Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Patrick Michels, 17, smiles shortly after crossing the finish line of a 5K race during the Women's Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Michels and several other "drag racers" participated in a race that followed the main event.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Patrick Michels, 17, smiles shortly after crossing the finish line of a 5K race during the Women's Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Michels and several other "drag racers" participated in a race that followed the main event.

Tsalteshi revamps women’s race

When the weather got tough, the Tsalteshi Trails Association got creative with their annual women’s ski event on Sunday, adapting it into a hybrid race to accommodate the lack of snow.

The Women’s Stud Run — previously called the Ski for Women and She Can Ski — has served as a fundraiser for the Tsalteshi Trails Association and the LeeShore Center. Traditionally a women’s ski race, the Stud Run was created this year to deal with the low snow levels, said Lauri Lingafelt, a Tsalteshi Trails Association board member and one of the event’s organizers.

“We didn’t know what to do, because there was no snow,” she said.

The association will move forward by planning it as 5K where participants have the choice between skis, snowshoes and running shoes with studs or cleats, Lingafelt said.

“Every year, no matter what we’ll have it,” she said. “Pick your weapon. If you want to ski, you can ski, or you can run.”

Due to the uncertainty surround this year’s event, the association did not advertise as much as it usually does, Lingafelt said. Sunday’s hybrid race attracted 29 total participants, including two teams of three and a pair. Normally, the 5K draws around 100 skiers, Lingafelt said.

Mika Morton of Soldotna took first place overall in the women’s event with a time of 15:18. Morton participated in the race once before, in high school, but gets plenty of practice as she coaches the Kenai Middle School Ski Team, she said.

Jenny Neyman and Aurora Agee came in second and third in the Stud Run, with times of 15:24 and 15:31, respectively. The women’s group “Men with Hats” was the fastest team across the finish line.

Not to be left out, a few men turned out for the fun, entering the Drag Race portion of the event by donning wigs, tutus, makeup and, in one case, a feather boa. The men took off on skis and on foot once most of the women crossed the finish line of the main event. Mike Bergholtz, of Soldotna, said this was the second year the has entered the Drag Race.

“My family’s been doing this for a long, long time,” he said.

Bergholtz was the second drag racer across the finish line on his skis . He said he got some help from his family when it came to putting together his outfit, which featured a pink bathrobe and feather boa.

“My daughters pulled stuff out and said, ‘here, take this,’” he said.

Bergholtz fell just short of his goal to beat 17-year-old Patrick Michels, who came in first for the men.

Or ‘Patricia,’” Bergholtz said of Michels, who crossed the finish line in a pink snowsuit, glittery makeup and mascara.

Mike Crawford took third for in the Drag Race.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna resident Jason Sulley and his son, 2-year-old Corbin, look on as Jason's wofe, Angie, collects a prize during the Women's Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, the Stud Run allowed participants to ski, run or snowshoe the 5K trail.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna resident Jason Sulley and his son, 2-year-old Corbin, look on as Jason’s wofe, Angie, collects a prize during the Women’s Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, the Stud Run allowed participants to ski, run or snowshoe the 5K trail.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna resident Megan Anderson crosses the finish line of the Women's Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, the Stud Run allowed participants to choose between skis, shoes or snowshoes for the 5K race.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna resident Megan Anderson crosses the finish line of the Women’s Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, the Stud Run allowed participants to choose between skis, shoes or snowshoes for the 5K race.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion From left to right: 18-year-old Madeleine Michaud, 18-year-old Mikaela Salzetti and 14-year-old Charly Morton take a breather after completing the Women's Stud Run 5K race on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, this year's Stud Run was altered to accommodate lack of snow, and partipants could choose to ski, run or snowshoe.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion From left to right: 18-year-old Madeleine Michaud, 18-year-old Mikaela Salzetti and 14-year-old Charly Morton take a breather after completing the Women’s Stud Run 5K race on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. Formerly the Ski for Women, this year’s Stud Run was altered to accommodate lack of snow, and partipants could choose to ski, run or snowshoe.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Kenai resident Mike Bergholtz crosses the finish line of the "drag race" that followed the Women's Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Kenai resident Mike Bergholtz crosses the finish line of the “drag race” that followed the Women’s Stud Run on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska.

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