If you live in New England and ski, chances are you’ve heard of the Thunderbolt Ski Race.
Started in 1933, the Thunderbolt is like ski racing’s crazy Massachusetts cousin. It’s down home, dirty, and most of all– the race embodies New England ski culture. Not only has the “up and down” ski race become a staple amongst east coast skiers but the race’s iconic trail on Mt. Greylock is synonymous with legend and glory.
Fun Fact: Mt Greylock is the highest natural point in Massachusetts at 3,489 feet!
[Photos Courtesy of Thunderbolt Ski Runners Facebook Page]
The Thunderbolt’s distinguished alumni include Olympians, Massachusetts State Ski Champions, as well as ski pioneers and war heroes. Among those alumni, Dick Durrance is likely the most well-known. Before gaining world-wide fame for his speed skiing records, participation in the 1938 Olympic Downhill at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and prolific ski journalism, Durrance won the Thunderbolt in 1935.
Norwegian Olympic Skier, Per Klippgen Set The Course Record In 1948 with An Astounding Time Of 2 minutes 8.6 seconds!
However, it seems as history will have to forget 2016, as race organizers have canceled the competition due to low snow and poor trail conditions on the competition’s traditional venue reports iberkshires.com. Although Jiminy Peak Ski Resort recently offered their mountain a possible venue, Thunderbolt officials denied the gracious offer, citing the importance of Mt. Greylock to the event’s integrity.
On the bright side of things, “Thunderfest” will proceed as planned on March 5th with live music, beer, and a CHOWDA contest!
For more information visit: ThunderboltSkiRunners.org