Ballengee turns out for Swift Skedaddle
SILVERTHORNE Danelle Ballengee is gradually getting her strength back.Slightly more than a month after breaking her pelvis in four places, the local multisport athlete made her second public appearance in as many days at Sunday’s Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe Adventure at the Raven Golf Club in Silverthorne.”I wasn’t sure if would be able to make it, so I didn’t make any promises,” Ballengee said, while sitting in a wheelchair within the Raven’s clubhouse. “Yesterday I went to breakfast with a friend and that was the first time I’ve really been able to get out of my house. That was really nice.”Ballengee, who started producing Swift Skedaddle races in 1998 and ran them through last winter, was something of a guest of honor Sunday, as proceeds from the event were pledged to her recovery fund.”Summit County and the racing community has helped me so much,” Ballengee said during Sunday’s race. “It’s hard to stay positive all the time, but when you have people that are so supportive, it makes a big difference. … Seeing people has a whole new meaning when you think about the fact I could have never seen them again.”
“I’m really happy to be able to support her in a spiritual way too, to help her heal up,” said men’s 10K winner Dave Mackey, who was a teammate of Ballengee’s in last summer’s Primal Quest Utah. “Danelle started (Swift Skedaddles). It’s a wild-mountain adventure out there and Danelle’s a wild-mountain adventurer.””We’re all just dedicating this to Nellie (Danelle) because anyone else would have been dead under the circumstances,” said men’s 4K winner Rick Schmelzer, referring to the some 52 hours Ballengee was stranded in the Moab, Utah wilderness before being rescued. “It’s all about Nellie.”Ballengee credited the Town of Silverthorne with running a well-organized race and pointed out that if she hadn’t turned over her responsibilities last winter, this year’s events likely wouldn’t have happened. Familiar face returns from afar
Mackey completed Saturday’s long course in 56 minutes, 18.8 seconds – nearly 3 minutes ahead of last year’s winner, Antonio Holguin.Holguin, who recently moved to South Carolina from Avon, found that his lung capacity wasn’t what it used to be.”My only worry was that I was coming from sea level,” Holguin said. “I tried to make my move, but I had a lot of breathing problems and I had to slow down a little bit. I didn’t want to kill myself – I still have a long way to go.”Soon after Sunday’s race, Holguin concluded a week-long vacation by hopping in his car to drive back to the Palmetto state, where he is scheduled to work Tuesday morning.Mackey, who lives in Boulder, appeared humble in victory.”If (Holguin) lived up here still, he would have his lungs back, I’m sure,” Mackey said. “He lives in hot temperatures and thick air, so I had a little bit of an advantage, but I know he’s faster than me.”
Scott Oberbreckling was the third overall male finisher in the 10K.Breckenridge’s Shannon Galpin was the female 10K champion followed by Martha Lunsky and Colleen Ihnken.”It was a really tough course,” Galpin said. “We had to climb through a drainage ditch at one point and there was a lot of walking uphill. It was good though.”Michelle Lyman won the women’s short course with a time of 23:19.34. She was followed by Juli Blass and Amy Noraka. In the men’s short course, Schmelzer was followed by Michael Magliocchetti and Rob Claus.In all, 67 snowshoers completed the race.
Another Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe Adventure is scheduled for Saturday at Gold Run. The event will include a fundraiser for Ballengee.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
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