Thrills and Chills

Thrills and Chills
Photo by Robert F. Bukaty

[dropcap letter=”C”]old days and long nights wearing on you? To bust through those mid-winter doldrums, we have four heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping races for you to check out (or try out) this year. The only question: how much speed do you need?

► 130 mph

The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club’s snowmobile rodeo, or Snodeo, has everything from gravity-defying stunts to marshmallow roasting and fireworks. During the “radar run,” sled heads try to max out their speed while flying across frozen Haley Pond. Jan. 21, Haley Pond, Rangeley

► 40 mph

The hifalutin name — U.S. National Toboggan Championships — makes the ride down 400 feet of icy chute sound ultra-competitive, but the Camden Snow Bowl race is open to anyone. Just lean forward and hang on for dear life in front of hundreds of racers and thousands of spectators. Feb. 10–12, 20 Barnestown Rd., Camden

► 35 mph

If caroming down a bumpy toboggan track isn’t your thing, the America’s Mattress Race at Shawnee Peak provides a cushy alternative. Sliding down hard-packed snow aboard the sleeper of your choice, you can clock similar speeds from the comfort of your own bed. Note: air mattresses verboten. March 11, 119 Mountain Rd., Bridgton

► 9 mph

Okay, so the speed factor isn’t as flashy at the Mellie Dunham Snowshoe Festival races in Norway (there’s also a snowshoe wife-carry), but we’d be remiss not to suggest at least one race that burns calories. Last year, an 8-year-old won the 2.5-kilometer run. Gauntlet thrown. Feb. 11, 64 Roberts Rd., Norway