24 Hours of Sunlight is only 43 days away, are you ready? I’m not, but I’ll do it no matter what provided I can get a casual team together and don’t get sick (at least not before the event — what happens during is an open question.)
In case you haven’t heard, 24HOS is an uphill/downhill race at Sunlight ski resort in central Colorado. The idea is to ski up and down as many times as possible in 24 hours. The event is designed to benefit the Heuga Center for people with MS.
A number of 24HOS solo racers are going for a Guiness Book of World Records, as will be some of the teams. Other skiers have entered for the fun and fellowship (that’s my approach, so I don’t invoke any overuse knee problems).
I can’t wait to see how far our amazing uphillers can ski up and down in 24 hours. Greg Hill is the man to beat, as he’s been establishing well known markers the past few years, and is a talented randonnee racer. Who knows who other among North America’s endurance athletes will show up, but it’s sure to be interesting.
For a take on this sort of thing I spoke with 100 mile race and Everest climb veteran Neal Beidleman. “I’m not sure yet if I’m doing the race,” said Neal, “those sorts of things are brutal…it gets pretty serious when you do that much physical activity and go without sleep and all that…it takes a long time to recover.”
Neal is one of the more talented endurance athletes out there, plus he’s an excellent skier. Perhaps he’s just psyching out the competition? We shall see.
One thing is certain: the moderately angled course at Sunlight will lend itself to lighter weight ski gear. Endurance racers familiar with using nordic gear for this sort of thing should find such to work well. If you’re used to up/down racing on heavier duty equipment, find and use the lightest weight rig you feel comfortable with. I’ll probably use my Scarpa F1 boots, Dynafit bindings, mohair climbing skins and the lightest shortest skis I can find.
I encourage anyone, potential spectator or participant, to come enjoy the inaugural of this unique event. It’s sure to be entertaining, or as their website says, “proof that you don’t have to have fun, to have fun.”