Gold Rush draws more than 250 Nordic racers |

Gold Rush draws more than 250 Nordic racers

Courtesy Keith Facchino/Capturethemoment.netJakub Benes leads the three women leaders, Sarah Konrad, Rebecca Dussault and Beth Reid, during the California Gold Rush on Sunday.

Zack Simons, one of the top U.S. skiers and winner of the 2007 American Birkebeiner, broke up the field and cruised to victory in the 28th Annual California Gold Rush at Royal Gorge on Sunday.

Former Far West junior Ian Case came in second, finishing the 42-kilometer race in 2:03:17. Simons posted a winning time of 2:02:43.

Snorri Einarsson was third in 2:04:19, followed by Garrett Reid in 2:04:21. Lutz Preussler placed fifth (2:07:04), Tav Streit sixth (2:08:23) and August Brautigam seventh (2:10:09).

In the women’s event, multi-World Master medalist Beth Reid dueled to the finish with former Olympian Rebecca Dussault, coming down to the final sprint to take the win (and eighth place overall) with a time of 2:12:31. Dussault crossed the line just one second back, finishing second in the women’s race and ninth overall. Nicholas Grimmer rounded out the top 10 overall with a time of 2:13:09.

More than 265 racers took part in the Gold Rush, which is considered California’s biggest ski marathon event.

Presented by Royal Gorge, Auburn Ski Club and Far West Nordic, the Gold Rush is the final event of the 2008 American Ski Marathon Series and is a benefit event for the Far West Nordic Ski Association’s Junior Ski Programs. All proceeds go to support Nordic athletes in the Far West region.

In the 21-kilometer Silver Rush, Chelsea Holmes took the top spot overall with a time of 1:08:40. Fabian Figi was second in 1:10:43, followed by Cathy Howard (1:11:04), Scott Fairman (1:13:58) and Susan Reynolds (1:15:41).

Leading the pack in the 10-kilometer Bronze Rush was Jordan McElroy, who finished in 35:49.2. Andy Pasternak was second (36:02.2), followed by Alex Kopytko (43:43), Grayson Forsberg (44:05.6) and Nancy Rosenblum (44:37.7).

For complete results visit

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