A record 22 skiers showed up for the 6th annual Potto Raid back country ski race today. Potto conditions were superb and waxable skis ruled the day. Cold, fresh snow made the downhills less fearsome, and much faster, with glide aplenty.
Two mandatory stops kept the group somewhat together as Dave Jessop lead out the troops from the start. Conditions leveled the playing field and set up a record pace. After Jessop dropped off, the real push began. Four skiers, speedy Ben Caldwell, Jeff Potter, Gary Helzerman and RadNord were settling into a high speed cat and mouse game all the way thru Gozlin Lake. At Goslin, Gary, Jeff and Ben got a jump and gap on RadNord. Potter and Caldwell went Mano ah mano until the end. RadNord briefly caught Helzerman, until Gary re-opened the gap permanently.
A record pace of 3:05 was nailed by 1st ever co-champions Ben Caldwell and Jeff Potter. Gary Helzerman rounded out the podium with a beautifully run pace to finish 3:07. Rounding out the top 4 was RadNord 3:10.
Jen, the Burning Bush, aced 1st female.
Jason Jones took home best crash with a hamburger job on his knee after a nasty jamming fall. Brutal, and he finished the full!
Brian from TC got farthest distance traveled and Randy Kepple claimed the "Lantern Rouge" fuzzy dice.
Prizes generously provided by Aberdeen Bike and Outdoor, Outyourbackdoor.com, Chelsea Milling and yours truly, went deep and cool.
A post race bonfire made the awards ceremony cool and mellow.
Potto Raid proved that an alternative, back to basics event can thrive.
I thank all who came, skied, and/or helped out. It will be tough to claim "the coolest race the hardly anybody goes to" any more.
Remember: Feb. 27 is the Stinchfield Loppet and Mar.12 is the Jordan Jam. Both of these gigs are non-comp Super Tours.
Ski on brothers and sisters. See you @ Potto Raid 7.
Cheers, JR / Radnord