Sunday was nice day to ski, bike or go for a float down the river. More than 30 individuals, however, decided to do all three in one day during the annual Salida Pole Pedal Paddle race.
Another 23 teams also competed in the race, with one member taking on each leg of the challenge that started on Monarch Pass and ended in downtown Salida.
“It was a lot of fun,” Salidan Kendall Lee said. Lee did the paddling for his team, Tres Hombres, and said he’s been trying to do the race for a while and finally found partners who had the gear for the different legs.
The race began with a 7.3-mile backcountry ski leg that started near the Monarch Crest, climbed for a while and then descended near Fooses Creek.
“The skiing was nice because there was no mud,” Salidan Ryan Wiegman said.
The competitors then rode their bikes 17 miles, mostly on dirt roads, to reach the river.
While snow covered the ski route, the bike portion was so dry parts were even sandy.
“It was great; it was super dry,” Wiegman said about the pedal.
Then, for the last leg, the competitors hopped into their kayak, downriver boat or on top of their stand-up paddleboards, and paddled 6.2 miles to the finish line just before the F Street bridge.
“The river is up a little bit, so that helped,” Lee said. “And the wind was behind us.”
In the end, Gunnison’s Jesse Rickert had the fastest time, beating the rest of the individual racers and all of the teams to the finish. Rickert won the race in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 25 seconds. His 27:50 split on his skis gave him an early lead that he never let go. Rickert also had the fastest paddle split (49:47) and the sixth fastest pedal (46:35).
The splits don’t include the transition times between skiing and biking and biking and paddling.
Carbondale’s Alex Perkins finished second (2:17:35), Longmont’s Riley Gelatt finished third (2:22:54), and Salidan Miles Harvey finished fourth (2:25:34). Harvey, 17, also won the junior title.
Carbondale’s Kate Oldham won the women’s competition in 2:26:20, followed by Gunnison’s Holly Rickert (2:28:15) and Boulder’s Kelly Conrad (3:16:30).
Konrad and Boulder’s James Kohnen (2:36:49) won the recreational divisions.
Salidans, meanwhile, dominated the team competitions and won all four categories.
Blue Collar Salida won the men’s relay in 2:10:57 with splits of 34:55, 44:04 and 51:24.
The team included Steve Holmes, Mark Walker and Greg Follet.
Salida’s Backcountry Batches won the women’s relay in 2:47:25 with splits of 45:41, 59:21 and 1:01:33. The Batches included Brean Rocksund, Kiki Fischer and Maggie Murdoch.
In the mixed relay competition, Salida’s Public Enema No. 1 finished first in 2:16:48. Their splits were 38:35, 45:40 and 52:02, and the team included Hannah Peyrose, J.D. Henderson and Neil Becwar.
Absolute Bikes 1 won the junior relay competition in 2:20:11 with splits of 40:03, 41:31 and 57:59. The team included Camden Gillis, Colby Pitts and Cole Walters-Schaler.