Steamboat Springs On a day associated with couch sitting and consumption of large amounts of alcohol and junk food, dozens of men, women and children opted for exercise and sun.
The second annual Colorado Ski for Women brought out cross country skiers and snowshoers of all ages and abilities on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Steamboat Ski Touring Center hosted the event to benefit Advocates Against Battering and Abuse. Event organizers asked for donations to benefit Advocates in place of a registration fee.
The event involved teams of two people skiing in the classic or skating style or snowshoeing 5 kilometers. Teams of mothers and daughters, sisters, couples and friends trekked through the snow to raise money for a worthy cause.
Eileen Rossi and Betsy Photos of Oak Creek teamed up for the event. The women said they were happy to strap on their skis to support an organization like Advocates.
"We planned on coming out just to enjoy the day and have fun together," Photos said.
Participants were treated to mild temperatures that made the annual fund-raiser feel more like a rite of spring than a winter event.
Results and times were taken, but competition was not the focus of the day.
All female participants started at the same time, and teams' individual times were added together.
Laurie Perry and her 9-year-old daughter, Dani, paired up to cross country ski the 5K course.
Mother and daughter downhill ski together, but Sunday was their first joint ski touring experience.
They appreciated the chance to ski with other women for a cause that benefited women.
A few men took advantage of the separate men's course, which crossed the women's course only once.
The small group started 15 minutes behind the women. Ski Touring Center Director Birgitta Lindgren posed one request before the men took off.
"We ask that you please give them the right of way," she said. "It is their day."
Bob Larson said he was taking advantage of the exercise before settling down to Super Bowl festivities.
Larson, who sits on Advocates' Board of Directors, said the organization was looking for ways to increase future participation in the event. He was pleased with the turnout for an event now in its second year.
Event organizers said about 85 people participated, a slight increase from last year's field.
Advocates Director Diane Moore said she was encouraged by interest in Colorado Ski for Women. The event not only raises money but awareness of the growing problem of domestic violence and sexual assault in Steamboat Springs, she said.
Last year's participants raised $1,500 for Advocates.
No awards ceremony was held. Instead, all skiers and snowshoers were eligible for prizes and gift certificates from local businesses.