Carly Reimer tows daughter, Lois, at the 17th Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Carly Reimer tows daughter, Lois, at the 17th Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Big week ahead for Tsalteshi Trails

Jenny Neyman says the recent snowfall is perfect for upcoming Tsalteshi Trails races.

“It’s just a great time to get out and go skiing,” said the administrative coordinator at Tsalteshi.

For the next two Sundays, Tsalteshi will host races.

Sunday will be the annual Ski for Women event, which features a 5K classic or freestyle course that is beginner-friendly.

Female-identifying skiers will be eligible to win not just the race, but also an award for best costume and multiple raffle prizes — including goodies from Sewn with Love by EAK, Hibernation Textiles, Beemun’s, YogaSol, Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle, The Goods, Everything Bagels, River City Books and Kenai River Brewing Co.

The Ski for Women is traditionally held on Super Bowl Sunday, which Neyman said is a weekend that generally spurs an increased number of domestic violence incidents.

She said the timing for the event is a great opportunity for a fundraiser to support a women’s charity. This year, Neyman said all proceeds from the race will go toward a scholarship in Vickie Tinker’s honor. Tinker is the late coordinator at Frontier Community Services nonprofit organization.

She died after a yearslong battle with ovarian cancer right after Christmas.

Neyman said Tinker was an avid skier, and an advocate for people in the community with disabilities.

“We felt like that would be a fitting place to donate this year,” she said.

The Ski for Women race starts at 11 a.m. Sunday at the trailhead at Skyview Middle School. A drag race will also take place after the main event, for men who want to ski while dressed as their more “feminine side,” Neyman said.

The cost for the Ski for Women event is discounted with an online preregistration at tsalteshi.org. Tickets are $25 for Tsalteshi members, $30 for nonmembers and $10 for youth up to age 18. On the day of the event, ticket prices will be $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers and $10 for youth.

The drag race is pay by donation and same-day registration, with a bib pickup between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

Then skiers will have the chance to compete in the 2022 Tour of Tsalteshi on Feb. 20.

For this event, participants can choose between a 20k and 40k skate ski or classic race. And new this year is a fat-tire bike component.

Steve Cothran, the founder and organizer of the Tour of Tsalteshi race, said that he’s looking forward to the biking component, and appreciates the partnership with the Cook Inletkeeper organization to make it happen.

“It’s something that we’ve considered for a while,” Cothran said.

He said it’s an opportunity for fellowship among local skiers.

“It’s a great time to come out and get outside,” Cothran said.

The Tour of Tsalteshi will issue awards for the top finishers in the men’s and women’s division, as well as raffle prizes, including a new pair of ski poles from the U.S. Ski Pole Company, and buffs by Kaitlin Vadla.

The 20k and 40k races start at the Skyview Trailhead at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 20. The fat-tire tour starts at 2 p.m.

Preregistration slots are available at touroftsalteshi.org for $35 for peninsula ski club members, $45 for nonmembers and $15 for students. Advance registration closes on Feb. 18, and ticket prices go up the day of the race.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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