Frisco Gold Rush draws record crowds |

Frisco Gold Rush draws record crowds

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO ” Athletes age six to 65 crowded around the results board Sunday during the 39th annual Salomon Gold Rush at the Frisco Nordic Center, slapping high-fives and exchanging hugs in the spirit of friendly competition.

“This is always our favorite race of the year because of the old-fashioned community feel and down-to-earth family vibe,” Breckenridge resident Beth Sharp said. “It’s not just a race, it’s really an event, and the whole community comes out to support it.”

Some 350 participants took part in the Nordic ski and snowshoe races, and competitors from around the state were all smiles as they basked in the sunshine at the finish line.

“It’s a gorgeous Colorado day,” Vail resident Marlin Smickley said. “(Frisco) has one of the most beautiful Nordic centers in the sate, and this event is always very well organized.”

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Hard-core racers mingled amid first timers on the 5, 10 and 20K courses, and the laid-back atmosphere provided the perfect opportunity for families looking to challenge themselves with something new.

“The race felt very comfortable and everyone was really friendly and helpful,” first-time racer Tina Wagers said after meeting her husband and two sons at the finish line. “It’s not an uptight competition, so we are definitely looking forward to coming back next year.”

Racers as young as 6 years old lapped the rolling Nordic center course, proving that the next generation of snow enthusiasts are already committed to making a play at the podium regardless of experience.

“It’s great to see so many kids out here,” said Sharp, whose two children Adde, 11, and Will, 8, both won first place in their age divisions in the 5K skate competition.

The money generated by the Gold Rush races benefits the Summit Nordic ski team and Summit Ski Club, which helps Summit County youngsters improve their skills on both the flat and the downhill terrain.

“Summit (ski teams) have a history of doing well and we want to maintain that and take it further,” Sharp added. “People have so much fun supporting the team and this event really proves that.”

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