Snowshoe races

Colorado Mountain College Leadville is gearing up to host the 2020 Dion Snowshoes U.S. National Snowshoe Championships Feb. 28-March 1. The races will be held on the trails adjacent to the college’s Leadville campus, like those here during the 2020 Colorado Cup snowshoe races on Jan. 25, 2020. Photo Rachel Brunetti

A steady stream of registrations is flowing in as Leadville prepares to welcome racers and recreationists to the 2020 Dion Snowshoes U.S. National Snowshoe Championships Feb. 28-March 1.

 Colorado Mountain College Leadville, along with the Lake County Tourism Panel, is heading up the efforts to host the event. And area restaurants, lodges and businesses are pitching in to make this, the 20th year of the championships, a memorable one.

Event director Leslie Gamez, who is also the CMC Foundation’s regional development officer for Leadville, said that the college would never have been able to host the championships without the outpouring of community support. 

“The Lake County Tourism Panel and numerous local sponsors have helped with funding and in-kind gifts,” Gamez said. “Local businesses like Community Threads, Melanzana and Freight have stepped in with donations that are helping us produce a terrific event for competitors and helping to showcase our mountain community.”

The championship weekend is for everyone. Heavy hitters Michelle Hummel of Albuquerque (two-time U.S. Women’s National Snowshoe champion and the 2018 WSSF Women’s World Snowshoe champion), Josiah Middaugh of Vail (six-time U.S. Men’s National Snowshoe champion and a former U.S. and World XTERRA Triathlon champion) and Joseph Gray of Colorado Springs (five-time XTERRA Trail Run World champion) will be competing. So will high school and collegiate racers, and the event welcomes even occasional snowshoers who can run the course at their own pace in recreational races.

 The United States Snowshoe Association produces the annual racing event at host sites that bid for the honor. Cable, Wisc., hosted the championships last year. Bend, Ore., and Woodford, Vt., have also served as host sites. Leadville’s selection in 2020 sets it apart as the highest USSA national snowshoe championships in the races’ history.

Besides the races, CMC Leadville will host a vendor expo at the campus’s Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center. Several snowshoe companies will be on hand, as well as outdoor clothing manufacturers and local organizations. Get Outdoors Leadville! is planning to host some activities for children, as well. 

Starting at noon on Friday, Feb. 28, participants will check in and register at race headquarters at CMC Leadville. A welcome reception and pre-race meeting will be held that evening.

 Saturday, Feb. 29, is race day, with both champion snowshoe competition and recreational snowshoe races. An awards ceremony will be held later in the afternoon.

 The championships wind up on Sunday, March 1, with a recreational relay race.

For registration details and more, go to

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