Cody’s Challenge to head back up Mount Werner |

Cody’s Challenge to head back up Mount Werner

— The time will be moved back. The course may be slightly altered. But the show will go one for the seventh annual Cody’s Challenge randonee ski race in Steamboat Springs.

That still strikes Corinne St. John as surprising on occasion.

“The only reason this has been so sustainable, really, is how great of a town Steamboat really is,” she said. “It’s been amazing for seven years, and we’re here to stay. We would love to keep doing this as long as we have the support.”

This year’s race will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, moved back to give the snow time to soften. Registration remains open at

The race memorializes Corinne St. John’s brother, Cody St. John, who was a member of Steamboat Ski Patrol when he died following a car accident eight years ago.

The ski race started the next winter and has been slowly gaining momentum ever since. It’s grown into an even larger event recently.

Early races featured 50, 60 or 70 athletes. Last year’s brought our nearly 160, basically doubling participation from previous years.

A number of factors have played into that growth. The crew from Manic Training in Steamboat decided to give the event a try, and they showed up in force, dozens of Graham Muir’s athletes taking to the slopes. The race also got an influx of skiers by being associated with the Cosmic Series Ski Mountaineering Cup.

Both of those factors will return this year, and organizers are expecting another big race.

“It’s great because we have the Cosmic Series supporting us, and we still have this really nice balance of really serious, avid racers in their spandex right next to someone doing the race for the first time,” Corinne St. John said. “It’s a balance we always want to strike. We never want to turn away anyone who’s not done this before.”

The event seems to have established a reputation in that regard. It was among 20 races listed by Outside Magazine in a collection of “the 20 best beginner-friendly races.”

The event begins at the top of the gondola, then sends athletes on an up-and-down course through some of Steamboat Ski Area’s most varied terrain.

The event raises funds for scholarships given in Cody St. John’s honor. He was pursuing a medical career at the time of his accident, and the money is meant to help other ski patrollers going down the same path.

The race costs $60 for those who register online, and that avenue will remain open until Friday evening. Late-comers will also be able to sign up from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. day-of at Bear River Bar and Grill. The cost there will be $70.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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