Ask the Town Challenge ski racing series regulars

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Slalom in the soul

Even though turnout isn't what it once was, the Town Challenge ski racing series still is a vital part of what makes Steamboat Springs a special place. Ask any of the series regulars and they'll tell you, the annual races are about a lot more than competition.

What do you love about ski racing?

“It’s not important for me to win. I’ve won, like, 150 of those races. That’s not important. I just like to race. I like the challenge.”

Kevin Hendrickson, seven-time Town Challenge champion

It’s just one of those things I love to get nerdy about. It’s like a problem to solve every time I’m out there, where I have to figure out my body positioning better, and when I figure it out, I roll down the hill, my times get faster and I start beating guys. It’s addictive.”

Jim Kohler, 2008 Town Challenge champion

“Ski racing was my life for a long time, and it took care of me as an individual, when my life was good and when it was crappy. Ski racing, as a sport, taught me pretty much 95 percent of everything I need to know about life.”

Erik Gilbert, NCAA All-American, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach

Ski racing gets in your blood.”

Tim Magill, longtime Steamboat ski racer

“It’s really fun to be able to go fast down Howelsen Hill and to be here at night and with the lights. And it’s just a good group of people.”

Julie Hagenbuch, Town Challenge regular

“I definitely have a competitive streak in me, and that was a fun way to let it loose. ... Everyone ought to give it a try. You’d be surprised how much fun it is.”

Rick DeVos, Winter Sports Club Director, 1988 Town Challenge champion

“It’s social. Every course is different, and every race is different. It gets your heart pumping and keeps the blood moving.”

Kara Norby, 2013 Town Challenge women’s champion

“You can’t beat the feeling of a great run. That’s always what you’re striving for but not always what you achieve.”

Roger Perricone, Steamboat Ski Area director of competitive services

“My favorite thing about ski racing is just the ability to measure yourself against other people and against yourself, to see where you’re against against everyone else and against yourself through the year.”

Pat Arnone, 1997, 2000 and 2006 Town Challenge champion

— Quotes compiled by Joel Reichenberger

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