At the sound of the horn, Arapahoe Basin's Rise & Shine Rando racers took off, heading uphill on their skis in the dim, early morning light Tuesday. The course is up High Noon to Black Mountain Lodge, where racers skin around the wing flag before removing their skins and returning to the base area via High Noon. At the base area, racers circumnavigate the start flag and then make their way back up to the lodge, continuing up Dercum's Gulch to Lenawee Face and the top of Lenawee Chair with the finish line near the top of the Montezuma Lift. On Tuesday morning, 34 early risers showed up ready to skin up the mountain at sunrise. "We even had about 10 folks drive up from the Front Range just to participate," Scott Westcott stated in an email. Westcott is the owner of Wilderness Sports, the event's main sponsor. "The series was designed as a true randonee race, with uphill, downhill and even some boot-pack sections, but in a friendly, low-key environment where newbies can be comfortable to give the sport a try." The entry fee included a free cup of coffee from A-Basin, and after the first race, the majority of participants went inside to warm up and to socialize. "It created a good environment for those new to the sport to chat with those more experienced and get some good pointers for upcoming races," Westcott said. The top male finisher was Greg Ruckman, who clocked in at 40 minutes, 5.18 seconds. The top female finisher was Becs Hodgetts in 54:18.98. Three more races round out the series: Dec. 18, Jan. 8 and Jan. 22. Entry is $20, and prizes are awarded to the top three male and female competitors. Get more information at http://bit.ly/VxwNNh.
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