1998: When Running Springs Hosted the Senior Winter Games

BRRRR! Cold temperatures and enormous amounts of rain ended up with a lot of floating ice on Arrowbear Lake on Thursday. It remained cold enough and the water poured out of th lake into the stream below.
BRRRR! Arrowbear Lake this past spring!

I came upon a flyer a couple of days ago about the 5th Annual Senior Winter Games that were held  in Running Springs and a few other close venues, including Green Valley Lake. I remember them well as our Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and the Golden Oaks Seniors planned the events. (Most of the work was done by the chamber board members, as it still is today!)

The games were held from  Feb. 28 to March 3 and they sere supported by the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District, Mountains Community Hospital, the Ice Castle skating rink in Blue Jay, Rim Nordic (cross country skiing) on Hwy. 18, Soroptimist International of Lake Arrowhead, the Arrowbear Lake Lions Club, the Golden Oaks Seniors, New Vision International and the U.S. Senior National Sports Organization.

The events included alpine skiing at Bear Mountain Ski Area in Big Bear, Billiards, Table Tennis, “Party” Bridge, Cross Country Skiing at Rim Nordic, Ice Skating (singles and pairs) at the Blue Jay Ice Castle, Hockey Goal Shooting at the Blue Jay Ice Castle (five shots from 50 feet away), Snow Shoe Races on either a level course of an incline course. These races were also held at Rim Nordic Ski Area and poles were mandatory! To help get people to participate a “Blizzard Walk” was available for people who wanted to participate in the recreational/non-competitive winter fun.

A hockey Goal Shoot, five shots from 50 feet away from the goal, were held at the Ice Castle. “Ice Fishing” was held at Green Valley Lake and all fisher-persons  had to have a valid state fishing license in order to participate.

That year a new event was added to the fun: bowling and Billiards.

What’s winter games without a snowball throw? Well, it simply wouldn’t be winter without one. This fun event was open to anyone and it was a distance and accuracy event.

These were fabulous events and times and I remember they so well. Perhaps there would be a way to “resuscitate” them as they were not only a lot of fun but they brought a lot of people to our mountain communities. Although we never know if we’re going to have snow now there are still a lot of events that could be done, with or without snow.




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