Annual Bacon Burner 6K road race in Frisco pairs running with bacon aid stations | SummitDaily.com

Annual Bacon Burner 6K road race in Frisco pairs running with bacon aid stations

Leo Wolfson
Special to the Daily

The crunch of bacon and the rhythmic patter of running feet aren't typically mixed together. But, this weekend in Frisco, it's the perfect pairing.

On June 20, the town of Frisco will host the Kaiser Permanente Bacon Burner 6K — a race with a hint of wood smoke and more than a couple dashes of fun.

Why bacon, you ask? The race is being held in conjunction with the 22nd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge, also held in Frisco over the course of Father's Day weekend. Hosting the two events in the same town on the same weekend gives foodies the perfect opportunity to run off a plate or two of great barbecue or enjoy just one more rack of ribs after the race.

"Just having fun is definitely the center of the race, and the proximity of it to the barbecue makes it a great start to the day," 2014 Bacon Burner runner Ksusha Shambarger said. "Getting bacon while running is pretty fun, too."

One signature aspect of the race is bacon aid stations. They're scattered throughout the course to help replenish runners during the mellow, relatively flat jaunt around Lake Dillon.

But, if munching on a salty strip of meat while running sounds counter-intuitive, you're not alone.

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"The bacon definitely slowed us down last year," Shambarger said with a laugh.

"This is a quirky, fun event and an opportunity for people to have fun in a less competitive environment," said Vanessa Agee, Frisco's marketing and communications director. "Besides, it would be pretty hard to serve people brisket."

When pigs run

If looking for competition, the Burner has that element. The race features three different categories: competitive, average runner and a family jog/walk. Prizes will be given to top male and female finishers in the competitive- and average-runner waves, along with the first-place winners in seven different age categories.

There may be first-place prizes, but it's obvious the Burner is more about fun, and the race's heavy emphasis on bacon gives it a laid-back ambience. Race organizers acknowledge that giving runners bacon may be counter-productive for beating personal 6K records, but, in this event, the love for bacon takes precedent. Bacon is even offered as a reward to participants at the finish line.

"This race is a hoot," said Linsey Kach, programs manager for the Frisco recreation department. "You'll see costumes, bacon-themed knee-high socks — we have a really good time with this."

In many ways, it is an event that is just as fun to run as it is to watch. Yet, it's one of the few races where humorous costumes are accented by the natural beauty surrounding runners in pig ears.

The 3.8-mile Burner starts at Frisco Bay Marina at 9:30 a.m. and then meanders along the recreation path bordering Lake Dillon. Near Dam Road, the course loops back before returning to the marina.

The allure of a bacon-inspired race is a strong one, and, two days before the race, all 450 spots were taken.

"What other race gives you bacon?" Agee said. "That opportunity doesn't come around every day. It's a pretty organic thing."

There is also something to be said for having a healthy balance in life, and the race promotes that concept well. After all, it's great to eat healthy, but, if you eat nothing but salads, you'll likely be unhappy.

"We want people to be active, but we also don't want to stuff health and fitness down people's throats," Agee said. "It's not our goal to intentionally promote this, but I believe that it comes naturally with the event and is felt throughout the town of Frisco."

The Colorado BBQ Challenge will be just a stone's throw away from the marina finish line on Main Street. The challenge runs through Saturday, with concerts, food and competitions featuring some of the best barbecue chefs in the country. It also marks Kaiser Permanente's first year as a title sponsor for the race. The company is offering free sunscreen at tents across the festival.

"We believe that Kaiser is the perfect sponsor for this event because as a health-care provider, they want people to live the active lifestyle that this event promotes," Agee said.

2015 Frisco Bacon Burner 6K

What: A 6K foot race that travels alongside Lake Dillon, with bacon aid stations for runners along the course and at the finish line

Where: Frisco Bay Marina starting line, 267 Marina Rd. in Frisco

When: Saturday, June 20 at 9:30 a.m.

Cost: Sold out

For more info, including packet pickup details and a course map, check out http://www.baconburner.com or call 970-668-9133.