Summit Mountain Challenge to use 2-day, Strava format for summer’s first race
Frisco Roundup community mountain-bike race Tuesday, Wednesday
FRISCO — One of Summit County’s most popular summer sports series, the Summit Mountain Challenge, will return amid the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24 with the Frisco Roundup.
Maverick Sports Event Director Jeff Westcott has opted for a 2-day, Strava-based race format. Strava is an internet service that uses GPS to track exercise. Using the service will allow mountain bikers to ride the traditional Frisco Roundup course at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area at their own leisure.
After Westcott and his event crew mark the course, cyclists can ride it at any time with natural light beginning Tuesday at 5 p.m., and concluding Wednesday at 8 p.m. When they cross the finish line, their GPS-recorded race segment will post to Strava’s online database. On Thursday, Westcott will share results for race categories after compiling everyone’s digital time.
“I bounced the idea off some folks and we got some support from strong riders,” Westcott said.
“I’m just throwing it out there because this would be the 34th year, we started in 1987,” Westcott added. “There’s a legacy, there’s a community out there that I think wants to see some kind of racing return, because we’ve always had it.”
Westcott opted for this atypical, non-traditional format because county and state regulations for sporting events like the Mountain Challenge still limit group sizes to 10. Until that bumps up to 50, Westcott said any subsequent Summit Mountain Challenge or Mav Sports events this summer will be held in this format.
Though Westcott would like to host as many as six more mountain-bike events throughout the summer, he’s taking the series one race at a time.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “This not necessarily the format for the summer.”
In an announcement to racers, Westcott emphasized the importance of proper, respectful trail etiquette, especially on 2-way, multi-use trails, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cyclists don’t have to wear a face covering while biking through the course, but Westcott is asking racers to have a mask on them for any cases where they cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet.
Westcott said after he opened registration late in the week, racer numbers were similar to last year.
Considering race officials won’t be at the start or finish line or out on the course, and racing groups won’t be beginning together or jockeying for position, what does he expect the racing element to be like?
“I think they are going to be competing, I really do,” Westcott said. “I think they will be putting in their best effort, being mindful of road crossings, respectful of other issues. … Everybody’s different. For me, personally, I’m faster when racing with other people.”
The modified format will permit Westcott and other event staff to do just that: race in a Mountain Challenge event for the first time in a long time. For Westcott, he hasn’t raced in the event since 1999 — a third of a lifetime ago.
“It’d be really cool for my staff to get the athlete’s perspective,” Westcott said. “That’s something that is our No. 1 value: the athlete is first.”
To register to race and for more information, visit: MavSports.com/Frisco-Roundup/
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