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Endurance Challenge is Sunday at Sunlight

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Sunlight Mountain Resort is gearing up for the first ever Endurance Challenge at Sunlight.

This year’s endurance race is a shortened version of the popular 24 Hours of Sunlight endurance race. And according to Sunlight Marketing Manager Dylan Lewis, the new, shorter format has been very well received.

“The overall response has been positive so far,” Lewis said. “We saw a value in having a shorter race to appeal to the average-Joe type of racer.”



And he said that the shorter 12-hour format has opened the event to a whole new type of racer, while still providing a challenge to the more serious endurance athletes.

“A lot of people that haven’t done an endurance race like this before, have seen the new format and it’s appealing to them because it’s something that they feel they can accomplish,” Lewis said.



Some may not see this shorter race as quite as challenging as the 24-hour race was. However, according to local racer Mike McCoy, who finished second in the men’s solo category in the 2009 24-hour event, it will still be a challenge.

“I don’t think a shorter race will be any less challenging,” McCoy said. “The shorter the race the faster the people will go.”

Lewis said that close to 100 people had signed up by Tuesday morning, and that he expects more to sign up before the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday. And there’s been an increase in the solo categories due to the shorter platform.

“We have seen more men’s soloists register than competed in the event last year,” Lewis said.

And the event is attracting racers from around the state, and nation.

The race has a similar format to the old event, in which participants hike up and either hike, ski, ride, or slide down a predetermined course. The race begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, and will conclude at 8 p.m. that night.

Sunlight management decided to create its own endurance race this year after a vendor fee payment dispute with the 24 Hours of Sunlight organizers last year.

Lewis said that there were several factors that spurred Sunlight to continue an endurance race this year, but that the ultimate reason was the interest from racers, like McCoy, who said they wanted an event like this at Sunlight.

“I’m glad that Sunlight stepped up and put it on themselves,” McCoy said. “I think we are all excited to see how 12 hours will go.”

Not only did they alter the time frame of the race, they decided to create more categories for racers in hopes of attracting a more dynamic group of racers, as well. Competitors may participate in the solo category, as a duo, or as a team with four or more people.

Four-person teams can also compete in a relay style race with only one competitor on the mountain at a time, or in the “fire drill” category where the entire team can be on the mountain at the same time, and each lap will count.

“If you have a team of four, a 24-hour event can be a pretty tall order,” McCoy said. “But I think the 12-hour event is doable for a lot more people in the valley, and I hope that it will draw a lot more local people to the event.”

And Sunlight hopes to have enough participation to make this an annual event.

“We have every intention of it being an annual event,” Lewis said.

jgardner@postindependent.com


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