Anyone looking for a challenge, or two in this case, is invited to the 9th Annual Liberty Bank Sunrise to Summit and Bend to Bachelor Duathlon on Saturday, September 2.
This annual race starts at the Sunrise Lodge and climbs 2,700 feet to finish at the summit of Mt. Bachelor.
All of the participants will follow an open route to the top of the Sunrise Chair where they can then choose to run or hike as they follow the specified trail to the summit.
“It can be very difficult and you get no let up,” said Chuck Kenlan, the executive director of the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF). “You gain 2,700 feet in elevation in only three miles,” he added.
Despite the level of difficulty, the race attracts people from all walks of life. “We have young children, older folks… people of all shapes, ages and sizes competing,” Kenlan said.
He says beyond the race itself, it is simply an enjoyable day enjoying nature. “It’s a chance to get up to the summit of the mountain, relax as they ride the chair lift back down and enjoy the camaraderie of the competition,” he said.
The duathlon is a new element of the popular event that benefits the MBSEF.
Kenlan says the idea actually came from a manager at Mt. Bachelor. “He said make it really hard. Make them ride their bikes up first and then climb to the summit.”
It was a challenge MBSEF thought could make things more interesting and thus the Bend to Bachelor Duathlon was born.
An hour before the runners begin their trek up Mt. Bachelor, cyclists will be riding from Cascades Middle School up to Sunrise Lodge where they will then run to the summit.
“You ride your bike 20 miles,” Kenlan said. “The real challenge is to come off your bike and run. This can be especially difficult because you are riding up the hill,” he added.
For those who want to share the responsibility, people have the option of doing it as a relay.
Sunrise to Summit cost $30, Bend to Bachelor Duathlon cost $45 and for those who choose the relay option, it is $50 to participate.
For those ready to take the challenge, he says there will be aid stations and refreshments at the top of the summit, but it’s important to remember to bring sunscreen and warm clothes since it can get cold at the finish line.
“It’s just a lot of fun and it’s unique,” Kenlan said. “There aren’t a lot of other events like it in the northwest and it’s such a beautiful setting.”
The event also helps a good cause, the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation. It is the leading Northwest sports training organization dedicated to promoting positive core values for Central Oregon youth.
It is sponsored by LibertyBank, Mt. Bachelor, Rebound Physical Therapy, the FootZone, Deschutes Brewery, Contemporary Family Dentistry, Pepsi and Clear 101.7.
For more information call MBSEF at 388-0002.
Bend Weekly Newslink: www.mbsef.org