This past weekend some of our crew took part in Laps for Life, a fun charity event for the American Cancer Association. It pretty much operates the same way as Relay for Life but takes place at Schuss Mountain, a ski hill in Northern Michigan. Participants get donations per lap and then try and get as many runs in during a 6 hour period as they can. Here’s how it went!

The event was set up on one chair with a variety of green, blue and black runs. It didn’t matter which run you took as long as you rode the pink chair back up. Unfortunately, due to late season conditions, our options were limited to 2 runs, but that didn’t matter as exploration wasn’t exactly the point. Old and young, everyone from a 4-year-old to those in their 60’s, our goal was exactly the same. Get down the hill as fast as possible and get as many laps recorded as you can.

The morning started off pretty foggy. Lately, our hills have seen anything from 20 degrees and snow to 60 degrees and sun, so the warm ground mixed with the cooler air meant only seeing about 50 feet in front of you. This was fine, but combined with the sheer amount of moisture in the air, and the extremely flat light goggles were pretty much useless. The chairs were also soaked, and about 10 runs in so were we. Regardless, the atmosphere was fun. One guy wore a grass skirt and coconut bra while a young girl wore a shirt over her jacket honoring her friend, a cancer survivor. Even in the miserable conditions, it was hard not to enjoy yourself.

After a well-needed break, things really started to shape up. The fog burned off a bit and everything started to dry. We weren’t sitting in puddles every time we sat down and could actually see the conditions of what we were riding. This, of course, was something that became increasing important seeing as we had all taken the same runs over 30 times in a row.  As we racked up the runs, our cheering squad at the bottom rang bells at each 5 lap mark to let us know where we were at. We were going strong until about the last hour when our legs started to give in to the overall choppiness. Those of us who’d done the event before knew to bring wider skis and boards to plow through the end of the day slop, but there’s a point at which your legs just say enough is enough. Regardless, we all made it to the final bell.

The event ended with skiers at almost 60 runs and snowboarders around 50. Season passes were awarded to those with the most runs and a 4-year-old girl who had gotten the most donations. A small event, about 10 of us were able to raise over $3,000. We all love taking to the hills to do the thing we love most, but doing it for a cause made it all the better. We can’t wait for next year and the chance to make the event even bigger!

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