The last couple of season’s Salomon has been testing out a pretty awesome race format called Snowcross. Snowcross combines running and XC skiing into one fun and exciting event. Since this type of event is so new here in the U.S. and because there is a Snowcross race taking place on Saturday, January 6th at the Trapp Family Lodge… We sat down with Will Robens from Catamount Ultra Events to learn more!
So tell us about your upcoming event? What is snowcross? Is this another one of those awesome European events that the US has been slow to catch on to?
The Salomon Snowcross Relays is a winter endurance challenge. The event will begin with one ski leg, then enter a transition zone where you will either tag a teammate or swap from skis into running shoes, continuing on to the trail running leg and the finish.
How did Catamount Ultra Events get involved? Why did you choose the Trapp Family Lodge?
Salomon is really the motivator for this event. With their world class trails, snowmaking, and stunning views, Salomon decided the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe was a perfect location for one of the first Snowcross events in the U.S. In the past I have worked with Salomon at Catamount Ultra and Trapp Mountain Marathon. They knew I had a good working relationship with Trapps and approached me about directing the race. I jumped at the chance to be involved! Skiiing and running… Sounds super fun doesn’t it?!
So how exactly does this work? It’s a relay, but do you have to race with a partner? Skate or Classic?
You can Skate or Classic Ski. You can do the race either on your own or with a partner. If you only feel like skiing… Just find a runner to partner with. Just want to run… find a skier. Or… Do Both!
Who is this event for? Do you have to be a hardcore XC racer or winter trail runner to have fun?
This race is for everyone! The primary objective is to get people outside, active, and having fun. There is no prize money. No huge trophies or anything like that. Just bragging rights. If you are a competitive athlete, there will be plenty of serious competition. If you’re not… You will still have a great time enjoying some miles outside in the fresh air on beautiful trails with other, similarly inclined people.
Tell us about the course. How long is it? Are the XC and running routes the same? Different?
You can compete in either a 5k or 10k total distance race. The 5k will consist of a 2.5k ski leg followed by a ~2.5k run. For the 10k, you get a 5k ski and 5k-ish run! All of the skiing with be done on the groomed race loops and participants will run on the snowshoe trails around Luce Hill.
Any tips concerning equipment, how to dress, or how to ensure an efficient transition?s
I would encourage folks to use their best judgement based on weather on the day. As we all know, winter in Vermont can be pretty much anywhere on the spectrum so it’s probably best to come prepared for just about anything. Layering is always key so you can drop layers if necessary. In my experience, the same clothing that works great for nordic skiing is also pretty perfect for winter running. As far as running goes, the snow quality will probably dictate what will work best, but we would certainly recommend additional traction devices for your shoes, or snow/ice specific running shoes such as the Salomon Speedspikes or Snowcross shoes.
Are there any other events like this in the Northeast? What about the rest of the US?
As far as I am aware this is the only event in the US this year. There was an experimental Snowcross Relay at Sleepy Hollow last year and Salomon is hoping to develop a series. So don’t be surprised if more events pop up in the area. Especially if this event has a good turnout!
Where can one go to learn more and to sign up?
You can find additional information on our Snowcross Facebook Event Page. You can Register HERE! And don’t be afraid to email me (Will Robens) with any questions.
Well there you have it… Skiing + Running + Trails = FUN! What more do you need… Go sign up today!