Frisco will crown its second king and queen of the mountain Saturday with the return of the now annual Mount Royal Hill Climb.
The 5k race will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, on the corner of 3rd and Granite in Frisco. The short course includes almost 1,500 feet of elevation gain as runners make their way up the Mount Royal Trail to a finish on the summit.
“For being an intense climb it’s a very relaxed atmosphere,” said town of Frisco marketing director Suzanne Lifgren. “It’s a fun feeling at the top.”
Lifgren said there will be a small gathering to celebrate at the finish line.
The event is part of this year’s Frisco Fall Fest and concludes with an after-race party at the town park on Main Street.
“It was gorgeous last year. It should be even more fall feeling this year,” Lifgren said.
Last years winner, Greg Ruckman, summited Mount Royal in 30 minutes and 6 seconds.
“You’re testing your power rather than sheer endurance,” he said. “However much you suffer, it’s over soon.”
Lifegren said the event is for all skill levels and competitors have the option to hike the course instead.
Because of the shorter distance, Ruckman, who finished third in last weekend’s Breck Crest marathon, said, “I think it’s easier for people who aren’t hardcore runners.”
This will be the second running of the Mount Royal Hill Climb, and race organizers hope it will continue to be a fixture of the fall racing calendar.
“We hope it sticks around,” Frisco recreation programs manager Linsey Kach said. “It’s a fun atmosphere.”
Last year’s race included approximately 50 competitors. Both Lifgren and Kach expect it to grow.
“People definitely wanted it back. They set goals for it,” Lifgren said.
Registration is still open and ongoing; they will cap the event at 150 competitors.
As to whether Ruckman expects to repeat and hold his title as King of the Hill: “It all depends on who else shows up. In Colorado there’s always someone who can beat you,” he said.
Online registration($40) closes on Thursday at 5 p.m. There will be day-of registration available starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday($50). Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male and female winners, and racers will receive a post-race breakfast and adult beverage. The king and queen will be crowned at the summit after finishing, Kach said, with an official award ceremony at the post-race party.
More information can be found at www.townoffrisco.com/events/mt-royal-hillclimb or by contacting Linsey Kach at (970)668-5276 x3057