Labor Day may signal the end of summer for most of the country, but there will be at least one more busy weekend of racing to close out the season in Summit County on Saturday and Sunday. From the 100K Ultra Race of Champions at Copper Mountain to the annual Fall Classic mountain bike race in Breckenridge, there will be something for everybody with a variety of course options for each event.
UROC ultra run
Following the success of last year’s Breckenridge-to-Vail course, the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) returns to Summit County for its second installment — this time with a course in and around Copper Mountain. In addition to the two-lap 100K trail run, the event will also offer a one-lap 50K and trail half marathon.
“Our vision is to have the best ultra runners in the world as well as the everyday runner,” UROC operations director Alyssa Godesky said of the format. The 100K will include a daunting 10,543 feet of elevation gain as the course weaves around Copper Mountain’s network of trails. Along the way runners will climb to the summit of Copper Peak (12,441 feet) and up to the Union Saddle, below Union Peak.
The 50K will use the same route for a single lap, while the half mararthon will stick to the lower portion of Copper Peak. The half marathon will include a somewhat more manageable 2,513 feet of elevation gain.
Organizers expect about 200 runners to participate. Registration will be available Friday afternoon in Center Village at Copper Mountain, with day-of registration prior to the start of the races on Saturday morning. Online registration closed Thursday. The races will start at 6 a.m. Saturday in the Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village.
More information and course maps are available at www.ultraroc.com.
Mount Royal Hill Climb
For those looking for something a little shorter, but no less aggressive, the annual Mount Royal Hill Climb 5K will also take place Saturday, starting in Frisco and finishing at the top of Mount Royal. Now in its third year, the race includes 1,500 feet of elevation gain as the short course climbs the Mount Royal Trail.
“People are intimidated by it, but we encourage them to run, hike, shuffle or whatever it takes to get to the top,” Frisco recreations programs manager Linsey Kach said. “It’s a really relaxed, more local event.”
The race will be capped at 150 participants. Runners can register online or on-site the day of the event. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Third Avenue and Granite Street.
More information is available at www.runtherockies.com.
Fall Classic mountain bike race
For almost as long as there has been mountain biking in Summit County, there has been the Fall Classic in Breckenridge.
“It’s the last hurrah in the High Country for mountain biking before the snow flies,” race organizer Jeff Westcott said of the long-running competition. “It’s neat because it harkens back to the days before mountain biking was formalized.”
Raced in some form since 1984, the race has more recently become the final event in the annual seven-race Summit Mountain Challenge biking series.
There will be 30-mile and 17-mile course options. Riders do not need to have competed in other races in the series to participate. Both courses will feature popular trails around Breckenridge and French Gulch, with starts in the Wellington neighborhood and a finish in Carter Park. The long course will include portions of the Flume, Sallie Barber, Baker’s Tank, Boreas Pass and Indiana Gulch trails.
“It’s got a little bit of everything,” Westcott said. “It’s pretty typical Summit County riding.”
The race will take place Sunday morning with a staggered 10 a.m. start.
Course and registration information is available at www.mavsports.com.