Friday, January 25, 2008

Stowe Derby

"Crazy....but a helluva lot of fun" were the words used by my husband to describe his first experience at the Stowe Derby.

Dubbed one of the oldest and most unique ski races in North America, it was voted the top sports event in the state by readers of Vermont Sports Magazine.

This years event is scheduled to take place on February 24, 2008. And what an event it will be! Hundreds of competitors will participate racing from the top of Mt. Mansfield(Stowe Mountain) to the finish line in the Stowe Village...10 miles of challenging terrain. The course has a total vertical drop of around 3,000 feet. Just imagine bright Lycra racing outfits flying past on thin Nordic Skis down an alpine ski slope...Crazy... as my husband said. The spectators provide half the fun lining the trail while taking a break from schussing down their own trial in the more traditional alpine fashion.

Race Course Details

Registration Details

The race was originally a personal challenge set back in 1945 between two great skiers; Austrian Sepp Ruschp hired to head the new ski team at Stowe and world famous mountaineer Erling Strom. Ruschp prevailed and a tradition was born.

Read more about the race at Mt Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club who now host the race along with their sponsors.

The race is broken down into four divisions: Long Course freestyle, Long Course classical, Short Course, Derby Meister

Short Course: Designed for kids ages 6 to 13 or those who prefer to avoid the rigors of a long and sustained descent. This race is approximately 6km. The course begins in a mass start at the Stowe Recreation Path Parking Lot at 9:00 A.M. next to the Alpenrose Motel and follows the final leg of the Long Course. Course subject to change.

Long Course Races: 16 km course. We offer two separate divisions- skating and classical. The Skating race starts at 10 A.M. with five racers every 30 seconds. The Classical race starts at 12 NOON with the same starting format. The track will be set all the way to the finish line for classical racers. Computer timing stops at 2 P.M. If you are caught skating in the classical division you will be disqualified! If you are unsure of which course to sign up for, most likely you will want to enter the Skating (Freestyle) course. Please contact MMSC if you have further questions.

Derby Meister: Derby Meister participants compete in back-to-back Skating and Classical races and are included in the individual Skating and Classical results in addition to Derby Meister results. Racers do not have to use the same pair of skis for the Classical and Skating races but must use the same pair to complete each of those individual races. The Derby Meister is for experts only and limited to the first 100 entrants.

Photo courtesy of the Mt. Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club


Yearn to travel said...

I would like to hear from any readers that have raced this mad race. Leave a comment and enlighten us with your experience.I am going to be one of the spectator this year.

Colin R said...

My experience can be found here:

Stowe Derby Race Report

The first 7 minutes are the most fun I've ever had on cross country skis.

Yearn to travel said...

Thanks for commenting. Are you going to participate this year? unfortunately i am still recovering form a health problem and will not make it but my husband will be there.

Colin R said...

My post was a report on this year's race.

Yearn to travel said...

For some reason I can not acces your site properly. I would like to e-mail you. I have just gotten out of the hospital after a lengthy stay and I am trying to fill in some details of the past few weeks. I would like to read your post from Stowe Derby.