowed pair of old Atlas hiking snowshoes, won the CO Junior State Championships in a time of 28:59.  He was followed by teammate Postyn Smith (Colorado Springs, CO) and Evergreen High School’s Jack Hamilton (Evergreen, CO) in a pair of Atlas Race.  The Colorado Junior State Girl Champion (and the overall women’s 5K) was won by Boulder High School’s Sam Lewis (Boulder, CO) in a pair of Atlas Race.

Thompson Valley Senior Emma Howard (Loveland, CO) was second in the Championship race followed by Summit High School and fellow race director Tess Olson (Breckenridge, CO) in a pair of Atlas Race.  27 year old Lindz Prust (Breckenridge, CO) was second in the women’s 5K.

Getting younger runners out to race in snowshoes was the race’s goal.  The old veteran snowshoe racers (as ‘young’ as 64) were pleased to see so many younger snowshoers (can you believe a four year old?) laughing, smiling, and enjoying the race. (photo:Diego Andraca sprinting to the finish)

The race was a success given the snow and wind.  Elvis even made an appearance in a pair of Atlas Racers, his synthetic jumpsuit proved an effective barrier from the cold wind and snow. The LMT race will donate 75% of their profits to the scholarship fund for the children of a Summit High School English teacher who passed away from cancer last fall.

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photo credits:
first two: Jim Lewis
remaining two: Dana Brungardt

About the author


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.