By Doug HareEBS SPORTS EDITOR
The inaugural Town Race Series came to a quick end on Wednesday, March 13 and after the snow-dust had settled, Big Sky Sotheby’s claimed top honors for the season. When told of his victory, Tim Cyr of the Big Sky Sotheby’s team said, “Wow, that’s great! Half of our team is under ten years old. We have Callie Pecunies who might be the fastest female racer in the league, but the rest of our team is comprised of little rippers from the Big Sky junior race team.”
For eight weeks, teams of four to six of locals competed weekly at Big Sky Resort’s NASTAR course on Ambush trail for bragging rights about being the fastest on the mountain, and many participants convened for drinks and conversation at Montana Jack after their runs.
“Town series was great this year. It was wonderful to see everyone come out and improve over the season. Most people improved by 1 to 2 seconds over the winter,” said Tim Chamberlain, who served as pace-setter, raced for the VerMonters, and was NASTAR operations manager for the season.
“I thought the season went great, too. The competition was good-natured and friendly. It was nice to see people kibitzing at the top of the course,” said Dave Belz, who raced for Extras! Extras! and was the NASTAR coordinator for the season. “It felt a little bit like softball in the winter with the camaraderie and competition. The best part about this is that because of the scoring system, anyone can really contribute no matter their age or ability.”
According to Belz, the Town Race Series has the momentum to continue to grow in future seasons with more racers, more sponsors and more prizes.
The final race was sponsored with an after party at Lotus Pad. Racers met up at the popular Thai-fusion restaurant to celebrate the end of season, gorge themselves on appetizers, and congratulate the victors.
“I sponsored this because I love people, skiing, good food and, of course, I’m always happy to support our community. We’re all so busy and it’s important to remember to take time to feed the soul with fun, friends, food and of course skiing! Cheers!” said Alex Omania, owner of Lotus Pad and part of the Lone Mountain Legends.
Big Sky Resort Vice President of Mountain Operations Troy Nedved also enjoyed the season: “People might not realize that we have one of the more difficult NASTAR courses in the country in terms of pitch and length. But this was really about community and getting people on the hill. You won’t believe how many people said that they hadn’t raced since their youth or hadn’t even been on skis in years.”