SPEED AND GUTS COMBINE FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF WORLD CHAMPION
The Super Bowl wasn’t the only championship that took place this weekend. Hundreds of spectators and daredevils converged on the slopes of Angel Fire Resort (www.angelfireresort.com) in New Mexico this weekend, as competitors of all ages waxed up their snow shovels for the 39th Annual Angel Fire World Championship Shovel Races.
The annual challenge is fairly simple. Competitors sit on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel; handles pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to allow gravity to take them for a ride. Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain. Top speeds regularly exceed 60 miles per hour.
“Shovel racing began as a simple contest here in the 1970’s when our lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts. We are now celebrating our 39th year of this competition,” explains Spencer Weimar, director of marketing, Angel Fire Resort. “It has since grown into a crazy competition on the mountain that includes speed suits, costumes and radar guns! No year is ever the same, as competitors always try and out do each other every season.”
The organized competition has been held for over 39 years at Angel Fire Resort, and racers come from all corners of the country. Just under 100 women, men and children competed for the title this year. The event has even been featured by national news outlets including ESPN, ABC Sports, MTV and The Travel Channel. Shovel racing was also once a featured sport during the early years of the Winter X Games.
This year’s winners:
Men’s Category: Jeff Hamblin, from Austin, Texas, who clocked over 61 mph and did the course in 14.4 seconds.
Female Category: Nadia Gonzales, from Black Lake, New Mexico, clocked just over 60 mph and finished in 15.5 seconds.
Women in Media Category: Brittany Costello from KOB TV in Albuquerque, who clocked speeds at over 43 mph and finished in 15.9 seconds.
Men in Media Category: Cleave Kidder from KRQE TV in Albuquerque, clocked in over 45 mph and finished in 15.5 seconds.