Snowshoe race series kicks off at Northstar-at-Tahoe |

Snowshoe race series kicks off at Northstar-at-Tahoe

Emma Garrard
Sierra Sun
Courtesy PhotoSarah Raitter of Reno won the women's 10K snowshoe race with a time of 1:05:26.

If getting to the start of the Northstar-at-Tahoe snowshoe race on a busy Saturday wasn’t hard enough, two loops of a grueling 5K in soft snow surely was.

The race, which started at the Northstar-at-Tahoe Cross Country, Telemark and Snowshoe center, required racers to be bused to the village and then ride the gondola to the center amongst crowds of skiers and snowboarders anxious to ski the fresh powder.

But unlike the busy slopes, competitors enjoyed solitude as they ran ” or hiked ” on a singletrack snowshoe trail that weaved around snow-capped red firs.

The race, the first of a three-part series, tired even the most finely-tuned athletes. Like runner-couple Bill and Sarah Raitter of Reno, who took home first place honors, and cash prizes, in the 10K event.

“It was grueling!” Sarah said. “But I loved it! It’s constantly rolling; nothing is flat; you’re always going up or down.”

Sarah Raitter won with a time of 1:05:26 and was followed by Dolores Bergmann in 1:13:25 and Sarah McMahan of Incline Village in 1:14:47.

Bill Raitter won the men’s 10K with a time of 59:19. He was followed by Peter Fain of Truckee with a time of 59:35 and Ross McMahan of Incline Village with a time of 1:01:04.

Jamie Fink won the women’s 5K with a time of 44:36 and Gary Erickson won the men’s 5K race with a time of 36:38.