Despite chilly, mid-teen temperatures at the start, 200+ participants showed up for the second race in the 2012 Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series, on February 5th to run the Cadillac 10K, East West Resorts 5K Quest, Dash for Cash and Larkburger Kids K, which had its largest field yet.
Cold temperatures made for both hard packed snow and soft, yet shallow powder, encouraging many racers to want lighter, more-responsive shoes. The Atlas demo booth did a brisk business getting racers outfitted on the latest snowshoe models, with the maneuverability of the Speed Series making it the most popular demo for the day.
All races began at Creekside Park with the 5K and 10K courses combined until about mile 1.5. The start was fast with a loop around the playground and a downhill sprint, followed by a steady climb on ski ways and single track. At the back of the lollipop loop, 5K runners took a sharp left for another uphill, singletrack climb, through beautiful aspen glades. Thin snow coverage made for some tricky footing on the way back around and down to the aid station. Upon returning to the aid station, the course retraced the original route, with the added bonus of going downhill, until just before the end, where racers turned back up for a punishing uphill finish. Overall, the 5K course had 820 feet of climbing at an average 11 percent grade, and maximum elevation of 8,500 feet.
When the 10K runners reached the back of the lollipop loop, they continued up the ski mountain on the Meadow Skiway, making it over to Allie’s Cabin and eventually running up Cinch (not as easy as it sounds!) before traveling across the ridge, and topping out at over 8,900 feet on Paulie’s Ridge Trail. The course wound around to Powder Loop and eventually descended on the Horse Trail before briefly rejoining the 5K route. After a swing around the driving range, the 10K racers had to change from their downhill gear for a final uphill push to the finish for a total elevation gain of 1,626 feet with an average 9 percent gradient.
When asked about the course, women’s Cadillac 10K winner and Atlas Snow-Shoe Company Athlete Lindsay Krause said, “there was plenty of fun singletrack, but variable snow, and some exposed logs and rocks, made for a very technical course.”
Josiah Middaugh ran to win his second men’s Cadillac 10K for the year with a time of 55:18. Alex Nichols’ time of 56:38 earned him second place on the podium, and Inov-8/Black Fox Brewing Co./Colorado Running Company athlete Peter Maksimow claimed third with a time of 58:48.
Krause won the women’s division, besting her second place finish in the first race of the series, with a time of 1:07:33. Atlas Snow-Shoe Company/Native Eyewear/Honey Stinger athlete Sara Tarkington finished in second place at 1:08:10. And Jeanne Cooper, another Atlas Snow-Shoe Company athlete, crossed the line in third place with a time of 1:08:36.
In the men’s East West Resorts 5K Quest, Mason Duncan raced to the finish in 26:44. Brian Welch, who also won the men’s Dash or Cash, claimed second place with his time of 27:47 and Ethan Pence crossed the line in 28:40 for third.
Jennie Thorne claimed top honors for the second time this season in the women’s East West Resort 5K Quest with a time of 32:06. Second place went to Nikki Cunning and her time of 35:17, and Ingrid Middaugh took third in 36:07.
Carrie Zografos won the women’s Dash For Cash for the second race in a row.
The day ended with soup, sandwiches, hot chocolate and gelato at the Beaver Creek Ice Skating rink and a must-be-present-to-win raffle with prizes ranging from snowshoes to entries for the TEVA Mountain Games Snowshoe races, Columbia gloves and Neve Design sweaters.
The third and final race takes place on and Sunday, March 11 at Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park with the Jeremy Wright North American Snowshoe Championships. For more information and to register, go to www.beavercreek.com.
The Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series is presented by The Beaver Creek Resort Company, Cadillac, Columbia Sportswear, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and Clif Bar and is brought to you in part by East West Resorts, Larkburger, Rocky Mountain Reprographics, The Metropolitan, Rimini, TV8, Vail Daily and KZYR The Zephyr.