The first race of the Third Colorado Summer Biathlon Series was held at Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies, Winter Park, Colorado on Sunday, August 23rd, 1998. The Colorado Summer Biathlon Series is sponsored by the US Biathlon Association, Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies, and the Colorado Biathlon Club.
Summer Biathlon includes trail running and rifle marksmanship using a special .22 caliber biathlon rifle. Each racer runs a 1.1 mile loop followed by shooting in the prone position at five 4.4 inch targets (elite runners shoot prone at 1.6 inch targets) at 50 meters distance, another running loop of 0.9 miles followed by shooting at five more targets in the standing position (4.4 inch targets for everyone), and concluding with another 1.1 mile running loop. A racer's overall position is determined by running time minus a 15 second bonus for each prone target hit (30 seconds for elite racers) and a 30 second bonus for each standing target hit.
44 racers participated. Racers came from all over Colorado and neighboring states. The weather was perfect, and the course was quite challenging. There were up and down stretches through open meadows and forest trails and the last segment of each of the three running loops ending with a 300 meter up-hill climb, some through swampy conditions, to the shooting range or the finish, all at 8900 feet elevation!
First place in the women's elite division went to Peg Young of Boulder, CO and the Colorado Biathlon Club. She was followed closely by Jen Downey of Boulder, CO and the CBC, and Julia Collins, Ramona May, and Elizabeth Pike, also of the CBC.
First place in the men's elite division went to Marc Sheppard of West Yellowstone, MT. Marc is a member of the US Men's Summer Biathlon Team. Second place went to Fred Call of Rock Springs, WY. In hot pursuit were Dave Cleveland of Fraser, CO, and Jeff May of Fraser, CO, followed by Mike Lohman, Vladimir Cervenka (Vladimir is the Cross Country Ski Team Coach for CU), Andy Hay, Lee Wood, and Leonid Vyssokof.
In the citizen's division, the overall women's winner was Prairie Neeley, followed by Lisa Johnson. Thom Ledoux won the men's race, followed by Ara Howard. Age group winners for the women's citizen division included Caitlin Ebbits (Age up to 19), Prairie Neeley (20-29), and Lisa Johnson (30-39). Age group winners for the men's citizen division included Clay Harding (14 and under), Peter Knell(15-19), Thom Ledoux (20-29), Kevin Knierim (30-39), and Bill Knell (40-49).
Awards for winners were provided by the United States Biathlon Association, Runners Roost in Boulder, Neal Johnson's Gunsmithing in Colorado Springs, and The Russian Spa of Denver. A personal donation was made by Dr. Kenneth Greenberg of Denver. The Race Director, Bill Hay of Denver and the CBC, was assisted by Nancy Young, Director of the Snow Mountain Nordic Center, Dave Wells who ran the Rifle and Range Safety Certification Clinic, Bob Hunnes who was the Range Officer, Laura Cleveland of Fraser and Judy Hay of Denver who were the official timers, Emily Hay who registered the racers and computed the race results along with help from Marc Sheppard, and a large number of volunteers from the Colorado Biathlon Club, especially Dave Cleveland, Jeff May, Ramona May, Andy Hay, and Julia Collins.