Races, particularly HS State Championships or marathons are always a challenge.  You work and train and compete all winter and it comes down to the final show.  What’s the temperature?  Are my skis waxed right?  Do I have a plan – go out slower and come in with a roar? Do I have the right clothes on?  Did I eat an appropriate breakfast?  Is my mind in the right place? How do I feel?  Have I trained hard enough?  Do I remember what the coaches said? So much fresh snow – did it get packed firm enough or are the tracks hard?  So many things to think of.  But the most important is – am I ready to do my best?

Your attitude and the attitude of the people around you is so important.  When people are relaxed, supportive and encouraging, athletes do better.  Some have abilities that they are blessed with.  Some athletes have to work harder than others.  Every community sees that standout like Ty Scholl but behind that individual is a team.  A team of supporters – sometimes parents and teachers and sometimes just friends – a team of fellow athletes perhaps their school teammates or just a weekly training buddy or even sibling.  That kind of teamwork is often learned in family upbringing or on middle school or high school teams.  And it is a huge factor in the success of any athlete.  Ty would be the first to tell you the importance of that support.  The whole team counts as much as that star player and each supports the other.

Not just kids but all people who aspire to achieve a goal need some type of help to pursue their dreams.  It might be money for training or equipment or travel, it might be encouragement to work through a training flat spot or parts of their requirements to compete that don’t come easily, it might be as simple as having an idol.

Never doubt the importance of that teamwork and inspiration.  All individual sports have some kind of dependence on others, whether it’s the caddy for the golfer, the trainer or Physical therapist or feed person for the Nordic skier or cross country runner, or the pack leader who pulls the peloton in a bike race.  The resort staff, coaches and parent helpers are a big part of that team.  The organizations who help fund the various programs are another part. And the family and friends who schlep the athletes around or feed them or carry their equipment are the unsung heroes.

Working together only leads to better results. Committees bring together many types of experiences and ideas and usually far outweigh the input of one individual.  The power of combined forces is usually far more effective than an individual effort.  Challenges only increase through the years and athletes build from High School championships to marathons attended by athletes from over the country.

35th Annual Snow Mountain Stampede and Snow Mountain Ranch’s 50th Anniversary

This weekend Snow Mountain Ranch is offering the ONLY opportunity in the country to be able to ski either 50K Skate Race Saturday and 50K Classic Sunday or do both days.  You can do 25K or 10K instead. You can just tour the course untimed but benefit from aid station support and expert grooming.  The course is phenomenal if the wind, new precipitation and temperature don’t spoil the grooming.  Nothing can detract from the scenery… and 35 years of the highest marathon in the country!  I know – I skied the race in 1984!

The whole family can get involved – there is a free 2K Kids race for kids 15 and under at 845am both days before the big guys get going.  Some lucky kid is going to win a great big stuffed bear each day but all kids get prizes for finishing.  Bring your cowbell and cheer the racers on from various points around the Nordic Center. The skate races on Saturday start at 9am and offer a 50k challenge for the skiers with lasting power followed by a 25k challenge for the accomplished skier.  The 10k offers a shorter distance for the younger (and older!) crowd or those who just can’t race as far.  And last there is even a 25k tour for those who just want to see how long 25k really is – all with no pressure for time.   All paid entries get the post-race lunch at Snow Mtn Ranch. You can also browse the sales at the Nordic Centre shop and pick up some real end-of-season deals…

That is Saturday and you can turn around and do the same on Sunday but Classic style.  Some people will even have the stamina to do both days, either both 50Ks, or both 25Ks! Those powerhouse athletes will receive a 50K Ranch Hand belt buckle for those who complete both 25K races and those who complete both 50K races will receive a 100K Ranch Boss belt buckle.  Come, ski, and BE THE BOSS!

Visit snowmountainranch.org and click on Nordic and events to get the full scoop and register for one or more Stampede events. Or join the Ranch for other 50th birthday activities on Saturday like Guided Snowshoe Hikes to the Rowley Homestead at 11am and 230p, afternoon snowman and snow fort building competitions at the Program building, celebration at Adam’s Promise or Sunday’s 11am tour through Just Ranch.  Happy birthday Snow Mountain Ranch!