Derby Day At the Basin

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A-Basin Derby: A

With nothing between them and the snow but cardboard, tape, and a few crazy outfits, participants in the 13th annual Cardboard Derby at A-Basin displayed everything from creativity to craziness, with a little courage in between.Arapahoe Basin, CO, Feb. 14, 2001--It was a mid-winter weekend and thousands of people were heading to the slopes of Arapahoe Basin ski area. But unlike most Saturdays when throngs of skiers flock to Summit County to carve some turns, these crowds came for a different reason. They came to watch 150 teams in man-made crafts race down the mountain with both team and craft intact.

Last Saturday teams debuting crafts with names like Ball of Death (Most Original) and Cereal Bowlers (Best Costume) showed up for the 13th annual Cardboard Derby. The event, sponsored by A-Basin, Budweiser, and KBCO featured teams with a maximum of six people in homemade, sleds made only of cardboard, duct-tape, and decorations.

And there were plenty of decorations. From the Chipotle Burrito dressed in yards of aluminum foil to the Flintstone-mobile piloted by Fred and Wilma look-alikes, originality and creativity abounded. Which was an important factor considering judging for the event is not solely based on speed, but for originality, costumes, and construction.

"This is our biggest event by far," said Leigh Hierholzer, Arapahoe Basin communications director. "There are thousands and thousands of people who come out for it."

The craft that led the Overall winners to victory named resembled a giant green Lockness Monster. With all of the monsters, burritos, and famous characters on the course this year, Arapahoe Basin may need to expand the race course area next year for what has proven to be an increasingly popular event.