Over a thousand snowshoers came out to the Frisco Nordic Center in the Colorado mountains on Saturday, March 7, proudly wearing pink to participate in the 13th annual Tubbs Romp To Stomp Snowshoes Series in Colorado.
The event is a fundraiser for breast cancer, benefitting the Colorado affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation. The snowshoe series first began in Frisco, and Tubbs marketing coordinator, Kelsey Boyce, says the event has raised the most money of the whole series.
“The Colorado event alone has raised over one million dollars for the local Susan G. Komen affiliate,” shared Boyce.
This year, about 1,700 participants came out to the Romp, raising over $67,000.
Denver resident and breast cancer survivor, Susan Accola, says it’s the “highlight of [her] year.”
“It’s like our family vacation,” she added. “My sons come up too, and we come on Friday and stay until Sunday.”
This was the fourth year Accola and her family came up for Frisco’s Romp to Stomp, participating in the 3k walk. Her pink lipstick, pink glasses, pink bandana and pink tutu didn’t even need to be covered by warm layers this year. The chilly morning warmed up fast, and the day greeted all the participants with sunshine, moderate temperatures and blue skies.
“We have been up here in years past when it was pretty cold,” she said. “Last year, it was like blowing conditions, and we didn’t do the walk and waited until about 11:30 a.m. until it was clear.”
Boyce also noted last year’s blizzard conditions.
“Last year, it snowed 10 inches just during the event, and so this year is just a wonderful surprise,” she said of Saturday’s sunshine.
Power Of Pink
Two-time breast cancer survivor Laine Connolly came from Ft. Collins to walk the 5k course with her mother, sister-in-law and friend.
Like so many of the snowshoers on Saturday, Connolly wore her special “survivor” bib number with pride.
“I was 26 when I was first diagnosed,” she shared. “My friends call me toughie, but I am tired of proving I am tough. I have been through very aggressive treatments, chemo three times and 16 surgeries. But I am here, I survived.”
Connonlly is a snowshoer, and she wore a brand new pair for Saturday’s event.
“I have just upgraded my snowshoes,” she said, “and they’re pretty fancy, but I love being outdoors and I think it’s great that there’s Race for the Cure in the summer and this in the winter, so there’s support the whole year.”
For anyone who did not bring their own snowshoes, Tubbs had a fleet of 500 pairs available to borrow.
“What’s wonderful about Colorado is it’s really a snowshoeing type of place, so a ton of people bring their own,” Boyce said. “And it’s great to get people on snowshoes who have never snowshoes before.”
A much smaller number of participants in the 3k timed snowshoe running race, and prizes were gives to the top male, female, master and survivor in the race. They were also awarded K2 inline skates.
Swag bags, sponsor booths and live music created a tight-knit area, perfect for the free pre-race pancake breakfast and hours of post-race camaraderie.
“This is our largest event,” Boyce said of the Colorado leg of the snowshoes series, “so it’s wonderful to see and meet people who have done this for over 10 years.”
Kim Fuller is a freelance writer and avid snowshoer in Vail, Colorado.