24 Hours of Sunlight

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 4, 2006      

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.”


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4 Responses to “24 Hours of Sunlight”

  1. Susie Kincade January 4th, 2006 11:22 pm

    Thanks for talking up the 24HOS, Lou. Something folks should know is that the event is a benefit for The Heuga Center for MS, a non-profit that provides programs and services for people living with multiple sclerosis. Living with MS makes their lives an endurance marathon every day. Imagine never knowing what limbs will work each day when you wake up! Then having to go on with life regardless.

    Some of us at The Heuga Center are putting together a VERY casual team. “Old And In The Way” (Jerry Garcia lives!) is our team name and tie-dyed shirts and knee braces are our uniforms. Seriously, though, we are getting in shape (6 weeks left!) and hope to go all 24 hours but will be happy if we manage 12. So folks should be aware that they don’t have to go all 24 hours if they’re not able to. Just get out there, give it your best shot, have fun and be awed and inspired by the greats like Greg Hill, Mike Marolt, Lou Dawson! It’s all for a great cause – helping people whose lives are a marathon every day.

    Thanks and see you there!

  2. Lou January 5th, 2006 5:37 am

    Thanks for the comment Susie, but please don’t lump me in the athletic catetory of Greg or Mike! It would take 4 of my lungs to equal either one of those guys.

    And yeah, fun teams will make it a fun time!

  3. Steve Romeo January 5th, 2006 8:18 am

    Hey Lou! Should be a fun (and painful) event. This will be the longest race I have ever entered. I’ve done Elk Mountain before and a couple 50 mile trail running events, but this will be the kicker. I have had a few 10-15,000 ft. days over the past few years, but I have been curious how close I could come to Greg’s achievements. Hope my ‘six pack challenge’ thing doesn’t bite me in the end. Oh well, it’s for a good cause anyway. Off to Whistler in the morning for some rando racing…Chow!

  4. mike marolt January 6th, 2006 10:00 am

    Lou: The great thing about this race is that you don’t have to agonize for24 hours if you don’t want to. Come out and support the Heuga Center and go for a personal best. 1 hour, 6 hours, 12, or 24; it doesn’t matter. Anyone can come out and go for a personal best. We will keep tabs on everyone so they can come back in the years to come to keep on trying to improve. The stage is huge, but it is all relative. So to everyone, come on out and support the Heuga Center; that is what this is all about. Take a run, have a beer, and dance the night away. Or try to keep Greg Hill in sight. But just get on out! And remember, people with MS don’t expect us to go out of our way to help them out. But when we do, they really appreciate the effort. Thanks, Mike Marolt

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