Last summer Steamboat cut a new race trail and they named it, All Out. Sound familiar? If you are a U.S. Ski Team fan you know that All Out is a tag line associated with the team. The words have become ingrained in the mindset of the athletes and within the fabric of the institution. Ted Ligety, Steve Nyman, Travis Ganong, Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso, Lindsay Vonn and others have shown the world that if you buy into this mantra, success will follow.
The NASTAR National Championships provides recreational racers with an opportunity to compete on the new All Out race trail along with other race venues that are much less challenging. The goal is to provide 1,000 racers with an opportunity to go All Out within their comfort zone. The bronze and silver divisions will compete on the Bashor trail while the platinum and gold divisions will race on the See Me and All Out trails. There is an amazing group of race professionals that come together to set 21 race courses each day so that every participant has an opportunity race on a clean course. In addition, participants get to race and hangout with current and former U.S. Ski Team stars.
There are very few opportunities for recreational racers to compete against some of the best alpine racers in the world. Have you ever wondered how close to you could get to five- time Olympian an X-Games champ Casey Puckett's time on a NASTAR course? Would you like to take a shot at AJ Kitt's pacesetting time? The Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships is a great opportunity to see how you rank against some of the best alpine racers our country has ever produced, plus the event offers fun competition against your peers from across the country. And, if you win your division you will be invited to compete in the Race of Champions to go for the overall win.
The team races will take place Saturday afternoon and this is when the real posturing and smack talking happens. Alpine racing is generally viewed as an individual sport but team racing adds a dimension that is very different than racing individually. It is really fun to watch people make new friends and recruit racers for their team during the event and to some of the team names are funny and creative. Teams can have up to eight team members and the best four are used to score the team. There is also a family team race that rewards families competing with one generation and families with two and three generations racing. There is nothing like competing with your family as a team and there are few sports that provide an environment that levels the playing field so that everyone can contribute to their team’s success.
The NASTAR National Slalom Championships take place on Sunday and courses are set with SPM Hero stubby gates. It is really fun to watch racers wrap up the National Championship weekend ripping through stubby gates. If you have not raced NASTAR this winter to qualify for the Nationals you can still compete. Participants that did not qualify must enter the platinum division in their age and gender group. We hope to see you in the boat.