On September 3, Perisher will celebrate the start of spring in style by hosting a cross-country race with a twist. Perisher’s iconic Pub-to-Pub Cross-Country Classic, now in its 27th consecutive year, sees a mix of serious racers and dressed up cruisers having fun traversing the resort on skinny skis.
The Classic takes in five watering holes in Smiggin Holes and Perisher Valley and is open to anyone with a pair of cross-country skis and a ‘thirst’ for adventure. Starting in 1983 with just five competitors, it has now evolved into an annual event attracting up to 500 entrants.
“What started out as a crazy far-fetched idea and a bit of a dare between mates, has just grown and grown. Each year, the race attracts a great mix of contestants either competing for the win, aiming for a personal best, or just out to have fun,” commented Alan ”Barney’ Davis, event founder and the only person to have completed all 26 races. “We’ve seen some pretty crazy sights over the years, it’s a great day had by all; the good thing is you don’t need to be an elite athlete to enter,” continued ‘Barney’.
Even if you’re not participating it’s a great sight to behold. There are all sorts of costumes from the wild and wacky ‘throw-together’ numbers to the well-crafted truly original creations; each vying to win the best fancy dressed category. In past years, contestants have come adorned in colourful and outrageous outfits including everything from Ninjas, Nuns, Pirates and Sesame Street characters. It certainly is a laugh to see Elvis, for example, perched on a pair of skinny skis! It’s hysterical just watching competitors, in various states of prowess and attire; trying to negotiate their way back down the slope of Smiggin Holes to the finish line.
This year’s tag line: ’27 Years and Still Trying to Get Through the Bars,’ is a clever play on words. “It ties in with last year’s jail theme, whilst also giving people an idea of what the event is about; that is literally getting through all five bars,” said Barney.
Total prize money for the fancy dress section amounts to $1500 this season, making it well worth competing. There will also be prizes for male and female winners as well as age categories, the only criteria; contestants must be on a pair of cross-country skis to win a prize.
When: Thursday 3 September 2009
Where: Smiggins Hotel, the race begins at 1:30pm
What: Five pubs in five kilometers, followed by a party at Smiggins Hotel
Who: Entrants must be over 18 years old and have to be on a pair of cross-country skis.
How: To enter go to Guest Services on Tuesday 1, Wednesday 2 August or on the day at Smiggins Hotel from 10:30am. There is an entry fee of $25.00, which also includes a T-shirt (they’re practically a collector’s item) and guarantees your participation in the race and access to the after party. Cross-country skis can be hired from Wilderness Sports, located in the NPWS building adjacent to the Perisher Valley Skitube Terminal. Cost: $75 per person (includes cleaning cost).
Theme: Think big, think bold, think original….anything goes, so let the creative juices flow!