Endurance Challenge returns
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Elite endurance athletes and weekend warriors alike will punish their lungs on the slopes at Sunlight Mountain Resort on Sunday. The Endurance Challenge, a 12-hour race in which competitors repeatedly hike up and ski down the local mountain, is returning for its second year.
From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., the mountain’s Rebel and Beajolais runs will be swarming with competitors sporting skis, snowboards, snowshoes, stabilizers and even splitboards.
The aim is to complete as many laps as possible in the 12-hour time frame. To record a lap, racers must hike up Rebel and then slide their way down Beaujolais.
Dylan Lewis, Sunlight’s sales and marketing manager, is anticipating a field of roughly 120 racers. Registration will remain open at http://www.sunlightmtn.com until Saturday night at 5 p.m.
“It looks like it’s going to be a great day for a race – sunny and temperatures in the mid-30s,” Lewis said. “There’s plenty more time and more space in the race.”
Competitors may race solo or as part of a duo, four-person relay or a firedrill team of two or more racers.
Among those expected to compete on Sunday are Michael and Eva Hagen, the Colorado Springs husband-and-wife duo who won last year’s men’s and women’s solo divisions.
Many local endurance race regulars will also take to the Sunlight slopes on Sunday.
“We’ll have a lot of the same crew,” Lewis said. “Michael Hagen, last year’s winner from Colorado Springs, is returning to defend his title, which is exciting. Billy Laird out of Crested Butte is returning. We’ll have Dennis Webb, who races ever year. … Those are some of the big ones that come to mind.”
The race has a loyal following that dates all the way back to its previous form – the 24 Hours of Sunlight.
After a four-year run, 24 Hours of Sunlight met its end in late 2009 following a dispute that led to the resort severing ties with the event’s organizer.
Sunlight Mountain decided to keep the event alive by organizing its own 12-hour version.
“Last year was fantastic,” Lewis said. “We had a great race, good competition and a good turnout. We’re hoping that the strength of last year’s race continues through to this year.”
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.