Cross-country relay in Steamboat ready for new year
Steamboat Ski Touring Center cross-country skiing event set for Sunday
Sven Wiik Cup events
Jan. 15: 9 a.m. at Ski Touring Center
Jan. 23: 10 a.m. at Steamboat Lake
Feb. 6: 10 a.m. at Lake Catamount
Feb. 19: 9 a.m. at Lake Catamount
Steamboat Springs — Birgitta Lindgren insisted this one is for everybody.
The Steamboat Ski Touring Center plays host to races and events that can challenge the area’s best Nordic skiers, but Sunday’s New Year’s Relay isn’t one of those. Instead, it’s designed give everyone a chance to ring in 2011
“Anyone that can make 5 kilometers can participate,” said Lindgren, director of the Touring Center. “There will be a very casual atmosphere.”
The relay starts at 10 a.m. Sunday and costs $45 for a team of three skiers.
As a team, those participants can race a 5- or 7.5-kilometer leg. A youth race will allow legs of 2 kilometers.
For the longer two events, the first skier must ski classic style, and the next two can go however they’d like.
“Some teams all ski classic. Some do just for the first person,” Lindgren said. “It’s just a fun day out on the snow. We really try to get across that this event is for everyone.”
Teams can register for the relay by calling the Touring Center at 970-879-8180 or at http://www.nordicski.net.
Lindgren said the center is expecting 20 to 25 teams.
Sunday’s relay will stand as one of the first events in a winter full of them for the Touring Center.
The 27th annual Steamboat Stampede on Jan. 15 will offer 23- and 42-kilometer races on the center’s trails. That day’s races will be tied in with the second of five Sven Wiik Cup races in and around Steamboat. The Wiik Cup races will be 3-, 5- and 10-kilometer distances.
That series will continue Jan. 23 with a race at Steamboat Lake and races Feb. 6 and 19 at Lake Catamount.
The 10th annual Colorado Ski for Women event, meanwhile, will take place Jan. 30 at the Touring Center. This year’s costume theme is Disney characters, and Lindgren said participants already are well into the process of planning their outfits.
“We’ve seen a lot of good excitement,” she said, summing up the season so far. “It’s nice to see excitement back in the sport again. There have been a lot of people getting into it or getting into it again and coming back to the sport. It’s been great.”
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