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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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World Championship Shovel Races Combine Speed, Agility and Daring

LAS CRUCES - On your mark. Get set. Go. Daredevils of all kinds will get the chance to participate in the World Championship Shovel Races Feb. 2-4 at Angel Fire Resort in Angel Fire.


"Shovel races began 27 years ago at Angel Fire when lift operators would ride shovels down the mountain at the end of the day," said Mike Cook, director of the Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project. "Today, participants of all ages race down a 1,000-foot course in everything from plain, waxed shovels to aerodynamic contraptions built around snow shovels."

REDTT, a program of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism.

Categories for the event include fastest shovel, fastest modified shovel and wackiest shovel. Participants are grouped according to age and can choose from a variety of classes in each event. Age groups range from 6 years old to mid-80s.

Events Business News recognized the shovel races as the "Most Unique Event of the Year" in 1999. The races also have been featured on ESPN 2. This year, A&E Entertainment and "CBS Sunday Morning" will be taping the event.

"The races have evolved into an amazing combination of speed racers and show-offs," Cook said.

The races are open to the public. Those who would like to participate can register the day of the event. Participants who pre-register before Jan. 26 will receive $5 off the registration fee. Registration fees range from $12 to $75, depending on age category and event.

For more information on the races, contact Angel Fire Resort at (505) 377-4224 or visit their web site at www.angelfireresort.com.