Photo Tim Hauserman

37th Anniversary, Sunday March 3rd, 2013, 9AM

Hundreds of cross-country ski racers will gather for the 37th annual Great Ski Race on March 3. This historic 30K (18-mile) event begins at Tahoe Cross Country Center above Dollar Point in Tahoe City, winds through the forest and mountains of North Lake Tahoe, and ends at the Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee.

The race is one of the largest cross-country races in the West. Every year, 800 to 1,100 ski racers, touring skiers, disabled athletes and snowshoers turn out for the race looking for achievement and adventure, or maybe just the famous finish-line party, which includes live music, a hot lunch, prizes, raffles, and beer for the age-qualified participants. Sierra Nevada Brewing will once again be pouring this year.

The race is the main fundraising event for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, a non-profit all volunteer organization that helps locate lost people in the Sierra Nevada.

The Great Ski Race has expanded from an event of 60 racers being manually timed in 1977 to more than 600 skiers with electronic timing in 1985, to more than a thousand racers in recent years.

You don’t need to be a skate ski racer to enter. Plenty do the race as a tour on classic cross-country gear or on snowshoes. There are a couple of aid stations along the way.

Register at Prices go up on Feb. 16 so don’t delay. Fees are $55 through Feb. 15, $65 Feb. 16-March 2, and $100 on race day. Juniors 18 and under are $25. The entry fee includes a pre-race package, T-shirt, refreshments and hot lunch at the finish, and a chance to win numerous raffle prizes.