Sunlight Endurance Challenge – 2010

Post by blogger | February 28, 2010      

Following is a chrono-blog of yesterday’s Sunlight Endurance Challenge 12 hour up/down ski race. Start with the bottom section and read up.

Done, Hagen just passed through and is on his 20th lap for the overall solo win. Eva Hagen will take women’s solo with 15 laps.

12 hr format was nice. I liked 24 because it was so brutal, but a bit less brutality is perhaps a good thing. For example, contenders didn’t end up in the hospital, and doing support was much much easier than keeping it going for a full 24. On the other hand, 24 is just so terrific as a truly challenging athletic event, deep down I hope it comes back.


Evening update: Polly is done with her attempt at women’s solo, 10 laps. Eva Hagen leads the ladies, with 13 laps. She says she’s from Austria, living in Colorado. Why am I not surprised? Michael Hagen leads the men solo, Eva and Michael are spouses. Billy Laird still second solo. 1 1/2 hours to go.


Afternoon update: It’s too bad the realtime results are not online the way they used to be during the 24 Hrs years. I know many of you out in blogland used to enjoy watching those and reading the chrnoblog. Oh well, perhaps next year.

Hagen is still schooling the other guys, with Billy Laird on his tail. Polly is 5th solo woman and a podium for her will only happen if someone ahead of her for some reason has to stop racing. She’s tough and could go the distance, but. So she’s trying to strategize how much she want’s to suffer for the next 3 hours. Glenwood Hot Springs is tempting.

Billy Laird

Billy Laird is chasing Hagen, we're calling Billy the pit bull.


Socks drying in the daylodge -- yet another use for duct tape. Looks and smells like a refuge camp in here.


The famed 24 hours of Sunlight up/down ski race morphed this year into a 12 hour sprint they’re calling the Sunlight Endurance Challenge (defunct link removed 2015). The scene here today is much similar to previous years. Lisa is here supporting Polly Samuels McLean, I’m blogging and helping a bit with support. Daylodge full of camped out support folks and racers, staging area outside with support tables and the timing tent. Spirited competitors and their helpers running through the tent, swapping gear, then starting their next march up the hill, and their next, and so on. Let’s just say most of these guys put their music players to good use. A few photos, and I’ll update later.

Michael Hagen

Michael Hagen leads at the moment (around noon), he's x Army Green Beret, in his 40s, seems like his mission is to keep the younger guys moving.

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is our perennial favorite, he was one off the podium last time I looked. He'd be first or second, but took a beater fall on one of his laps. According to Brian 'I hit some soft snow and did a Bode.'

Outside staging area.

Outside staging area.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


28 Responses to “Sunlight Endurance Challenge – 2010”

  1. Njord February 28th, 2010 11:20 pm

    Interestingly enough it’s 12 hours because some less than honorable folks are holding the “24 hours of Sunlight” name/trademark hostage for money…

  2. Wick March 1st, 2010 1:47 am

    Go Pit Bull!…he’s a charger!

  3. LokiSeth March 1st, 2010 7:19 am

    I believe Michael Hagan imports lightweight Hagan Skis into the US. Hagan is proonounced “Ha-Gone'” emphasis on the “gone” part. In this case Michael “ha-gone” faster than hagandaz, a sluggish New Jersey ice-cream firm. Congratz! Must be good skis!!!

  4. Dylan March 1st, 2010 8:29 am

    We said we would forgive Real Time Marketing’s debt to us if they gave us the 24 Hours of Sunlight name. But, just like everyone else that supported the 24 Hour race, our phone calls were not returned…

  5. L. Knight March 1st, 2010 9:07 am

    Congrats Dylan on a successful 12 Hours of Xunlight!

  6. Lou March 1st, 2010 9:53 am

    Anyone know where the results are online? I’m lost.

  7. Martin March 1st, 2010 9:57 am

    I don’t know how light Hagan skis are but if you’re really looking for light skis, visit this website (sorry it’s in Italian) –

    These skis are made in carbon fiber – I use Dynastar Ultraplume and these babies weigh half as much as mine.

