Breckenridge local and former Olympic rower Greg Ruckman got his second win in as many seasons at the 21st annual Imperial Challenge presented by Mountain Outfitters, which serves as a bridge from winter to summer and takes competitors to the top of Peak 8 via bike and skin.Ruckman was pretty much out in front the whole time. He was fast on the bike and climb; his one weakness compared to some of the other athletes, was the descent. The race wasn't without drama, however."The radio calls were coming in showing (Ruckman) in the lead pretty much the whole way," said race director Jeff Westcott. "He had a really good gap on Pete Swenson, who took second - and he's the record-holder of the course incidentally. Ruckman was directed off course and got sent over to Peak 7, so all of a sudden, Swenson comes across the line first."At first, there was no sign of Ruckman."As I looked down below the finish line by the Bergenhof, here comes Ruckman running up to the finish. Swenson, in an act of total class, said Ruckman gets the win. That's what you want in a good community event like this. " The pseudo triathlon (bike, climb, ski or ride) begins at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, where roughly 140 competitors took off on bikes. They made their way through the backroads of Peak 7 up to the base of Peak 8 at the Breckenridge Ski Resort, before clicking into skis, splitboards or snowshoes to climb up the mountain. Those in the expert category scaled all the way to the top of Peak 8; the sport-category racers got to the top of the T Bar. Everyone winds up taking Claimjumper to the finish area just above the Bergenhof.The course was exactly the same as previous years, except for one short dirt crossing at the top of Vertigo that the racers had to negotiate. Some racers chose to side step through it, while others took their skis off and walked across. Another standout in Saturday's event was Breck local Max Bonenberger, 10, who completed the entire Long Course, becoming the youngest-ever to do so. He finished with a time of 3 hours, 17 minutes and 38 seconds. The Imperial Challenge was the brainchild of Sandy Metzger and Becky Hamm, when they worked events for Breckenridge. Ledgend has it, the race came about with the two 20-somethings eating a lot of sugar in the admin building, snickering in their cubicles and trying to fill 40 hours with no Internet to distract them. Twenty-one years later, the Challenge, now of drinking age, is stronger than ever with locals coming back year after year to welcome in spring - although it wasn't particularly springy on Saturday. "I think what people like about (the race) is that it's different," said Westcott. "It's kind of a pseudo triathlon - bike, uphill, downhill. It's a really cool way to finish the season, bridging skiing to bike season for a lot of these people. It's a good-old community, grassroots event."A portion of the proceeds will be given to Adopt an Angel, a local charity. 2012 Imperial Challenge results Short Course Women1FOX SydneyBreckenridge1:46:46.82BRETT LauraErie2:25:23.93PRILL AshleyBreckenridge2:33:40.04WILLIAMS AustynBreckenridge2:36:14.15STECKLEIN KellyDenver2:45:12.66EVANCZYK SaraFrisco2:45:20.87ROBERTS MimiPawlet VT3:01:01.28MELVIN KimberlyAvon3:06:45.49LUDWIG KelliNA3:11:44.010PROTER KristaNA3:29:00.111SCHEUERMANNBreckenridge3:34:54.9Short Course Men1HILDEBRANDT LeeBreckenridge1:46:49.72LAIRD BrianBroomfield1:50:54.33WOODS PatrickNA1:51:31.24BRETT StephenErie1:55:06.45BAER RobBoulder2:33:38.46HEIL JimFairplay2:53:39.47TIPPLE NathanSuperior3:04:14.58LARKIN JoeAvon3:06:49.49FONTENOT CodyBreckenridge3:07:35.210STACKHOUSE DanNA3:07:38.611PORTER WillNA3:28:57.2Long Course