Skiers take to streets |

Skiers take to streets

Winter Carnival events liven up atmostphere on Lincoln Avenue

Melinda Dudley
Skiing icon Glen Plake, left, and Scott Flower, right, help Cole Puckett over the jump ramp on Lincoln Avenue during Winter Carnival on Saturday.
Brian Ray

Winter Carnival Saturday street event results

Street slalom, ages 10 to 14

1. Alice Holmquist 7.9 seconds

2. Mary O'Connell 8.12 seconds

3. Martha Anderson 8.15 seconds

Skijoring, ages 6 to 9

1. Kathryn Harnick 7.0 seconds

2. Sierra Good 8.0 seconds

3. Kayla McCloud 8.42 seconds

Skijoring, ages 10 to 14

1. Mariah Hoots 7.0 seconds

2. Martha Anderson 7.28 seconds

3. Charlie Schmidt 7.5 seconds

Ring and box, ages 6 to 9

1. Ian Case 10.05 seconds

2. Silas Boatwright 11.26 seconds

3. McAllan Moody 11.98 seconds

Donkey jump, ages 6 to 9

1. Coby Vargas 37.4 feet

2. Lauren Requist 35.8 feet

3. Bastion Elkin 34.8 feet

Shovel race, 18 and up

1. Sean Sullivan 8.05 seconds

2. Chad Rush 8.53 seconds

3. Dave Collins 9.05 seconds

50-yard three-legged race, ages 5 to 8

1. Wyatt Gray, Wilder Gray

2. Nolan Connell, Quinn Connell

3. Ethan Dyer, Ezra Tebbenkamp

75-yard three-legged race, ages 9 to 11

1. Natalie Bohlmann, Jordie Floyd

2. Christina Greenwood, Lark Skov

3. Hudson Mortz, Jessie Laughlin

25-yard dash, ages 3 to 5

1. Jonathan Rollings

2. Annika Bautcha

3. Riley Hodges

50-yard dash, ages 6 to 8

1. Bastion Elkins

2. Elija Vargas

3. Gabe Aigner

75-yard dash, ages 8 to 11

1. Jasper Goode

2. Hudson Mortz

3. Jessie Lauhglin

— When Steamboat Springs resident Ryan McClellan volunteered three longtime friends for Winter Carnival’s famous shovel race, he kept some of the details of the competition under wraps.

It was not until his friends had already arrived in Steamboat to visit that they learned there were horses involved.

California resident Sean Sullivan, whose friends said he was the most apprehensive of the foursome, ended up winning the event with a time of 8.05 seconds.

“I’d never even seen the race before,” Sullivan said. “I was a little edgy with the horse I got paired with, because he was a little jittery.”

“It’s almost more fun than a guy should have,” third place finisher Dave Collins said. “We were shovel racing under the influence of peer pressure.”

Saturday’s street events at the 95th annual Winter Carnival brought out not just tourists and far-flung competitors, but also hundreds of local residents who crammed Lincoln Avenue’s downtown sidewalks with bundled-up children and dogs in tow.

In addition to the 18-and-older shovel race, children as young as 3 strapped on their skis for street races, holding tight to tow ropes as horses sped them through skijoring, the donkey jump and the ring and box events.

“It’s definitely the best part of winter,” Steamboat resident Jessica Schlapkohl said as she took in the festivities from the sidewalk.

While most participants in the street events donned skis for their events, a handful of kids tackled skijoring on their snowboards.

“It’s kind of harder to keep your balance. That’s why there’s a lot more skiers,” said 12-year-old snowboarder Hailey Gray. “It was really fun; I wish I went faster, though.”

In the weeks leading up to Winter Carnival, snowmobiles were a popular way for participants to practice their skills and simulate being towed by a horse.

Chad Rush got nominated to enter the shovel race by his cousins after he fared the best in their practice sessions, where they clung to sleds being towed by snowmobiles. Rush ended up taking second place in the adult competition.

“I’m the only one who can stay on the sled, so they figured I can ride the shovel,” Rush said. “It’s not too hard; you just have to hang on.”

Eight-year-old Zach Cooke and his dad used a snowmobile to practice ring and box for Zach’s first Winter Carnival since relocating to Steamboat from North Carolina.

“It was fun, but it was very hard,” Zach said, climbing a snowdrift while still clad in his skis after the event. “If you throw it too early, you get it. But if you throw it too late, you miss by an inch.”

The ring and box is trickiest for the horses, because it requires more control instead of just speed, said Linda Urie, riding Tonka in Saturday’s street events.

“(Tonka) kind of wants to just go full speed – the kids ask for medium, and I say ‘I don’t know if we’ve got a medium in us,'” Urie said.

Recent Winter Carnivals have been a bit more difficult on the horses due to the sheer number of participants, and children’s shrinking familiarity with the animals, Urie said.

“It used to be that you knew all the kids,” Urie said. “Now it’s grown so much, there’s so many kids, you just hope they hold on past the finish line.”

Coby Vargas, 9, set what is believed to be a new record in the donkey jump, sailing 37.4 feet down Lincoln Avenue. Previous records were somewhere around 30 feet, announcer Tom Whiddon said.

“As long as they don’t get caught up in the streetlights, we’re OK,” Whiddon said.

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