Howelsen Hill lights to guide relay skiers |

Howelsen Hill lights to guide relay skiers

The luck of the draw will be a significant factor Wednesday when competitors in the Steamboat Nordic Challenge Series line up at the starting line for a rare night event.

Organizer Dan Smilkstein said the fourth race in this winter’s series will be a team relay, and the makeup of the teams will be decided by drawing the names of entrants out of a hat. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

All teams in this freestyle technique race will consist of two athletes, each of whom will ski three alternating laps. Smilkstein said he would accept entries on race night but is hoping most skiers will register today at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Early entries will facilitate the matchmaking that goes into the race.

“Team selection will be random, with the Nordic Council race committee pulling team names from a hat,” Smilkstein said. “An effort will be made to have mixed teams with male and female competitive racers teamed together.” The same will apply for junior and recreational skiers.

A third class for snowshoers is also planned. Smilkstein advises that they bring their own headlamp because, unlike the ski races, the snowshoe race will be held away from Howelsen Hill’s lights.

Juniors 12 and younger, as well as recreational adults, will ski a flat, 1.4-kilometer loop through the Howelsen softball diamonds. A clearly marked tag zone will be set up in the rodeo arena to allow racers to alternate with their teammates.

The competitive racers will ski a hilly 2.4K loop. The course map may be viewed at:

The Nordic Challenge Series concludes Feb. 29 at the Catamount Touring Center.

— To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail

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