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 in New Mexico this weekend, as competitors of all ages waxed up their snow shovels for the 38th 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 1970s when our lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts. We are now celebrating our 38th year of this competition,” explains Mike Hess, chief marketing officer, 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 outdo each other every season.”
The organized competition has been held for over 38 years at Angel Fire Resort, and racers come from all corners of the country. Over 140 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 65 mph and did the course in 13.10 seconds.
Female Category: Paloma Gonzales, from Angel Fire, New Mexico, who clocked just over 64 mph and finished in 13.8 seconds.
Women in Media Category: Brittany Costello from KOB TV in Albuquerque, who clocked speeds over 60 mph and finished in 14.42 seconds.