SnowFest hosts snowshoe races

James Wilson

  The Graeagle-Plumas Alliance added the California state snowshoe championship to its series of events last weekend. The races took place Saturday morning at the Plumas-Eureka Ski Bowl above Johnsville.

  The event was a qualifying race for the U.S. Snowshoe Association national championships, so competitors from the entire state showed up to race.

  The 3-year-old event was held at Sugar Bowl the previous two years. For various reasons, the event could not be held there this year and was moved to Johnsville.

  Racers followed a course that was created only weeks earlier. The 5K course started at the ski bowl’s lodge and followed the ridge to the top of the hill. From there racers headed down the other side to Eureka Lake and followed a trail around the lake.

  Once racers got to the other side they climbed up over the saddle where they hit a steep 200-meter plunge. Most racers had to slide down the plunge on their backs.

  After a short level area, the course went straight downhill back to the lodge. Some racers went for the 10K option: two times around the course.

  J.B. Benna, from Reno, placed first in the men’s division with a time of one hour, three minutes and 43 seconds. Dolores Bergmann, from Chester, came in first in the women’s division. It took Bergmann 1:13:12 to complete the 10K course.

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