CASPER, Wyo. — Climbing up, up, up a fog laden Casper Mountain, roller skiers performed in the “Rollin’ Into Summer Roller Ski Race.”
The Casper Mountain Biathlon Club organized the race and thinks it was the first of its kind for the community.
All the races began at the Lord of Lords Lutheran Church near the base of the mountain. The adult race course then wound 4.9 miles up the mountain, gaining 2,182 feet in elevation, according to Cathy Rosser, the club’s managing director.
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It culminated at the old restaurant parking lot at the top of Casper’s most prominent hill.
A kids’ division race followed the Casper Mountain Road bike path for 1.5 km.
“This was the first year we have offered a roller ski race and to my knowledge the first ever roller ski race held in Casper,” Rosser said. “We had racers travel from Colorado and Montana to participate in the race in addition to local skiers.”
“We were thrilled to get this event off the ground and hope to grow it every year.”
Roller skiing is a sport that nordic skiiers and biathletes use to train in the off-season, according to Rosser.
“To keep things fun and exciting, roller ski competition events have evolved,” she added. “Places like Minnesota and the East Coast have a number of large roller ski races every year.”
“Roller ski races are being offered more frequently in the West now too. There is usually a roller ski event in the fall in Jackson. Breckenridge, Colorado is also launching a July roller ski event this year.”
While fun and challenge were important aspects of the event, safety was as well.
“Racers were required to wear helmets and high visibility clothing,” Rosser said. “Racers were not permitted to roller ski down the mountain.”
Going forward, Rosser said that roller ski courses are being developed at the Casper Mountain Outdoor Center at McMurry Mountain Park “to offer roller training and competition opportunities for both roller skiing and biathlon in the future.”
Race results were as follows: