U.S. Team’s Richardson to headline Funracer
ARAPAHOE BASIN – With the annual U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s annual Rocky Mountain Division (RMD) Funracer just days away, event coordinator Kevin Ward is recruiting as many participants as he possibly can.Anyone with a desire to race is welcome at Saturday’s dual giant slalom, which promises to have a spring-fling-like atmosphere.”People can dress up if they want,” said Ward, a local RMD board member. “And people can race whatever they want – alpine, telemark, snowboard or even a snow bike. There’s probably no shovels allowed. I don’t think (A-Basin VP and COO) Alan Henceroth would appreciate it.”RMD’s Funracer is a benefit for the Home Team, which is the fundraising arm of USSA. Home Team funds are designed to benefit RMD athletes in three disciplines – alpine, freestyle and Nordic/ski jumping.”Winter sports, specifically skiing, are not cheap,” Ward said. “We’re trying to help the athletes out with special training, coaching and travel money.”
This year’s Funracer celebrity host will be U.S. Ski Team member Kaylin Richardson, who recently won the national downhill title at Alyeska Resort in Alaska.”Kaylin’s going to talk to the kids and answer some questions about ski racing and her experience on the national team,” Ward said. “She’ll probably go over things like how to inspect a course and how to choose a line. She’ll basically be a good-will ambassador.”Richardson may be attending Saturday’s event in a good-will capacity, but she’s also likely be the event’s top competitor.”I know some of my friends will definitely try to beat her in the race,” Ward said. “But I don’t know if they can do it.”Regardless of results, the goal remains to help the future stars become just that.
“If an alpine skier competes in a full season with all the NorAms, it can cost close to $20,000,” RMD competition and development manager Darlene Nolting said. “And if they go to nationals, that’s another $2,000. When the Home Team gives us a grant, we get to take a certain amount off the bill.”According to Nolting, recent Home Team allocations have been used to defray the cost of U.S. nationals (alpine division), Junior Olympics (freestyle) and summer camps (Nordic/ski jumping).Nolting added that $6,000 was raised at last year’s Funracer.Saturday’s event, which is expected to feature kids, masters and all levels in between, is one of two major annual fundraisers for the Home Team. The other one, a golf tournament, will take place this summer.Ward is hoping for a big turnout at the Basin after 156 participants showed up last year despite a “raging blizzard,” he said.
Registration for the dual giant slalom, which costs $45 for racers 14 and over and $25 for kids 13 and under, is available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on race day or online at https://registration.rmmskiracing.org/funracer.asp.Fees include a barbecue lunch, a raffle ticket and door prizes.Ward will also auction off a pair of Atomic skis that have been autographed by various current and past national team members. Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
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