  8. Sunglass Camera Girl March 1st, 2010 10:29 am

    What a wonderful event!

  9. Matt March 1st, 2010 10:40 am

    I wonder why they don’t have some sort of rando racing at the Olympics. Could call it Alpine Combined.

  10. ScottN March 1st, 2010 12:13 pm

    Congrats to all the racers! Anyone know where you can find Hagan skis, like the ones Michael has in the above picture? Just looking for an alternative to the nice but pricey Trabs.

  11. Dylan March 1st, 2010 12:22 pm

    Thanks Lou! We had really great event event and we’ll post results on our website this afternoon.

  12. Dylan March 1st, 2010 1:37 pm

    Here’s the direct link to the results…

    The 4-Person Firedrill results will be posted soon…

  13. Stacie & Matt Borg March 1st, 2010 2:24 pm

    Go Pit Bull aka Billy! WTG! Love,
    Stacie and Matt Borg

  14. Dylan March 1st, 2010 2:50 pm

    Firedrill results posted…

  15. Eva Hagen March 1st, 2010 4:12 pm

    We never got our prize money from last year, (24 Hours of Sunlight) after attempting to contact them a couple of times.

    Dylan, great race, fantastic job yesterday.! Thank you for the opportunity to race.

    Sorry, I was feeling quite ill to tell you so in person.( after the race)

    Lou, by the way I did 15 laps.

  16. Michael Hagen March 1st, 2010 7:00 pm

    Lou, Thanks for the coverage of the Endurance Challenge. Dylan, thanks to you and your volunteers for a wonderful event. Extremely well run and very much “fun”.

    Eva and I are still trying to decide what was harder, the 24 Hours of Sunlight, which we did last year as a duo team, or the Endurance Challenge, which we did solo. Neither of us are night owls, so the midnight to 5:00 a.m. stretch of the 24 Hours was a real struggle. Probably hardest was the on/off nature of alternating laps. Going hard for ~40 minutes, cooling down, then repeating over and over really seemed to mess up our systems.

    The continuous nature of solo 12 hours seemed to fit our nature better. I am a little more used to that, having done several Ironman races. Still, after 10 hours, I was in new territory, and this was Eva’s longest race by a long shot.

    I think I was more exhausted after the race yesterday than I was after the 24 Hours. And judging by both Eva and my aching muscles and upset stomachs, we were hurting more after the continuous 12 hours. I do know I was exhausted after my last lap. Lou, you and some others may wish for the return of 24 Hours, but I must say that for me, 12 was plenty!

    ScottN – there are a few shops in Colorado that carry Hagan skis. Contact me at and I can tell you the closest. I just started importing them last year. Hopefully they will be more widely available next season. I’m doing the classic, “Turning a hobby into a money-losing business” routine. I knew it would be a lot of work, but it is both more work, and slower progress, that I hoped.

    Martin – The Hagan X-Races are 790 grams. There are lighter skis; but in my completely biased opinion, Hagan offers a mix of lightness, durability, performance and price that is hard to beat.

    Oh, SEALs don’t ski! I was an Army Green Beret, in the 10th Special Forces Group. That is where I first learned to ski tour many years ago.

  17. Lou March 1st, 2010 7:37 pm

    Thanks Eva, I’ll correct. Good job.

  18. Dylan March 1st, 2010 7:48 pm

    Eva- Checks go out tomorrow. I’m sorry to hear about your prize money from last year. Unfortunately, Sunlight is also on the list of people/organizations that Real Time Marketing/Mary Kenyon owe. You and Michael are truly incredible athletes.

  19. Lou March 1st, 2010 7:55 pm

    Michael, thanks for posting, and thanks for the great race you ran. Sorry about referencing SEAL, I’ll change.

