Social Scene: It was a great day for The Great Ski Race in Tahoe City and Truckee | SierraSun.com

Social Scene: It was a great day for The Great Ski Race in Tahoe City and Truckee

From left: Toni Rockwell, Suellen McGeorge, Debbie Kelly-Hogan, Bev Lynch, Colleen Conners-Pace, Karen Moyer, Marty Schoonmaker, Laura Read, JoJo Toeppner and Amy Horne, dressed as belly dancers, were the skiing cheerleaders for the racers this year.

A whole lot of cross-country skiers wigged out last Sunday. Not because they didn’t have the stamina to finish the 30 kilometer (approximately 18 mile) Great Race. It’s customary for many racers to dress up in costumes andamp;#8212; and many accessorized their costumes with wigs. It was the second largest Great Ski Race for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team in its 34-year existence, due mainly to the great weather conditions. Participants came from near and far andamp;#8212; from Tahoe/Truckee to Maine and New York. Ages ranged from 7 to 77. A whole contingent of local high school students skied in prom dresses, and several entire school ski teams participated including five members of the very young Strider Gliders. As usual, the GSR cheerleaders were on hand, this year dressed as belly dancers, doling out endless encouragement to help racers make it to the end of the long race. It was like one big party of friends and family along the course.andamp;#8220;Northstar-at-Tahoe and Tahoe Cross Country Center do a wonderful job of helping us put this race on,andamp;#8221; praised race co-coordinator Doug Read, who’s worked with the race for 20 years. andamp;#8220;It’s a big event that we start planning in the summer with 40 committees and 150 volunteers.andamp;#8221;Co-coordinator Terri Viehmann also worked hard ensuring everything went smoothly (there were less wipe outs this year due to better snow conditions). Skiers start at the Tahoe Cross Country Center in Tahoe City and power their way uphill for seven miles to Starratt Pass where Jimmy Smith made Soup Station 1 festive with balloons, food and drink. Ray Smith and the snowmobiling half of the search and rescue team built an andamp;#8220;ice cafandamp;#8221; the night before at Soup Station 2, which was a big hit for racers before they descended down to the Hilltop Lodge in Truckee. Waiting at the finish was a mother lode of cold beer (compliments of Sierra Nevada Brewery) and belly filling chili for 1,000 people (Debra Schroepfer headed up the food committee) with a dash of live music provided by local band andamp;#8220;The Blues Monsters.andamp;#8221; The Great Ski Race is the main fundraising event for the Tahoe Nordic Search andamp; Rescue Team, a nonprofit all-volunteer organization. The race is one of the largest Nordic ski races west of the Mississippi. Proceeds from the annual event are used primarily to purchase equipment for the team, and to support winter survival and avalanche education programs sponsored and conducted by the search and rescue team members. Some of those great skiers and spectators spotted at the Hilltop party were Jim Backhus, Ed Coleman, Scott Yorkey, Jeff Oxandaboure, Douglas Dale, Samantha and Jeff Swigard, Madonna and Nick Casini, Steph Jensen, Gary Kaufman, Tom Lovely, Rafe Miller, Laura Read, Toni and Gerald Rockwell, Jan Ganong, Megan Ganong and fianc Jesse Shirley, Peggy Heidelberger-Smith and Wayne Smith Jr., Dr. Gina Barta, Dr. Brad Thomas, Dr. Jeff Camp, Linda Tripp, Madison and Robert Ordway, Jennifer Merchant, Ruth Cross, Katie Mancuso, April Mancuso, Werner Schuster, Cara and Tav Streit, Jerome Leininger, Rory Bosio, Valli and Kevin Murnane of Tahoe X-C, Glenn Jobe, Olof Carmel, Dr. Greg Tirdel, Anne Chippendale, Ann Lindemann, Lindsey and Kelli Twomey, Piper and Jon Joubert, Mai Nguyen, Steve Wallis, Peter Werbel, and Peter Fain.andamp;#8212;Vicki Kahn may be reached at vickikahn@sbcglobla.net