Skiers to race Todd Lodwick in fundraiser Sunday |

Skiers to race Todd Lodwick in fundraiser Sunday

Event to benefit the Steamboat Springs Nordic Council

Todd Lodwick

— Whether they just want to rub skis with a world champion or actually entertain thoughts of upsetting the 2010 Olympic Nordic Combined silver medalist, cross-country skiers of all ages and abilities get their shot at knocking off Todd Lodwick on Sunday.

Lodwick already has promised to give every skier in the field a generous head start in a 3-kilometer race on the new Lodwick's Loop Trail at The Home Ranch in Clark.

The Todd Lodwick Challenge is a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Nordic Council, with the goal of buying grooming equipment to be used on Bruce's Trail on Rabbit Ears Pass in late fall and shifting to the trails on Emerald Mountain midwinter.

Organizer Dan Smilkstein said Sunday's race would be organized on an informal handicap basis, with skiers going out in waves, well ahead of Lodwick. It's meant to be a fun race, with Valentine's Day costumes encouraged, Smilk­stein said.

"Kids 12 and under will go out first, followed by classic skiers and beginners a minute later, followed a minute after that by intermediates, and expert racers a minute later. Todd will start 30 seconds after the experts," he said.

Dave Miller, who for five years has been volunteering to groom Bruce's Trail on a snowmobile borrowed from Brad Piske, said the goal is to raise $6,000 toward a $9,000 UTV tracked snow groomer. It would allow more effective and speedy grooming with the potential to open up a new trail on the north side of Walton Creek.

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Raffle tickets will be sold for prizes including a two-day vacation at The Home Ranch, a carbon fiber bike frame and Mad­shus skis. There will be prizes for top finishers in all divisions.

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