Wild and wacky Rat Race on tap Sunday
CARBONDALE ” For any cross country skiing enthusiasts tired of the typical workout apparel, there is an outlet this weekend.
It’s a chance to dress up in zany costumes and descend upon the Spring Gulch Nordic Trail System for the 33rd Annual Rat Race.
The Rat Race, hosted by Colorado Rocky Mountain School, is open to Nordic racers and spectators of all ages and ability levels with distances ranging from 1⁄2 to 10 kilometers. The fund-raiser is slated to kick off Sunday morning at the Spring Gulch (seven miles up Thompson Creek Road, northwest of Carbondale).
The race raises funds to help members of the CRMS Nordic Ski Team attend races and represent Carbondale and Colorado across the region and internationally. Such races include the U.S. Junior Nationals, to which CRMS has sent Nordic racers for each of the past 24 years.
CRMS will also host a barn dance Saturday night featuring the bluegrass music of the Hell Roaring String Band at 8 p.m. at the CRMS Barn.
“This year we’re trying to involve more of the community, and give it a real carnival atmosphere,” said Andrew Gardner, CRMS Nordic director. “That’s one reason we’re celebrating the night before the race by having a barn dance. And following the races, there will be even better prizes than in past years.”
The Rat Race has categories for all ages, from under 5 to over 65. The under-5 skiers ” part of the Junior Ratties division ” follow a 1⁄2-kilometer course. Junior Ratties aged 6-10 ski 2K, and Junior Ratties aged 11-13 ski 31⁄2K. Tandem skiers need only ski 3K. 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 can register in classroom A of the Bar Fork building on the CRMS campus from 8-9 a.m. on Sunday. Junior Ratties start racing at 10 a.m. at Spring Gulch; the skate-style 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.
Admission to the barn dance Saturday night is $5, with some of the proceeds to benefit the CRMS senior class. The dance will be held in the historic CRMS Barn.
For more information, call Andrew Gardner at 963-8456 or CRMS at 963-2562.
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