Women 20-291ARCIERI NikkiBreckenridge1:55:40.62DENNY CatherineDenver2:26:24.33JONES KelliBreckenridge2:30:01.64GILBERT mettaBoulder2:53:23.55PETERSON RebeccaSteamboat2:59:35.86BERNIUS kelseyDenver3:16:29.57MCKINNON JuliaDenver3:32:20.6Long Course Women 30-391DIXON MarleeBreckenridge1:50:25.32HURST BlairNA1:52:47.83SORENSON JillNA1:52:49.84BECK AliciaFrisco2:16:52.05ROARTY ColleenNA2:25:09.46SAWYER KatherineBreckenridge2:35:37.57ZEROWIN RachelDillin2:48:28.38LORENZEN ChristinaFairplay4:24:04.1Long Course Women 40-491HAGEN EvaBreckenridge1:45:55.22LUBA KimberlyGolden2:27:44.73WILSON MonicaBreckenridge2:53:52.24KNIGHTLEY AngelaBreckenridge2:58:45.95YOCCA WendyBreckenridge3:14:01.2Long Course Women 60+1BROWN EileenFrisco2:46:32.9Long Course Men 19 & Under1KLOSER ChristianVail1:45:22.62BONENBERGER MaxBreckenridge3:17:38.7Long Course Men 20-291BANAS AlexBreckenridge1:36:15.22VANDAL JoeBreckenridge1:40:56.93ARCHER ScottBreckenridge1:42:39.84THAEMERT KennyBreckenridge1:54:36.45FARRELL SimonGolden2:15:05.86MCILHARGEY AlexGrand Rapids2:19:22.67STEGEMYER TorinNA2:26:55.08HOSTVET SethDillon2:29:40.09DORR JonBreckenridge2:35:01.710THOMSON DavidSuperior2:53:30.111HILLEN AlexCoppell3:03:48.012THOMPSON TylerColorado Springs3:08:28.313SKOVGAARD SamWestminster3:09:50.714HUEY TuckerLafayette3:16:55.315PRINCE JonBreckenridge3:17:27.5Long Course Men 30-391RUCKMAN GregBreckenridge1:19:58.12BARLOW DukeBreckenridge1:34:49.93TRUITT NickBreckenridge1:36:10.14MIKULAS RamNA1:36:20.75OLIVER JerryNA1:47:26.16GERVAIS JackBreckenridge1:55:15.97FERRAGI JeffBlue River1:55:43.28TASHKIN JonathanGolden1:57:37.59NANCE AnthonyNA2:01:27.510LOWE RyanNA2:04:50.911BENBOW DillonFrisco2:07:10.412OLSEN ToddNA2:07:25.113TRICE NathanNA2:11:38.414DINEEN RyanBreckenridge2:16:42.615TESTIN JamesFrisco2:20:20.016LEWAN MattDenver2:22:58.117ALFORD JaimeBreckenridge2:24:28.318MARTIN EdBreckenridge2:27:31.519BAUMER JasonNA2:28:35.220DUNCAN graemeEvergreen2:30:52.621PLEIMANN BenNA2:32:12.522OLSON DavidVail2:36:08.523OWENS ReedFrisco2:36:44.624SHANE BryanFairplay2:36:54.725MCCLAIN KevinNA2:37:07.726HECKMAN JonNewark DE2:40:03.627WORLEY ChadSteamboat2:44:18.428WEIDMANN KurtConifer2:47:11.529TUTTLE SHaunDenver2:47:41.630CAMERON PatrickBoulder2:48:09.831MARTIN BenjaminDenver2:54:13.632POLEY brentLakewood2:55:20.333DROBNITCH JoeFrisco3:05:57.934MUNUZ ShawnNA3:08:56.035PAULSEN KristopherDenver3:09:44.836BATTE AaronCastle Rock3:09:48.137TRAMONTANA RickBreckenridge3:16:32.338SCHOMERUS brentDenver3:17:44.439RASMUSSEN JonLakewood3:26:52.740HITCHCOCK SteveColorado Springs3:27:30.841KENDRICK shaneWheat Ridge3:30:51.742DOWD BrianColumbus GA3:31:44.443KRUGER WillBreckenridge3:34:46.444KIVLAN JohnBoulder3:38:53.545SCHEEL MarkDenver3:43:04.446HYLAND TJNA3:54:45.8Long Course Men 40-491SWENSON PeteBreckenridge1:24:58.12HAGEN MichaelBreckenridge1:29:12.63SMITH ToddNA1:40:55.74RADEK ScottDillon1:50:31.35BAKER JeffColorado Springs1:58:06.06WEBBER JamesColorado Springs2:13:54.37JOYCE MikeBreckenridge2:14:21.38JOHNSON ClarkSilverthorne2:21:54.39MARSH mikeLincoln2:56:41.110WALKER TrevorConifer3:05:50.711BONENBERGER BretBreckenridge3:17:42.412BARTNICK EddieBreckenridge3:36:03.813CAIL MatthewColorado Springs3:37:18.0Long Course Men 50-591YULE ScottBreckenridge1:43:20.52TAYLOR MarkBoulder2:06:17.73WEINSTEIN daveColorado Springs2:23:38.54DELLA PORTA ChazFairplay2:27:21.35PJ DocBreckenridge2:30:32.66STERGIUS JohnColorado Springs2:44:08.57HILLEN Chriscoppell2:46:43.38WILSON TerryBreckenridge2:53:48.89LAWLER TomBlack Forest3:16:23.310JOHN ChrisNA3:33:19.6Long Course Men 60+1WARNER JohnBreckenridge2:21:01.12ROSIN GregFrisco2:57:03.03DINEEN DennisBreckenridge3:00:57.7
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