24 Hours of Frisco set for Saturday debut
FRISCO – The 24 Hours of Frisco trail running race gets its shot at a first impression this weekend.Conceived last year by the Town of Frisco and Denver-based Event Marketing Group (EMG), the unique race will be a blend of 24-hour mountain bike races and the now-wildly popular Outward Bound Relay – which puts teams of runners through an overnight test from Idaho Springs to Glenwood Springs.According to EMG president Mike Heaston, 17 teams – ranging from solo runners to eight-person groups – have signed up for the inaugural 24 Hours of Frisco.They’ll run a 5-mile course on town land at the Frisco peninsula – starting at the Frisco Nordic Center – with division winners being determined by the team that finishes the most loops.
Although it’s too early to tell if this race will join the likes of the 170-mile Outward Bound Relay that spawned it, organizers are plenty pleased with its makings thus far.”We were shooting for about 15-20 teams in our first year, and we got it,” said Heaston, whose company also puts on the Salomon Nordic Series (including the Governor’s Cup races in Frisco) as well as a number of other adventure/endurance races across the West.Heaston pointed to the fact that the Outward Bound Relay only attracted seven teams in its first year, 1998, but that it filled its capacity of 150 teams this year.”I think it has great potential to grow,” he said of the Frisco race.
Most of the entrants signed up to compete are from out of town (some from out of state even), but the 24 Hours will also include a number of local teams. Laura Pless will captain the two-person women’s team “Broken Dreams”; Joanna Snyder will lead the four-person “Wildernest Women”; Clayton Keller is captaining “Huff and Puffs”; Anna DeBattiste will head a Summit County Mountain Rescue squad; and Martha Lunsky will lead a Summit Daily News foursome.Eric Pence of Leadville is the only area runner entered in the solo division.The most accomplished group entered to race is Team Salomon, led by noted adventure/endurance racer Adam Chase.Using Chase’s team as his measuring stick, Heaston estimated that the best of the entrants will probably run the 5-mile loop “somewhere around 30 times.”
The race is one of the only warm-weather sporting events that the town of Frisco hosts. In that regard, said Frisco special events coordinator Seth Blackmer, “We’re kind of going into a bit of a new area.”The race starts on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. and ends Sunday at the same time. Division winners get Salomon running shoes, and second-place finishers get headlamps.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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