Sunday, March 7, 2021
Boulder Mountain Tour Ups the Fun Quotient
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The Vikings, not to be confused with Capitol Rioters, consisted of Lucy Bourret, Glo Kimball, Kelly Martin and Jamie Lieberman.
   
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

There were no race bib numbers. No air horn blasts starting the start of the race.

But the Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour went on this year despite the pandemic, only in very different fashion.

In fact, 713 people turned out for the virtual event across the world—a gratifying number for organizers considering the live event usually attracts between 800 and 900. And many more tagged along with friends who had registered for the event.

 
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Team Teletubbies Molly! Goodyear, Andrea Lieberman and Kelly Feldman
 

Jamie Lieberman led a bunch of Vikings pushing their way down the Harriman Trail with ski poles instead of oars.  Team Teletubbies comprised of Molly! Goodyear, Andrea Lieberman and Kelly Feldman, lit up the night. And Team Breadcrumb, comprised of David and Lorie McKinley and Prairie Kirk turned out as Hansel and Gretel and the witch with the family dog posing as a bread crumb.

“I think the important thing here is that in a challenging year of COVID, the BMT found a way to still hold an event, albeit in a different format,” said Lieberman, a BMT board member. “The stories of young kids participating in something new were amazing. That kind of enthusiasm drives all of us so we are grateful we could bring that energy to all those who were able to participate this yesr.”

The event was held virtually this year because of the pandemic and, so, participants were imbued with a spirit of levity they might not have exhibited in a serious race. Entire families, such as Julie, Bjorn, Sven, Chasyn and Savannah Halvorsen turned out. So did skiers who had never skied the Boulder Mountain Tour before.

With the Boulder open to anyone anywhere, people did their own 30K and 15K Boulder Mountain Tours in 16 U.S. states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, Vermont, Wyoming and the great ski state of New Jersey.

 
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Jim Keller and John Dean tiptoed through the avalanche across the Harriman Trail the first day of the virtual Boulder Mountain Tour.
 

Peter Wolter and Leah Lange skied the Boulder in Hafjelltoppen, Norway, while Daniel Wyss of the Challenged Athletes Foundation skied his Boulder Mountain Tour in Switzerland.

Closer to home, some signed up their dogs and did the dog loop at SNRA three times.

“It showed that people are enthusiastic to ski everywhere and anywhere,” said Event Director Jody Zarkos. “It shows you can take a 48-year-old event shake it up a bit and make it feel new.”

Participants had an entire week from which to pick a day and ski their Boulder. On the first day Sally Wisely and Anne Jeffery led a group of six across a large avalanche that had broken off a three-foot slab and spilled over the Harriman Trail north of Baker Creek.

 
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Team Breadcrumb reprised the story of Hansel and Gretel.
 

Laura Furtado took advantage of the week-long opportunity to ski two Boulder Mountain Tours. She did one around the hilly trails at Lake Creek. She did the other at Sun Valley Nordic Center, skiing Trail, Boundary and Proctor loops twice.

Jackson Long and his group skied the perimeter trails around Galena Lodge until they had racked up 30K. And former BCRD Director Jim Keating and his wife Courtney Gilbert left the maddening crowd behind to ski Craters of the Moon.

 

Fannie Watkinson skied her 30K at Snoqualmie in rain, snow and windstorms, making last-minute adjustments for closed trails. Sergio Bicas and others skied Chief Joseph Pass on the Idaho-Montana border. A Team Spirit award was given a team from Leavenworth, Wash., that was comprised of nurses and other frontline workers. They rallied, did their 30 K, then went back to work.

 
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The Rector/Stevenson family celebrates the end.
 

Charley French, as expected, was the oldest participant at 94. He was chased by young’uns 85-year-old Thomas Frey and 80-year-old Sam East and Hans Muehlegger. The youngest participants included 5-year-old Savannah Halvorsen and 7-year-old Molly Jacoby.

“Charley double-poled the entire 15 K to the finish line in the Half-Boulder in an hour and a half. What an inspiration!” said Mary Stoecklein. “He asked me if I wanted to ski with him and what better person to hang out. He did an awesome job—he never stopped except for two quick chats with friends he hadn’t seen in a while. He even gave me a few pointers along the way, which I greatly appreciated.”

“I loved the format because you could ski any time any day, depending on whether you wanted a sunshine day or a snowy day,” said Muffy Ritz, a BMT board member who skied the course in a body muscle suit. “You could ski anywhere--from Billy’s Bridge to Jackson, Wyo. There was no pressure and people had a good time. I saw a lot of people smiling. No one cared what their time was—they just loved the fact they got a hat and they got to ski down the trail with friends.”

With the usual elite athletes missing, pacesetters for the 30-kilometer race included Kyle Oldemeyer, Courtney Hamilton, Sage Reuter, Eric Colton, Ernest Matthew Finney-Jordet and Alan Hehr.

Participants won a variety of raffle items, including Bliz Proflips Nordic goggles, Brynje long underwear, Anti-Freeze Superpuff Jackets, Rossignol WCS premium poles and Madshus Redline 3.0 Skate skis.

A handful of nonprofits came out winners, as well.

“One of the things we did because we normally have people racing for the top place of $8,000 is that we took $5,000 and donated $500 apiece to 10 nonprofits across the United States voted on by the skiers,” said Zarkos.

Local winners were The Advocates, The Hunger Coalition, Higher Ground and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Other winners included the Idaho Food Bank, Community Shares of Wisconsin and Habitat for Humanity.

Zarkos said Boulder Mountain Tour board members are considering adding a virtual component to the in-person Boulder Mountain Tour next year.

“There definitely were aspects of that that people loved,” she said. “It was super fun, really light-hearted. We were glad to be able to provide something that people looked forward to participating in.”

RACE TO ROBIE CREEK GOES VIRTUAL, TOO

The 2021 Race to Robie Creek, billed as the toughest half-marathon in the Northwest, has gone virtual this year, as well. Participants have from April 1 through April 18 to run, walk or crawl the course.

You can do it wherever you want. And you can do all 13.1 miles at once or run portions of it over several days.

Registration is $35, plus a $3.50 signup fee. Everyone who registers at https://runsignup.com/Race/ID/Boise/RacetoRobieCreek will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an entry into the 2022 Race to Robie Creek. There also will be schwag and other contests and prizes

Proceeds will be donated to Boise charities.

 

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