Every year, Pebble Creek Ski Area hosts a series of kid’s fun races, and this year’s season kicked off today.
It was a beautiful day at Pebble Creek, blue skies, an inch or two of fresh powder, and excited kids galore.
“I have butterflies in my stomach right now,” said and 8 year old racer, Dallas Call.
It’s the first of five Stacy Smith fun races this year, a program that’s run for over 10 years now. Named after a Pocatello business man, he left the Pocatello Ski Association money to fund these races, to encourage kids to get involved in the sport.
Jody Olson, the race coordinator, told us, “It’s always fun doing it during an Olympic year because so many will see a little bit of racing on the Olympics, but they’ll have no idea what the time means, but they’ll say I do that! I do that!”
The young athletes get a bib number, a start time, and a medal for participating. It’s totally free as long as the child has a lift pass. The course is down the Aspen Run at Pebble Creek, so even the youngest of skiers or boarders will be able to make it to the finish line.
“The person who sets the course is the person who works with the junior race team. It isn’t just a haphazard course, there’s an art to setting a course so that a person has time to get their balance changed,” said Olson.
The skiers and snowboarders are 16 and under, and it’s the perfect way to encourage al little healthy competition, without putting too much pressure on the results
“Me and my buddies have been skiing really fast, and I haven’t been doing any races so I thought, well I might sign up,“ said Dallas Call.
The best part of the whole experience for Jody Olson, or “Grandma Stacy” as I was informed, is getting to see these kids come back every competition and have such a great time.
“The way I got my title as Grandma Stacy came because, they don’t know my name, all they know is the name Stacy Smith, and some little kid came up at the grocery store and said hey mom there’s grandma Stacy! So it’s that. That just lets me know that kids really do enjoy and have fun with the race.”
Pebble Creek still needs about a foot of snow to open the entire mountain, and they are hoping to get that before their next race on January 18th to get a few more participants.