The race you can lose and come away a winner.

The race you can lose and come away a winner.

March, 14th, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Not that you will lose; only that winning isn’t everything. The Odin Invitational is about pushing the limits of your freestyle skiing skill, yes, but the real focus is ski racing is fun. Snow is fun. Icy-brisk winter magic is its own best reward. Let’s have an Invitational and freaking celebrate it.

Now, some of my readers will be thinking, hang on. Wasn’t the Invitational, like, a week ago? You aren’t wrong. It’s just that Mother Nature was busy dumping enough snow to put the Grand Mesa at nearly 170% above average, so we stood aside and let Her do Her. It’s to your advantage, however–just look at all this paradisaical, celebration-worthy snow!

That philosophy is at the heart of the prizes National Masters Champion Coach Toby is giving away at this year’s Invitational: four skiers will win a winter paradise getaway–two nights for four at a 10th Mountain Division Hut of their choice. They’re called huts, but that word is arguably modest. Check out some of these “huts” you and three of your besties could spend two nights in.

These stays are raffled off, so you don’t have to be the best in your division to find yourself donning your overnight pack and a good bottle of Two Rivers Cab while you ski up to the front door. You just have to love skiing enough to say yes to all the fun awaiting you at the Odin Invitational.

So, what is the Invitational? Other than an excuse to Nordic ski? (As if you needed one.) It’s an annual freestyle race on the beautiful groomed trails of the Odin Sports Center at Powderhorn, and there are divisions for every ski racer from beginner to pro. Distances vary depending on your age and skill, so the race has a wide appeal.

It’s perfect for ski coaches to motivate their teams. It’s perfect for collegiate racers to gauge their progress. It’s perfect for families. This is one of those rare family activities where all of you are challenged at your own levels, and everyone comes away panting and laughing. You can push yourself to get the best time of your of your life, or just race for the mad fun of it.

When a skier races, he or she draws on skill with lightening speed, ingraining muscle memory, and instantly revealing telling details about technique. It’s crystal clear what you’ve mastered and what you might want to improve, and, with the cheering crowd and thrill of the chase, it’s always fun. Everybody wins.

And, you just might win two nights in a Colorado winter paradise. Come race and find out. – Leah Kenyon

2019 2nd Annual Odin Invitational Nordic Ski Race
Saturday, March 23
$15-$35
Register here.