Classic, Rat Race on tap for CRMS
CARBONDALE – Colorado Mountain School and the Spring Gulch Ski Trails will be bustling this weekend.
CRMS hosts the Alpine Bank Classic, its only home Nordic meet of the season, Saturday. Then, on Sunday, the 32nd annual Rat Race, a fund-raiser for the CRMS team, is slated.
Saturday’s 5-kilometer classic style race begins at 10:30 a.m. and features middle school, high school and junior talent from across Colorado.
The event serves as a qualifier for both the Rocky Mountain Division’s Junior Olympic Team and the Colorado Ski League’s State Championships. Organizers expect it to be the largest Nordic skiing event in Colorado this winter with close to 400 competitors.
On Sunday, cross-country skiing enthusiasts will have the opportunity to dress up in zany costumes and descend upon the Spring Gulch Trail System to take part in the Rat Race, a wacky family event that brings together skiers of all abilities for a good time – and a good cause.
Participants of all ages and skill levels wear outrageous costumes and strap on skinny skis to raise funds that help members of the CRMS Nordic Ski Team attend races and represent Carbondale and Colorado across the region and internationally.
Such races the Rat Race has helped fund include the U.S. Junior Nationals, to which CRMS has sent Nordic racers for each of the past 23 years. Last year funds raised from the Rat Race also helped to send a CRMS sophomore and U.S. Ski Team member, Kaelin Kiesel, to the prestigious Scandinavian Cup in Norway.
This year Kiesel is taking part in an exchange program in Norway.
“The Rat Race is a great fund-raiser for our Nordic ski program,” said Lindley van der Linde, CRMS Nordic director. “But on top of that, it’s a lot of fun to participate, or just to watch. We enthusiastically welcome costumes, and see a lot that are related to rats and other rodents. Last year we had Mickey and Minnie Mouse skiing tandem.”
There are categories for all ages, from under 5 to over 65. The under-5 skiers follow a 0.5-kilometer course. Junior Ratties aged 6-10 ski 2 kilometers, and Junior Ratties aged 11-13 ski 3.5 kilometers. Tandem skiers need only ski 3 kilometers. All other racers follow the full 10k course.
Entry fees are $15 for 10K skiers and $6 for tandem skiers not already paying the entry fee for the 10K race. Entry is free for all Junior Ratties.
Entry fees include lunch, which will be served at CRMS after the race. Spectators can watch the spectacle free of charge.
A drawing for prizes will be held for participants after the race.
Racers need to register in classroom A of the Bar Fork building at CRMS from 8-9 a.m. on the day of the race. Junior Ratties start racing at 10 a.m. at Spring Gulch; the freestyle race is at 10:30 a.m., followed at 10:35 a.m. by the classic race and at 11:30 a.m. by the tandem race.
The CRMS campus is at 1493 County Road 106 in Carbondale, just before County Road 106 crosses the Crystal River.
For more information, call Lindley or Tiaan van der Linde at 704-1893 or Colorado Rocky Mountain School at 963-2562.
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