The Great Ski Race   Leave a comment

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One of the things that makes Tahoe and Truckee the wonderful places they are is The Great Ski Race. After having to cancel last year due to a lack of snow, the race is back for it’s 37th rendition this year.

At 9:00 am on March 3rd, the first of a number of waves of skiers will set off from Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area near Tahoe City. The fastest racer will fly over Starratt Pass and make the 30 kilometer jaunt to Cottonwood Lodge just above downtown Truckee in about one hour and ten minutes. Lots of top skate skiers will race to the finish in under two hours, determined to show themselves that they still got it. On the other hand, there are a large group of skiers who are just out to enjoy the day, they stop at the two soup stations along the route to enjoy a snack, and then saunter on down to the finish line. The last of the nearly 1000 racers may take five hours or more to reach the final steep hill before the finish.

Sure, The Great Ski Race is a big cross-country ski race, the biggest in the Western United States in fact, but more importantly it is a great community event. Many skiers do it every year, trying to best their previous times, or those of their friends. For others, they’ve been hearing about it for years, and have finally determined that this will be the year. The party at the end is a raucous celebration of winter, and for many the highlight of the day.

And it’s all for a good cause. The Great Ski Race is the major fundraiser for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team. Those are the guys and gals that head out into blizzards to rescue lost skiers or whomever else made a wrong turn or found some bad luck at the wrong time. They have saved a lot of lives and the race helps give them the equipment and resources they need to keep their operation running smoothly and effectively. For more information go to www.thegreatskirace.com

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