WALLACE — It was all skis, snow and sleds in Wallace this last weekend as the city hosted its new favorite winter time festivity — an extreme skijor competition.
Held over the course of Saturday and Sunday, roughly 17 competitors signed up and went head-to-head in the activity’s main timed event.
Participants strapped on a pair of skis and grabbed onto a rope attached to a UTV, then barreled down Cedar Street while hitting jumps and reaching for rings hanging in certain places of the track.
“This year we introduced the rings to slow the course down,” Ski Wallace director and event organizer Sera White said. “Each rider had to get the rings and they had a pretty stiff time penalty if you missed them.”
Two seconds would be added to the final time of a skijorer for every ring missed on their run.
The overall winner of the timed event was whoever held the best time after four runs — two on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Spectators from all-around the region lined the sidewalks both days to watch the high-intensity sport occur. White believe that there were roughly 1,000 people who attended Saturday night.
Several other competitors also participated in the freestyle portion of the skijor that preceded the timed event both days.
The freestyle was a much more laid back and fun event that was judged based on creativity and spectacle.
“There were some really fun freestyle tricks,” White said. “There was one where the rider threw his coat off and didn’t have a shirt on while doing a flip. We had another one that went down the course pretending to drink from a red solo cup.”
The winners of the timed event received a snowboard (first and second place) and a cash prize (distributed between the top three). The freestyle winner received some miscellaneous prizes including clothing items and a tattoo/piercing voucher.
Compared to last year’s inaugural run of the skijor (and other Wallace events in general), White said this year was a huge success.
“We had a lot more participants and we also had a lot more observers. The business owners reported that they did over their top (sales) numbers from Blues Fest.”
All the profits from the Skijor go toward qualified historic projects to help preserve the history of area.
The increased attendance this year also contributed to achieving Ski Wallace’s ultimate goal of raising awareness.
“Overall, our goal is to promote winter in Wallace and get people understand that this area in general is a ski area, a winter area,” White said.
White also made sure the thank the volunteers, sponsors, and the Wallace City Council for supporting the event and allowing everyone to have a good time.
“Everybody had so much fun, they thought it was a really fun time.”
The Extreme Skijor winners are as follows:
First place — Carter Durkin 12.49
Second place — Dean Flannigan 13.50
Third place — Stuart Strother 14.22
Freestyle winner: Cliff Neumann 100/100