  20. Kara Diamond-Husmann March 2nd, 2010 1:00 am

    The Husdoggers had another great year!!! Thanks Dylan for taking it up! I was so so so so sad when I heard that 24 hr Sunlight was done. My husband and I do it every year together as he is a biker and I am a marathon runner, one event we do together!!!!! We loved it this year! You did a great job! (we were the late arriver’s at the Ramada Inn and then I was the one that needed the t-shirts before your award ceremony). You were so awesome and went and got them for us!!!!!! You don’t know that I kept telling all your support that I need the t-shirts!!! I have every year 24 hour long sleeve shirt and wear them every night!!! Thanks for the new one!!! We loved the race this year you did an excellent job!!!!! Kara Diamond-HUsmann 🙂

  21. Nepo March 2nd, 2010 3:37 am

    Hey Lou,

    check out,
    a 24h rando race in Austria that just took place last weekend.
    The results are amazing, the winner did 33 laps equalling aprox 16760 vertical meters – still not the world record. Support and organisation was outstanding.

    Cheers from Europ!

  22. Lou March 2nd, 2010 7:22 am

    Nice Nepo! That Austrian race would be a great thing for WildSnow to cover next season!

  23. Dave-Moe March 2nd, 2010 8:12 am

    Rando has 2pair 2010-11 Hagan race ski’s in stock, awesome prices! for wieght compared to other brands costing twice as much!, and quality is second to none. Mounted a pair for myself and pleasently surprised how good binding screws bite.

  24. Eva Hagen March 2nd, 2010 8:45 am

    Dylan, thank you.

    You did an incredible job organizing the race. I truly feel fortunate to have had the chance to compete in your event. Will certainly be back. Fanatic race!!

    Thank you Lou, for taking the time to correct the the amount of laps I did.



    To all of, you many happy tours and tracks.

  25. Michael Hagen March 2nd, 2010 10:52 am

    Lou, No worries on Seal versus Green Beret. Just like there is a friendly rivalry between the Army and Navy, within Special Operations there is a rivalry between the Seals and Army Special Forces. I do have to thank my Special Forces training for introducing me to ski touring. I was fortunate to be in 10th Special Forces group, where skiing a couple weeks a year was part of the job description! (Overnighting at -41 degrees was also part of the job description on a couple occasions, but you give and you get.)

    You would enjoy the Gastein 24 Hour race. It is “right around the valley” from Eva’s hometown. Her brother did it a couple years ago – took second. Must be the genes.

    One difference that could make for some interesting discussion is that in the Austrian 24 and 12 hour ski touring races (that I know of), the skiers put their own skins back on at the bottom. Their support crew helps with food and drink, etc. but can’t do the skins for them. You could argue that is more true to the nature of a “solo” race. On the other hand, allowing the crew to help with the skins makes it a real “team” race, a la NASCAR. Our “crew chief”, Jocke, did a great job in the pit. He was outstanding and was very much part of our race. I really appreciated his help and feedback every lap.

  26. Lou March 2nd, 2010 11:14 am

    Michael, thanks for your comments! Yeah, I really like the way Sunlight has evolved to being the team thing at the bottom. But I could see the point of the athletes re-skinning themselves. That would make it exciting for the announcer when two racers came in at the same time and tried to get out the chute ahead of each other.

    Speaking of which, my only suggestion with 12-hours was that we find some volunteers to help the announcer talk about each racer as they come in or leave. That would make it much more fun for the spectators.

  27. Polly March 3rd, 2010 11:26 pm

    Thanks Lisa and Lou for another year of fantastic support. It was fun as always. Looks like third place for the women’s solo got interesting right at the end with a close finish.

  28. Mike Gibbs March 4th, 2010 8:04 pm

    Dylan, great race. The 4 Skinners (all die hard 24 hour mountain bike relay racers) loved the 12 hour format. It made for a great vibe in the lodge, everyone together hanging out as opposed to tucked away in their individual condo units. We’ll be back. Kudos to Michael Hagan, not only is he tough as nails but a trully nice guy to boot. I caught him on his last climb up the steep pitch (he had only done 14 more laps than me) and he powered up right behind me. Then had the clarity and fitness to make casual chit chat as we cruised to the top. Again great race, well run and tons of fun.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version