World records set at 24 Hours of Sunlight
After 24 hours of hiking up and skiing down Sunlight Mountain and conquering a world record, Greg Hill and Jimmy Faust are finally satisfied. Completing 32 laps each and covering 50,100 vertical feet in Saturday and Sunday’s 24 Hours of Sunlight, Hill and Faust’s names will now be etched in the record books for the most vertical feet skied by a human in 24 hours.”When I go into the backcountry, normally I only get a few hours in and I have to leave and go do day care,” said Faust, a Crested Butte native. “So I’ve always felt like my thirst hasn’t been quenched all season – I think we quenched it today.”On the first lap of the race, which went up and down Beaujolais, Hill recorded the fastest time of the event, climbing up and skiing down in 30:37. Both Hill and Faust kept their lap times in the 30s for the first few laps before they started hitting the 40- to 50-minute range for the majority of the race.Then, at some point when the moon lighted their path, the two decided to stay together for the remainder of the race.
“We were just trying to encourage each other and keep going. We both realized we were on par for the 50, so we just had to get it,” said Hill, who hails from Revelstola, British Columbia. “With (Faust’s) help, we really worked it. As a team it was way easier. If we would have tried to compete, it wouldn’t have worked. But we cooperated and pushed each other and kept each other going.”At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, they finished their 32nd lap and for the first time in almost 24 hours, sat down for a rest.”I don’t feel too bad,” Hill said. “My hamstrings are really sore – it was brutal up there. But we battled every run. I feel good, but I wouldn’t say that I would do much more. The last lap – it was brutal.”Jonathan Baker, of Salt Lake City, also set a world record, for most vertical feet snowboarded by a human in 24 hours, with 20,215. The event, which is the first 24-hour skiing competition of its kind, fielded 100 racers in eight different categories.
Utah’s Andrew McLean, who took sixth in the Men’s Solo Division by doing 24 laps and skiing 37,320 feet, enjoyed taking part in the one-of-a-kind competition.”I’ve always wanted to know how much vertical I could do in a day so I was psyched to have a venue like this where there is no trail breaking and no avalanche concerns,” McLean said. “I feel whipped. I got what I came for. I can’t even stand up.”McLean’s wife, Polly Samuels-McLean, was the only solo female entry, completed 20 laps and 31,110 feet to win the Women’s Solo Division.The Highlanders, a duo made up of Brian Johnson and Tim Grogan from Aspen and Carbondale, took the Duo Pro/Expert title by trekking 31 laps and 48,205 feet.In the 5 Person Open, a category where teams must have at least one female, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent squad of Dennis Webb, Heidi Vosbeck, Mark Feinsinger, John Patrick and Jason Phillips took first-place honors and third overall by chalking up 31 laps and 48,205 feet, finishing before Johnson and Grogan. Vosbeck also recorded the fastest lap in the 5 Person Open for a female with a time of 38:35 in her second lap.
“I had gone up on the first lap on some cross-country skis that I wasn’t too familiar with, and it was so hard-packed that I was kind of having trouble coming down,” Vosbeck said. “So on the next run, I just decided to do it on my snowshoes, and I felt really strong going up, and I usually run downhill when it is just once. It just tears up your quads, but I just flew on the downhill. I paid for it later, but I was psyched.”The Glenwood Park Powder Farmers won the Men’s Senior Division as Lee Barger, Kurt Backofen, Kevin Clarke and Josh Goodman totaled 27 laps and 41,985 feet for a shared 13th-place finish overall. Men at Their Peak, a local team consisting of members Bob Pattillo, Scott Fifer, Dave Sheriff and Bob Derkash, tied the Powder Farmers for 13th overall, but won the Men’s Grand Master’s Division (age 55 and up).The Jaywalker 1 team of Dan Reed, Gordon Gerson, Evrim Eravci and Bob Ferguson from Carbondale, Aspen and Minnesota, won the Men’s Veteran Division with 20 laps as the only team in the category. The Heuga Center, an innovative center for people with multiple sclerosis in Edwards who will receive about $15,000 from the event, fielded the only team in the Just For Fun Category. The Heuga Can Do Crew of Susie Kincade, Mark Gould, Mark Cjhapin, Jeanne Blatter, Scott Czarniak and Jimmy Colihan racked up 23 laps and 35,765 feet Producers Granny Gear and RealTime agreed with 24 Hours of Sunlight’s inventor Mike Marolt and Sunlight Mountain to do the event again next year. “I would come back and do it again. Usually, right after, I would have to think about it, but it was really well run and there was a great turnout,” McLean said. “The fastest guys in the U.S. and Canada showed up for it. These are guys that are the top-5 solo men. It was really super.”
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