Leadville Loppet Cross Country Ski Races are Fun for the Whole Family!

Posted by rachael_w1974@yahoo.com

Nordic skiers of all ages and ability levels are invited to participate in the 16th Annual Leadville Loppet Ski Races on Saturday, February 16.

The Loppet (which is Scandinavian for ‘long distance cross country ski gathering/event’) is very unique: it is an annual fundraiser to help support the Leadville Mineral Belt Trail, which is where the race takes place. The Mineral Belt Trail is an 11.6 mile all-season non-motorized ADA accessible route, and it meanders through the historic Leadville Mining District while offering unsurpassed views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges consisting of 12, 13 and 14 thousand-foot peaks.

The paved trail is designed for bicycles, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, in-line skaters and long-boarders during summer and fall; winter enthusiasts will find the trail snowcat-groomed, inviting freestyle and classic Nordic skiers, snowshoers, winter bikers, walkers and runners, and more. The Mineral Belt Trail is free to use, year-round, to everyone.

With such an abundance of both scenery and history, this competition (as well as everyday trail availability) is not to be missed.

While some participants are quite competitive and speedy, all races and distances welcome anyone to enter. Similar to marathons and other running races, each participant enjoys the Loppet’s races at his or her own pace. The day is such fun for all ages!
Nordic skiers of both the ‘Classic’ (or ‘parallel’) and ‘Freestyle’ (or ‘skate’) disciplines are welcome.

Five race options include: the 44K, the 22K, and the 10K distances, as well as the 5K Costume Fun Race and the 1K Kids' Lollipop Race.

Start and finish location for all races:
All starts and finishes are located at the Dutch Henry Tubing Hill, which is adjacent to Colorado Mountain College Leadville Campus: 901 South Hwy 24, Leadville, CO 80461

Awards Party and Post-Race Treats:
Awards are held in Colorado Mountain College gymnasium (close proximity to the start/finish).
Awards for the shorter races begin at noon (10K, 5K) and later for the 22K and 44K.
Awards will be offered to the top 3 finishers in each category. Results will be split into age categories and final results will have age categories listed.
The awards party features home-made soups, chili, and assorted goodies donated by community members.

Unparalleled scenery throughout each race:
The race course travels through the rolling forested terrain of Colorado Mountain College's trail network, leads racers on to our Mineral Belt, climbs and descends abandoned rail grades left from Leadville’s mining era, and returns to the finish where we warm up at the award ceremony with soups & chili galore!

An annual fundraiser for Leadville’s historic Mineral Belt Trail:
The Leadville Loppet proceeds help support maintenance for the town’s famed and historic Mineral Belt Trail, which is an 11.6 mile all-season non-motorized ADA accessible route. The trail meanders through the historic Leadville Mining District while offering unsurpassed views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges consisting of 12, 13 and 14 thousand-foot peaks.The paved trail is designed for bicycles, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, in-line skaters and  long-boarders during summer and fall; winter enthusiasts will find the trail snowcat-groomed, inviting freestyle and classic Nordic skiers, snowshoers, winter bikers, walkers and runners, and more.

An official qualifier for the American Birkebeiner:
Skiers will be able to utilize results from either the 22K or 44K race for improving their wave placement for the ‘Birkie' or ‘Korte’ races. With participants convening in Wisconsin on February 23 from 36 countries, the ‘Birkie’ is North America’s largest cross country ski marathon. For additional information, please visit the American Birkebeiner website.

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