Breckenridge to host Strava-based virtual trail running series | SummitDaily.com
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Breckenridge to host Strava-based virtual trail running series

6 races on pre-set courses alternate Wednesdays beginning July 8

Ella Hagen, front, and Chris Blackwell lead a pack of runners up a hill during the French Gulch 5K/8K Summit Trail Running race in June 2019 in Breckenridge.
Courtesy Blake Elrod

BRECKENRIDGE — The town of Breckenridge’s recreation department will host a trail-running series in the same mold as other outdoor endurance sports events around the county during the pandemic: virtually.

On alternating Wednesdays beginning July 8, runners will be able to race in the six-event Summit Trail Running Virtual Series. At a cost of $60 for adults and for $40 for youths, runners will be able to use their Strava GPS applications and run a preset course as part of the half-dozen virtual races. Single races cost $15 and $10, respectively.

Breckenridge special events coordinator Vince Hutton said a course will be marked by 4 p.m. on the eve of each race. After the July 8 Breckenridge Recreation Center Morning Thunder race to begin the series, subsequent races include French Gulch on July 22, Baker’s Tank on Aug. 5, Horseshoe Gulch on Aug. 19., Flumes/Tom’s Baby on Sept. 2 and Carter Park on Sept. 16

This year, Hutton is opting for one course per race as opposed to long, short and super-short courses. Hutton also said there will be some change to last year’s race courses to make the series safer in the age of COVID-19 as well as more exciting. The French Gulch race is a notable example of a new and exciting course, he said.

Over the summer, Hutton said a virtual leaderboard will be created, adding to the competitive feel of the event.

Hutton said each race’s course will be marked for at least 24 hours and potentially up to 48 hours, depending on permitting. Hutton added that he might offer two courses in the event a larger-than-expected number of people sign up to race a course. He also said that if public health guidelines are relaxed, he’s open to changing the race format later in summer.

Hutton said those changes could include a remake of the Carter Park race, the final race in the series, as well as some changes to the Flumes race and spicing up the Horseshoe Gulch race.

“I do plan to throw in new routes and new courses in a couple of them, but I haven’t quite fully figured out what yet,” Hutton said Tuesday. “… The cool thing is (the town of Breckenridge and other stakeholders) are allowing me to get some new maps in there, to switch it up a little bit. I’m hoping that will get people a little more interested knowing they are going to run courses they haven’t run before.

If you go

July 8: Breck Rec Morning Thunder
July 22: French Gulch
Aug. 5: Baker’s Tank
Aug. 19: Horseshoe Gulch
Sept. 2: Flumes/Tom’s Baby
Sept. 16: Carter Park

Sign up: 970-547-4321 or vinceh@townofbreckenridge.com

Breckenridge resident Eva Hagen said she was one of the members of the local running and endurance sport community who Hutton consulted on the idea. Though she thinks the Strava format might decrease the number of people who take part, she supports it.

“People are looking for some kind of race event,” Hagen said. “They are tired of not being able to race, to just train, so this is definitely awesome.”

Hutton said the top three male and female finishers in each race will receive prizes, such as gift cards to local businesses. Everyone who registers for the full series will receive a Summit Trail Running Series shirt. Participants can sign up by calling 970-547-4321 or emailing vinceh@townofbreckenridge.com


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