The Summit Mountain Challenge mountain biking series continues Wednesday, June 25, with the Gold Run Rush — the second race in the seven-race summer series.
“This is the race that captures the mining history of Breckenridge more than any other,” race organizer Jeff Westcott of Maverick Sports Promotions told the Daily Tuesday. “It uses a lot of old mining roads that go through old mining claims and ghost towns.”
Wednesday’s races get underway at 5:15 p.m. with the junior classes riding a 4-mile kids’ course. Adult races get rolling with staggered starts beginning at 5:45 p.m. Day-of race registration will be available at the starting line in the Wellington Neighborhood off of French Gulch Road, just north of downtown Breckenridge.
Adult races will include 10.5-, 14.5- and 21-mile course options along the French Gulch trail network.
“It’s where many of us locals learned how to mountain bike. It really does typify Summit County riding,” Westcott said of the courses. “You feel like you’re in th middle of nowhere but you’re only 2 miles from Breck.”
Courses will incorporate a 10.5-mile loop and the shorter kids’ course.
“It’s got a great mix of singletrack and two-track,” Westcott added.
The trails pass by a number of area mining claims,including the old ghost town of Preston. They also incorporate part of the recently redesigned Slalom Single Track and Upper Flume Trail. Each lap includes 1,300 feet of elevation gain over what Westcott described as “rolling” terrain with a few aggressive climbs.
The Summit Mountain Challenge kicked off its season with more than 200 riders Wednesday, June 11, at the annual Frisco Roundup on the Frisco Peninsula. Participants can ride in individual races or sign up for the whole series.
Firecracker 50 returns for year 14
Following the Gold Run Rush the Summit Mountain Challenge series will take three-week break for the 14th annual Firecracker 50 — a 50K trail race — Friday, July 4, and for the July Fourth holiday.
“It’s become a quintessential Breckenridge event,” Westcott said of the Firecracker 50.
From humble beginnings in 2001, the race has since grown to 750 participants. Each year the competition kicks off Breckenridge’s Fourth of July Parade with a start on Main Street. Riders then leave town to navigate Breck’s surrounding trail network for two 25-mile laps.
Wescott said there is a limited number of spaces still available in the race, and organizers are still looking for volunteers for race operations.
“It’s taken on a life of its own,” he said of the size of the race. “The thing that makes it so cool is the volunteer support.”