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Steepest Race at Alyeska Allows Athletes to Achieve Denali Vertical in Ten Hours
August 1, 2011 (Girdwood, Alaska) The North Face Vertical Challenge Climb-A-Thon will take place on September 10, 2011. Alpine runners from all over Alaska will have ten hours to hike The North Face Trail starting from the Tram Base as many times as possible from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. with registration beginning at 8:00 A.M.
The fourth running of the event is held on the two mile trail which boasts a 2,200 vertical foot gain, multiple switch backs, and brilliant views of the Girdwood Valley, making North Face Trail an Alaskan classic.
“Timing is everything,” says Race Coordinator and Alyeska Resort Mountain Service Manager Brian Burnett, “you need to know where the Tram is in relation to your climb so you don’t waste time at the top waiting for a ride down.”
The record number of laps for this event stands at 12, which was achieved by Clint McCool of Anchorage in 2010. This equates to 26,400 vertical feet which is higher than most of the Himalayan Mountains. To gain such vertical in a relatively short time athletes need to be well conditioned, strong-willed and have a proven hydration strategy.
The summer climb-a-thon is a complement to the winter ski-a-thon which is typically held in March. Athlete’s shuttle up the tram and ski as many runs down North Face as possible between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Given such fast lap times, skiers and snowboarders can rack up between 20 and 30 runs in the allotted time, equaling anywhere between 50,000 and 66,000 vertical feet of skiing in a single day.
Participants of all fitness levels are encouraged to register for the Vertical Challenge Climb-a-thon. The entry fee is $20 in advance per participant and $30 on race day. Racers will meet at the Alyeska Aerial Tram at 8:00 A.M. on the day of the race and registration will stop at 8:45 A.M. This event is presented by Alaska Mountain Runners.
About Alyeska Resort (www.AlyeskaResort.com)
Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier year-round destination featuring The Hotel Alyeska, an award-winning 304 room full-service property. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is your base camp for summer and winter excursions. Alyeska Resort stands out during ski season with 650” of average snowfall annually and the longest-continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. Learn more about the resort and plan your Alaskan adventure at www.AlyeskaResort.com or 800.880.3880.