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Saturday, March 6, 1999 - Sunday, March 7, 1999 -- Winterplace Ski Resort
Winterplace Ski Resort 16th Annual Winter Carnival

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [MTB Slalom Race] [Cardboard Box Race]
[MTB & Box Race Results] [MTB Pictures] [Box Pictures]

Sweet Ride
Jamie, Lydia, and Kim show off their "Sweet Ride" at the Winterplace Winter Carnival
This year's wild and wacky winter weather may have met its match at Winterplace's fun-filled Winter Carnival. The week prior to the event dumped over a foot of fresh snow on the slopes. That was the good news. The bad news? Friday ushered in a cold rain that lasted into Saturday morning and threatened to make the festivities a washout. But, as they say, "The show must go on!" Lo and behold, the rain ended while the sun did its best to occasionally break through the clouds. See the links above for details on Saturday's events.
West Virginia Shovel Race Championship

Ames #12
Kent Roberts and his custom Ames #12 Grain Scoop
Sorry to say that WVOutside wasn't able to witness the Shovel Racing on Sunday. However, after Saturday's racing, Kent Roberts, a repeat champion of this event and the defending State Shovel Race Champion from 1998, offered to provide us with a demo. We also discussed with him the details of what goes into the making of a champion in this unique sport.

First we were told that it takes a finely tuned, state-of-the-art shovel. Kent's choice for this is a Ames #12 Grain Scoop buffed to a high gloss and outfitted with custom handle padding. "Is that handle padding to protect your groin area in case of an accident?", we asked. "Not really," started his reply, "it just psyches out the other racers when they realize they don't have any padding!" We hadn't realized that Shovel Racing was such a cerebral sport.

Demonstrating a smooth start
We pried for more information as we had heard that racers are known to coat their racing shovels with special solvents to reduce friction and gain that needed edge. In previous years, the winners had been decided by just the smallest fraction of seconds. Alas we had pressed a little too far. Kent would not divulge this well kept secret and would only say that it was a "Top Secret Solvent" and it was the conditions out on the course that would ultimately determine the "sauce of the day."

With our new found knowledge of the intricacies of shovel racing, Kent headed up the hill to show us the proper form for screaming down the mountain. Once seated securely on the shovel blade and with the handle pointing out in front and downhill, it's time to go. Legs up in air and pulled together, a few pushes with the hands, lean back, arms straight out in front, and gravity takes over. High speeds are quickly reached as the shovel and rider fly across the snow.

Shovel Racing
And away he goes...
Quite a display, and as Kent disappeared down the hill we remembered one of our earlier questions. We asked how one slows down or stops once the shovel ride gets underway. Kent only grinned and gave us the quick reply "You don't!"
1999 Shovel Race Championship Results
Place Name Time
Little Scoops Age 6-12
1Brian Pettis31.10
2Craig Boyd Jr46.54
Youth Age 13-18
1Patrick Myers15.35
2Josh Bunting15.96
3Kim Dearing19.13
Adult Age 18-39
1Bubby Stoddard15.34
2Rob Mizia15.39
3Will Hash16.54
Veterans Age 40+++
1Kent Roberts17.00
2Art Stratton19.09
3Paul Sanna28.79