Monday, February 12, 2001
Steamboat Springs For avid outdoor enthusiast Jim Harkness, snowshoe racing is just like running but with some really big shoes.
On Sunday, Harkness set a blazing pace as he raced to the top of Howelsen Hill and back down in a time of 50 minutes, 10 seconds to win the 10-kilometer Snowshoe Sunday race.
"The course basically goes straight up Emerald and you just have to grunt to the top," Harkness said. "That guy Gavin (Malia) was right behind me all the way up, but once I got to the top, I lost him. I didn't see anybody else the rest of the way."
Malia did finish second in the 10-kilometer race standings with a time of 54:08, and Sean Meissner was third with a time of 55:25.
Harkness has participated in the race, off and on, for the past several years. He also snowshoed in last year's race but did not win.
"This is the first time I've ever won," Harkness said. "This race is just a lot of fun. The course was fantastic and it's nice to have a race like this in Steamboat."
The race drew about 60 athletes to Howelsen Hill Sunday. Christina Freeman, of Parks and Recreational Services, said that number is about the same as last year.
"It's a good-sized event," Freeman said. "Our goal was to get about 60 athletes out for the race and we hit that number."
Freeman said most of the athletes who came out said they enjoyed the courses which had been tweaked a little since last year.
The women's 10-kilometer race was won by Betsy Kalmeyer, who cruised around the course in a time of 58:39. She was followed by Katherine Zambrana in second (59:07) and Kirsten Ames (1:03:34) in third.
In the shorter 5-kilometer race, winners included Gretchen Wright for the women and Jonathan Meier for the men.
Wright finished the race in a time of 36:45 to beat out second-place finisher Jenna Gruben at 37:32 and third-place finisher Tava Burrow at 38:12.
Meier finished his race in a time of 23:21 to top second-place finisher Larry Brooks, who crossed the finish line at 34:16, and third-place finisher Paul Campbell, who finished at 35:28, just beating out Tom Nelson in fourth place. Nelson's time was 35:29.
Both Brooks and Nelson were in the master's division (50-plus) while Meier and Campbell came out of the 18 to 39 age group.
"We are absolutely going to have this race again next year," Freeman said. "We like having it as the last event. It's kind of like the last hurrah for Winter Carnival weekend."