Steamboat Springs The final skiers still were trickling in, flying toward the open grounds outside the Steamboat Ski Touring Center, some surging through their final strides and others simply gliding those last yards toward the finish line.
But the event was far from over In the sense that the Touring Center’s New Year's Relay is more about fun than finish times, more about the fresh air of a sparkling winter morning than winning.
The Scholl family, however, was among those who attempted to take the day's race more seriously.
“There’s no shame in losing to the Scholls,” public address announcer Harry Niedl offered the participants within earshot of his speakers.
It frequently is best for other participants to accept as much, and Saturday was no exception. About 90 skiers flocked to the Touring Center on a beautiful, crisp Steamboat morning, and Tyler Scholl, Tabor Scholl and their father, Shawn Scholl, teamed up to win the relay.
Tyler led the way Saturday, keeping the team in fourth place as he skied classic on the first leg. Shawn lifted the team to first, and Tabor held on with a strong finish.
“I knew that if I didn’t ski fast, I’d have to face the wrath of my children, and how I’d have to listen all the way home about how I was slacking,” Shawn said with a laugh.
The Scholls, who hail from Kremmling but regularly make the trip to Steamboat for events, proved themselves the best of Saturday’s racers, and that’s not unusual, especially for Tyler and Tabor, who are among the most accomplished young running athletes in the nation.
The event hit its 27th birthday this year, and it long has been about friends and families finishing one year and starting the next with a great morning of skiing.
“It’s just a good way ... to end the year and start a new one,” said Birgitta Lindgren, who operates the Touring Center. “It’s not a serious race, so we have parents racing with the children. The teams are all mixed, with males and females, young and old. We even had some Steamboat visitors who found out about the race yesterday and decided to jump in, and one guy who took a skate lesson yesterday, then joined a team today.”
The annual race has been part of the Scholls' New Year's plans as long as the children can remember.
“It’s just always been a fun family thing that we all do together,” said Tabor, a sophomore at West Grand High School. “I love this course, and it was a beautiful day to come out here. It’s always so fun.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com