Summer Roller Ski Fest this weekend the first of its kind in Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE — After months of planning, the Summit Nordic Ski Club will host its first Summer Roller Ski Fest this Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with the town of Breckenridge.
Summit Nordic Ski Club representatives said the event will be the first of its kind in Colorado. Nordic racers around the world, including Olympic hopefuls, train on roller skis during the summer offseason to prepare for the transition to snow. Roller skis are skis on wheels that are used for practice and racing on asphalt.
The event will begin with Saturday’s skate sprint race for U-16 and older skiers and an agility course race for U-14 and younger skiers. The skate sprint will begin with a sprint qualifier at 10 a.m., and the agility preview will commence at the same time.
On Sunday morning, the festival will pivot to a classic hill climb, with a 5-kilometer race beginning at 8 a.m. and a 3K race set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday’s roller ski sprint and agility race will take place at Denison Placer Road, and Sunday’s 3K and 5K hill climb will take place in Breckenridge’s Highlands neighborhood.
The agility course for Saturday’s skate sprint will be about 250 meters, and racers will get to complete the course three times with their best time counting. Racers will have unlimited access to the course during Saturday’s preview period.
For the U-16 skate sprint race, skiers will do a 200-meter roller ski World Cup-style skate sprint with a qualifier plus elimination rounds. All racers will advance to subsequent rounds.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Swix, the Summit Nordic Ski Club will have matched skis for the sprint races, which means race organizers will provide the skis to racers to ensure a fair race. Parking for Saturday’s races will be plentiful at Colorado Mountain College, which is close to the race start. Tents also are welcome, though they are required to have four corner weights of at least 25 pounds. Tents will be inspected, and any tents without weights will be taken down.
Sunday’s 3K and 5K hill climbs will be open to racers of all ages, and the races will feature classic technique and an individual start format. Though the race is dubbed a hill climb, there will be some variation in terrain. Racers will finish at a higher point than the start and will be shuttled back. No downhill roller skiing will be allowed.
For Sunday’s race, organizers will not be providing matched skis for the event. As such, racers will be required to have normal (resistance 2) wheels in order to race. For the event, there also will not be a stadium area or tents, as the race will be going through a neighborhood. There is no day-of registration. Parking will be available only on Tiger Road. Racers will need to ski to the start.
For both the sprint and 5K races, cash prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers.
The cost is $25 per race or $45 to take part in a race on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information or to volunteer, visit SummitNordic-SkiClub.SquareSpace.com.
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