Taking the long way

The German word for cross country skiing, “langlauf,” literally means "long race.” But that doesn't begin to define the longstanding Langlauf Nordic race at the Durango Nordic Center, which took place last Sat., Feb. 11. With a variety of races ranging from a 2k sprint to the 30k marathon, this is the Nordic Center’s biggest and baddest event of the year, offering every- thing from big climbs to thrilling – and spilling – descents. And when the hard work was over, it was time to hang up the skinny skis for some real fun. Thirsty and tired participants gathered for a post-race party on the Nordic Center’s deck with beer from Carvers, chili from the Soup Palette and music by Six Dollar String Band to dance to – or try to dance to, if it weren't for those jelly legs.

A competitor in last weekend's Langlauf pushes up a heart attack hill and closer to a bowl of chili.
Six Dollar String Band cranks out the post-race tunes.
Katie Butzen dances with son Owen to music on the deck of the Nordic Center.
Taking the long way All the blood, sweat, tears and beers of the Langlauf
A bowl of soup from the Soup Palette to warm the belly.
A pony keg from Carvers provides enough beer to forget the pain.
Apre?s ski libations and conversation were in large supply.