2017 Imperial Challenge

A couple months ago, Joe and I read an article about a crazy race in Breckenridge that takes place every year on closing weekend. It’s a psuedo-triathlon that goes like this:

Leg 1: Run or bike 10K from town to the base of the mountain

Leg 2: Skin, snowshoe, boot pack up to the top of Imperial bowl which has the highest chairlift in North America/ sits just shy of 13,000 feet.

Leg 3: Ski/snowboard back down to the base

After reading about this insanity, Joe and I decided we had to give it a try this year!

We got to Breckenridge on Friday night, had a solid pasta dinner and got in bed early so we would be well rested for the race.

Race morning we drove with our gear to the base of Peak 8 and set up our boards etc. in the transition area. Then we headed down to the start line to pick up our numbers and get ready to run! IMG_0467[1]

We made some furry friends on the way who came to the race start to cheer us on 🙂

Joe and I chose to run instead of bike (another crazy decision), so we were in a smaller wave of people that start first. Most people choose to bike over running….the run is not easy….IMG_1437[1]

The first half mile was flat, but then it just climbed….and climbed….and climbed. We had to walk a couple of the big hills, but managed to finish the run in an hour flat.

Then it was time to transition and start climbing up the mountain. The next couple hours were absolutely brutal. But we pushed through and powered up hill. IMG_1439[1]IMG_1445[1]

When we neared the top it got too steep to continue skinning, so we put our boards together, strapped them on our backs and hiked the rest of the way to the tippy-top.IMG_0490[1]

Finally it was time for the fun part of riding back down to the base. My legs were absolute jello at this point, but it felt so good to be done with the climb portion.

We made it down to the finish line in 3 hours 50 minutes….time to relax a little and then check out the awards ceremony….to my total surprise I got third place!!! Joe came in 11th for the men! It was pretty cool to be up on a podium my first time ever doing a race like this….definitely a cool medal too! IMG_1452[1]IMG_1450[1]IMG_1455[1]

Joe and I celebrated with another night in the mountains, good food and beer, and well deserved night of sleep.

It was one of the hardest, but most awesome experiences I’ve ever had….and I can’t wait to do it again next year!! IMG_1460[1]IMG_0491[1]

Have you ever done a ski-mo race?

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