2019 Red Bull Homerun - A Ski Bums Odyssey
Aspen Snowmass, April 13, 2019. The Red Bull Homerun. It’s here again. I shook my head to clear last night’s buzz as I squeezed myself into my bright purple race pants. Why did I stay out so late again? About nine too many RBVs at Bootsy’s the night before. The clock read 1:14 pm which meant I was already running late. There weren’t enough red bulls in Aspen to get my head right for this race, but I couldn’t back down. I downed a shot of tequila and hustled over to the race.
As I lined up at the 150 person le mans start, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these poor bastards were in the same shape I was in. My skis were waiting for me at the top of the two-hundred-yard dash, and I kept trying to tell myself that two hundred yards wasn’t even far. I knew I was lying. Two hundred yards straight up in ski boots would be a gasser if I hadn’t been partying all night. I didn’t get much more time to think about it as they held up the gun to start the race.
“Racers on your marks, get set, GO!” With the shot of a gun the big race started. I pumped my legs and crushed the first fifty yards. It was around eighty yards when my lungs started burning. At just over a hundred yards I thought about chucking up all the poor decisions I had made the night before. By 150 yards my chest was burning with the strength of two dozen tequila shots. The top was approaching quickly. I gasped for breath as I found my skis and clicked in. A quick look around told me that only one young buck from Boulder had beaten me in the uphill sprint.
He clicked in a couple seconds before me, but I thought I could make up that time in the Chinese downhill. I got low into a Texas tuck and started chasing him down. Ah, yes, the downhill. My lungs were starting to recover as I laid arcs down the designated course. I was hugging corners like I was banging gates, but I wasn’t gaining on the twenty-two-year-old hot shot. I decided to risk it and peak over my shoulder before the last face to the finish line. Bad move. As soon as I got out of my tuck, I slowed down just enough for the best skier on Aspen Mountain, NCAA ski racer Sam Coffey, to get ahead of me. I straight-lined it for the finish. As I blasted over the finish line, I threw a wall of slush up trying to slow down. Excitedly, I checked around to see where I ended up.
Fourth place. Damn! I thought to myself. One off from the podium. I must be getting old. I couldn’t be too disappointed though; the squad was waiting for me at the bottom, with a drink. That’s what this weekend was about. Getting out with the homies and causing some mayhem. Chasing girls, slashing slush, and getting rowdy; now that’s what I call a Ski Town All-Stars weekend.
Photos: Daniel Milchev / Red Bull Content Pool