Park City Town Race Series - The Early Years

Park City Town Race Series – The Early Years

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During the 1970’s one of the biggest skiing events of each season in Park City was the Town Champion Ski Race.  Skiers of all ages were divided up into male and female age groups and competed against one another in a side-by-side Giant Slalom course on the Three Kings ski run at the bottom of what is now Park City Mountain Resort.

In 1974 I had turned 35 and looked forward eagerly to the races because I felt I had a good chance to win that year.  I had raced competitively as a junior ski racer, and in college as well, and I liked to continue to run gates and race to keep my skiing crisp.  The older ski instructors at the time were not much into racing and the hot racers had to race against younger competitors because they were a year younger than me.  This was before Masters ski racing had begun.

On race day at the town races, skiers were matched against one another with the winners of each race advancing to the finals. It was great competition.  My final match-up was against a man I had skied with for many years and we had built houses side-by-side out on Old Ranch Road in Snyderville.  Our wives and children were close friends as well.  The finish area and race course were lined with interested spectators all awaiting the results.  When I won the race, my family and staff from the ski store that I managed at the time all cheered my accomplishment.

I never raced in another town race or in any of the Masters Series races that followed, but I sure had fun while it lasted.  I always thought it best to retire as the town champion instead of getting beat by the up-and-coming guys who were certain to win.
Jan Peterson<