Steamboat Springs It wasn’t your typical reunion.
And maybe the next time University of Colorado skiers Rune Oedegaard, Josh Smullin and Dan Weinberger get together, it will be over poolside drinks.
But on Saturday, the three Buffs — Oedegaard is a sophomore and Smullin and Weinberger skied for Colorado in the early to mid-2000s — battled back and forth on a picture-perfect day at the Glide the Divide cross-country race.
In the race formerly known as the North Routt Coureur des Bois, the young legs of Oedegaard held up in the 90-kilometer skate race as the Norway-born skier outlasted Smullin in a race to the finish line.
“I decided a few days ago to race it,” said Oedegaard, who had two siblings ski with Smullin and Weinberger at CU and whose coach, Jana, is Weinberger’s wife. “I’ve been preparing, but with this long of a race, you never know how the body will react.”
The 90-kilometer race always has been the event’s signature competition. It sends skiers across the Wyoming border, back along the Continental Divide and eventually back to the starting area at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse.
“It was a little bit faster, and the competition was a little higher,” said Weinberger, who has won the event twice and finished third Saturday in the 90-kilometer race. “I tried to ski away from those guys, but I couldn’t.”
The event drew more than 150 skiers to North Routt. In addition to the trademark 90-kilometer race, there also were 45- and 15-kilometer races.
The three Buffs provided the highlight of the day, skiing together for most of the course.
Finally, Oedegaard squeaked in front of Smullin and beat the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach to the line.
“Last night, I didn’t even plan to race,” said Smullin, who spent the week in bed sick. “I was going to ski the 45 instead, but I woke up, and my sore throat was gone. As I kept going, I felt better and better.”
Steamboat’s Tammy Jacques won the women’s 90-kilometer skate in record time after a win in the 45-kilometer last year.
Steamboat skier Charlie Von Thaden won the men’s 45-kilometer skate, and Clay Mosley won the men’s 45-kilometer classic. Lenka Palanova won the women’s 45-kilometer skate, and Sarah Konrad won the women’s 45-kilometer classic.
“The hardest part was the unknown,” Jacques said. “My goal was to win and ski under five (hours), and I did. But this is just a great event. You couldn’t ask for anything more."
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com