Kelly, Hagen each win third Rando skimo race of season, avenge Dec. 19 loss | SummitDaily.com

Kelly, Hagen each win third Rando skimo race of season, avenge Dec. 19 loss

Competing skiers hike up a portion of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area during Tuesday's Rise and Shine Rando ski mountaineering race, the fifth of six skimo races the ski area is hosting this season. Tuesday's race was the first this season to consist of two boot pack hikes and was for the fourth time this year that Rory Kelly won the men's race and Eva Hagen won the women's race.

After their winning ways were interrupted at the last Rise and Shine Rando ski mountaineering race, Rory Kelly and Eva Hagen returned to the top spot at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Tuesday, each winning for the third time in four races.

Both Kelly and Hagen were unseated by Rise and Shine Rando race newcomers at the most recent race on Dec. 19, when Martina Valmassol's time of 57 minutes and 13 seconds bested Hagen by more than a minute.

After not taking part in the Dec. 19 men's race, Kelly completed Tuesday's course in 49 minutes and 46 seconds, more than a minute-and-a-half ahead of second-place finisher Jason Killgore, who was competing in his first race since the Nov. 14 season opener. The Dec. 19 men's race winner Pete Innes did not compete Tuesday.

With a time of 56 minutes and 17 seconds, Hagen easily won Tuesday's women's race by a near-6 minute margin, her biggest win of the season. Of the six women who competed Tuesday morning, Hagen was the only competitor to complete the 3-mile, 2,150-elevation gain course in less than an hour, as second-place finisher Jamie Brady crossed the finish line at Snow Plume Refuge in 1:02:11 and Betsy Welch took third place with a time of 1:10:36.

Sixty-one men finished Tuesday's race, all under two hours. Nineteen seconds behind Killgore, first-time finisher Mike Kloser secured third place with a time of 51:36. Pete Swenson finished in fourth place with a time of 52:03, giving him three top 10 finishes and an 11th place finish on the season. And David Glennon's time of 52:54 was good enough for fifth place Tuesday, as Glennon — who was the second-place finisher just 7 seconds behind Innes at the Dec. 19 race — has now achieved a top five finish at the last three races.

Two boot packs highlighted Tuesday's course, which took a slightly different path while again traversing from A-Basin's base area to an uphill finish inside Snow Plume Refuge. Similar to previous Rando races, competitors skined up the beginner Wrangler run before skirting out into the woods for a quick switchback on the beginner Chisholm Trail. After skiers joined back up with the Wrangler trail, they continued to ascend through the trees along the toe of the ski area's East Wall. Once past the East Wall, skiers raced into the intermediate Cabin Glades run before traversing up past the historic cabin ruins and switching back to the adjacent intermediate East Gully run.

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At this point, racers transitioned to their first boot pack of the competition to race up to the top of Graveyard before descending the intermediate West Gully run beyond the bottom of the Lenawee Mountain Chairlift to the beginner Chisholm trail. Skiers then strapped their skins back on to again head uphill into the beginner Sundance and intermediate Lynx Lane runs. The beginning of the final stretch of the race forced skiers to continue past the south side of the Black Mountain Lodge and up the intermediate Dercum's Gulch run to the bottom of the intermediate West Wall trail. Once there, skiers again transitioned to a boot pack before they climbed up the West Wall to the intermediate Cornice Run. Competitors then strapped into their skis one more time to race toward the uphill finish inside the Snow Plume Refuge.

The final Rando race of the season will take place on Jan. 23, from 7-9 a.m. on a course design to be determined at a later date. Admission is $25.

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