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World records mark 24 Hours of Sunlight

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Members of the Skin-Knee-Dipping Mamas 5-person race team, of Glenwood Springs, head up the mountain, sending their teammate off for another lap Sunday, during the third annual 24-Hours of Sunlight. (Kelley Cox/Post Independent)
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GLENWOOD SPRING ” Why would so many people, on a late-winter weekend, choose to hike up a mountain and ski back down, time and again during a 24-hour period, and seemingly have a good time while engaged in such an activity?

Well that’s what happened this past weekend during the 24 Hours of Sunlight race held Saturday and Sunday at Sunlight Mountain Resort outside Glenwood Springs.

Nancy Reinisch, whose team came out on top in the women’s masters division, said it was a long day.

“I’m tired, but it was a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a great way to get together with the girls on the weekend.”

If fun was indeed the order of the day (and night), then Eric Sullivan of Crested Butte and Molly Zurn of Reno, Nev., might have gotten the most enjoyment out of this year’s version of the race.Sullivan and Zurn both set new world records for vertical feet covered in a 24-hour skiing endurance event.

Sullivan completed 34 laps of the 1-mile, 1,898-foot course, which equates to 51,068 feet total.

Zurn logged 22 laps, which gave her just over 33,000 feet of coverage.

Zurn, who seemed to still have way too much energy for someone who had just accomplished such a strenuous feat, had some definite goals in mind coming into the race.

“I wanted to try and get past 30,000 feet, which was the old record,” Zurn said. “I felt pretty good for most of the race, but my quads started to give out on me about the 20th lap. I just wanted to stay ahead of Polly. She goes forever.”

Zurn did manage to stay ahead of Polly ” Polly McLean, that is, who came in as the ladies runner-up with a stellar performance of her own, completing 20 laps.

Elizabeth Schulte turned in a 17-lap effort for third place in the women’s division.

Following Sullivan in the men’s solo event was Glenwood’s Bobby Lowe. Lowe completed 28 laps of the course, and tipped his hat to Sullivan, who is a super-hero of sorts in this event.

“I’m pretty exhausted now, but I felt great during the race,” Lowe said. “Eric [Sullivan] is in a league of his own, though.”

Brian Johnson of Aspen, who recorded the fastest one-lap time of the day for solo competitors, came in third for the men. This year’s winning team effort came from the Structural Associates, a four-person squad comprised of Mike Simpson, Greg Albrecht, Mark Beardsley and Brian Edmiston. The group completed 41 laps to earn the team title.

In spite of the amount of energy expended in the past 24 hours, there were smiles all around at the awards ceremony, especially on the faces of race directors Mary Kenyon and Dylan Lewis.

“One hundred percent pleased with things,” Lewis said. “We had 100 more racers than last year, and the weather was nice and warm.”

With the event complete, many of the participants got together to share stories and bask in the feeling of accomplishment that comes from the completion of an endurance event. Hot showers, hot (or cold) drinks, sore muscles, and how one would fare at work Monday, were all topics of conversation.

Many already were talking about next year’s event.

For complete race results in all divisions, go to 24hoursofsunlight.org.

” 1. Eric Sullivan, 34; 2. Bobby Lowe, 28; 3. Brian Johnson, 27; 4. Dominic Muth, 25; 5. John Coulter, 24; 6. Dennis Webb, 20; 7. Tucker Thole, 17; 8. Franklin McSwain, 16; 9. Scott Nelson, 16; 10. Joshua Duffus, 13; 11. Harlan Nimmo, 13; 12. Roger Mankus, 12; 13. Joe Fortin, 11; 14. Charlie Moore, 9. ” 1. Molly Zurn, 22; 2. Polly McLean, 20; 3. Elizabeth Schulte, 17; 4. Joy Schneiter, 17; 5. Eileen Wysocki, 16; 6. Jasmine Pierce, 15; 7. Jill Goudie, 15; 8. Andrea Arnhold, 15; 9. Helen Benson, 11; 10. Mary Stewart, 11; 11. Ashley Eaton, 11.

1. Structural Associates, 41 (Mike Simpson, Greg Albrecht, Mark Beardsley, Brian Edmiston); 2. Flippin’ Sweet Moves, 38 (Dave Weidemann, Tim Gay, Mike McCoy, Mike Schneiter); 3. Future Ski Bums of America, 36 (Jason Caudill, Mikie Eaton, Louis Dawson, Luke Caudill); 4. Supersonic Lunar Lovers, 33 (John Patrick, Mark Feinsinger, Heidi Vosbeck, Brion After, Ryan Langdon); 5. Green Mtn. Sports, 33 (Cody O’Neil, Lance Sulzen, Ray Hughes, Joe Drobnitch).


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