Hundreds of spectators and daredevils converged on the slopes of Angel Fire Resort (www.angelfireresort.com) a New Mexico ski resort, this weekend, as competitors of all ages waxed up their snow shovels for the 40th Annual Angel Fire World Championship Shovel Races.
The annual challenge is fairly simple. Competitors sit on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel, handles pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to allow gravity to take them for a ride. Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain. Top speeds regularly exceed 60 miles per hour.
The 40th Annual World Championship Shovel Races, Photo Courtesy: Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico
“Shovel racing began as a simple contest here in the 1970’s when our lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts. We are now celebrating our 40th year of this competition,” explains Ruth Worden, marketing manager, Angel Fire Resort. “It has since grown into a crazy competition on the mountain that includes speed suits, costumes and radar guns! No year is ever the same, as competitors always try and out do each other every season.”
The organized competition has been held for over 40 years at Angel Fire Resort, and racers come from all over the world to compete. Over 185 women, men and children competed for the title this year. The event has even been featured by national news outlets including ESPN, ABC Sports, MTV and The Travel Channel. Shovel racing was also once a featured sport during the early years of the Winter X Games.
This year’s winners:
Men’s Category: Justin Gonzales, who clocked over 64 mph and did the course in 13.9 seconds.
Female Category: Nadia Gonzales, clocked just over 64 mph and finished in 14 seconds.
Women in Media Category: Brittany Costello from KOB TV in Albuquerque, who clocked speeds at over 46 mph and finished in 14.3 seconds.
Men in Media Category: Daniel Trujillo from KRQE TV in Albuquerque, who clocked speeds at over 45 mph and finished in 14.9 seconds.