McLean, VA, Nov. 12, 2001--The Audi 24 Hours of Aspen, indisputably regarded as THE World Championships of Endurance Skiing, will take place Dec. 9-10, 2001 on Aspen Mountain. The international field of 10 teams represents Aspen, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States. The teams of two will ski for 24 continuous hours, competing for the title of "World's Toughest Skiers", $20,000 in prize money, and raising funds for charity.
A mix of new racers and returning veterans make up this year's teams. "It should be a very competitive race," said Killeen Brettmann of Aspen Skiing Company. "We have the defending champions, some experienced 24 Hour racers, and some strong newcomers who promise to challenge the titleholders."
Deemed the "24 Hours of Pain," the event forces racers to struggle not only with the challenges of the mountain, but also with intense fatigue, bitter cold, sleep deprivation, changing weather conditions and a battle to stay acutely alert. Their only rest is on the 14-minute gondola ride to the summit.
To date, the event has raised more than $3 million for a number of different charities. This year the event will benefit Challenge Aspen, the Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club Scholarship Program, and the Jazz Aspen/Snowmass Roaring Fork Valley In-School Music Initiative.
More than 800 community members volunteer for this charity event. Volunteers are responsible for everything from "catching" racers and giving them massages in the gondola to tuning racers' skis and cooking pasta through the day and night. If you are interested in volunteering, contact 970.923.0500. Event organizers are also collecting donations of towels and blankets-call Lee Bryant at 970.963.1805.
Aspen Men (U.S.): Matt Ross and Fletcher Yaw
Australia: Steven Lee and Alister Guss
Austria: Markus Wittner and Roman Hofer
Canada Women: Aleisha Cline and Anik Demers
Germany: Martin Fiala and Christian Deisenboeck
New Zealand: Richard Hanson and Nigel Gardiner
Slovakia: Peter Garaj and Marek Garaj
Switzerland: Arno Hoenicke and Robert Moze
United States Men: Chris Anthony and Eric Archer
United States Women: Noel Lyons-McMenamy and Andi Bither
The event will be televised on ESPN on January 1 at 3 p.m. EST. For race information, racer bios, and continuous event coverage visit www.24HoursofAspen.com.
For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please contact: www.aspensnowmass.com