Breck Crest Marathon called off for 2006
summit daily news
BRECKENRIDGE ” One of Summit County’s most popular and prestigious sporting events, the Breckenridge Crest Mountain Marathon, will not take place this year and faces an unlear future beyond that.
Staff with the race’s beneficiary and organizing body, the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), simply don’t have time to run the race this year, BOEC marketing director Tamara Marks said.
“It was a staff decision,” Marks said. “We talked about it and decided our schedule was just too full to do it all. We needed to catch our breath, that type of thing.”
Marks said the BOEC made the decision in December. This is the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary, she said, which meant a heftier schedule of commitments, including the BOEC’s 30th anniversary gala in Denver in June. Those take time away from running an event the magnitude of the Crest.
Last year the 11th annual Crest ” which features three races of varying distances, the longest being the 24.5-mile “marathon” ” drew nearly 400 people from across the country. It is considered by many to be one of the most difficult and scenic long-distance trail races in America. Two years ago, it made national news when an early season blizzard dropped 8 inches of snow on the Tenmile Range, with 40 mph winds, on the day of the race.
Marks said BOEC representatives alerted officials from the town of Breckenridge of their decision once it was final. Town recreation director Jill Wait, in turn, said town officials would have considered organizing the event and thus keeping it in existence, but they didn’t think they’d have enough time to do so this year.
“By the time we got the notification that they were not doing it, it was really too late to gear up in terms of securing the resources, sponsors and permits for an event of that caliber,” Wait said.
Wait added that the revenue brought in by the Crest over Labor Day Weekend makes it particularly valuable to the town, and a tough one to lose.
As for its future, Wait said she understood that the BOEC is now “out of the Breck Crest business.” Marks, however, said no such decision has been made.
“We would like to pick it up again,” Marks said. “It definitely was not a permanent canceling of the marathon. We just needed to take a break.”
Wait said running the Crest is on a “list of suggestions” the recreation department will bring to the town council when it comes time to sort out the 2007 budget.
Still, she wondered whether the event would have the same draw and potential for success if the BOEC were not behind it.
Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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