Bump it up! Hundreds compete in Heavenly’s 16th annual Gunbarrel 25
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Face rats and bump busters took on the steepest and deepest moguls Lake Tahoe has to offer in one of the most challenging endurance races in downhill skiing and snowboarding.
About 200 competed under sunny skies with music blasting in the 16th annual Gunbarrel 25 on March 31 at Heavenly Mountain Resort where skiers and boarders had six hours to race down 1,600-feet of the gnarliest terrain around — 25 times.
South Lake Tahoe resident Don Goodyear, 64, finished 25 laps down the thigh-burning, knee-buckling double black diamond run, accessed from the California Lodge, the fourth fastest of any male skier 17 years and older.
Goodyear said he was wasted after his total of 26 laps (we’re assuming wasted means tired, although competing in such an event could need some influence).
Goodyear’s time of 3 hours, 34 minutes, 50.8 seconds was 20 minutes behind 31-year-old Brandon Commanda for the fastest overall time in the division. Commanda also completed the most laps, a whopping 46, using the full time allotment.
Commanda was third last year and completed 47 laps.
Goodyear said he’s competed in most of the competitions and this year’s event was a little more difficult with tough conditions in the morning.
“I’ve been a face rat for 38 years and the conditions were very firm this year for first three and half hours before finally softening up for rest of racers,” Goodyear said. “I think all racers took at least one huge wreck from what I saw, heard or experienced personally. No one was injured which is amazing.”
Goodyear is rallying for a master’s division in the future so he’s not racing against guys less than half his age.
Competitors were treated to Gatorade, fruit and a big pasta feast following the event.
The event was started by South Lake Tahoe native and Hall of Fame skier Glen Plake, who is one of the most recognizable skiers in the world with his colorful mohawk hairstyle.
Goodyear said the event is now run by Heavenly along with Glen’s dad, Jim, and long-time local Curtis Fong.
Matt Clark, 29, was the fastest snowboarder to finish 25 laps, finishing in 3:42:32.8, with Rob Woefel, 42, second (4:01:05.0). Clark also edged Woefel in total laps 39 to 38.
Jen Menzel, 38, was the fastest female snowboarder (4:00:37.2).
Theodore Neal, 58, was the second fastest 17-and-over male skier (3:23:00.6) and Koa Hadaway was quickest (3:25:12.3) to 25 laps in the 16-and-under division.
Susanne Bull, 49, was the fastest female 17-and-over female skier by well over 20 minutes. She finished 25 laps in 3:30:24.4.
The full results can be found at http://www.skisignup.com/Race/Results/45918/#resultSetId-148088;perpage:10.