by Leadville Herald Staff
The Leadville Loppet will ring in its 17th year Saturday. The long-distance cross-country skiing race has served as a fundraiser for the Mineral Belt Trail since 2003.
The Loppet is open to freestyle (skate) and classic skiing at a variety of distances. The 44K starts at 8:15 a.m., the 22K at 9:45 a.m. and the 10K at 10 a.m. Registration fees range from $40 to $70.
The 5K costume party race starts at 10:15 a.m.; registration is $15 for all participants.
The 1K kids’ race starts at 10:30 a.m. and is free for all children. Participants receive a lollipop.
Race registration and bib pickup will take place from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 to 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at Colorado Mountain College Climax Building gym. Parking is available throughout the CMC campus.
Alpine Ski & Sport will offer a free wax clinic for race participants from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
For the first time this year, the race start and finish will be set up at the CMC soccer field, not Dutch Henry Hill. Aid stations on course will provide water, sports drinks, gels and snacks. Blueberry soup will be available at the finish.
Awards for the top three finishers in each category will be handed out at the Climax Building at noon. Homemade soups, chili and assorted baked goods will also be available.
The Leadville Loppet is an American Birkebeiner qualifier. Skiers who participate in the 22K or 44K race will be able to use their results to improve wave placement for the Birkie or Korte.