With two days left to go until the start of the 24 hours of Aspen ski race, the most grueling endurance ski race in history, the athletes are now up in Aspen squeezing in any last minute on-and off-snow training. For the first time in the 15-year tradition of the event, the athletes will compete as individuals instead of two-person teams. This new format has attracted a total of 16 world-class competitors from 7 different countries.
The 24 Hours of Aspen racecourse spans over 3,267 vertical feet from the top of Aspen Mountain to bottom, demanding an exceptional level of stamina, strength, and mental determination from each racer. From noon until noon the next day, the only break the racers receive is the 14-minute gondola ride between runs. Throughout the night, racers experience changing weather conditions, sleep deprivation, and bitter cold temperatures. Each lap covers 2.69 vertical miles.
This year Skiing Magazine will post live coverage on www.skiingmag.com during the full 24 hours of the event. The coverage will include interviews from the racers, live photos featured in our photo gallery, as well as the race logs and statistics from Skiing Magazine's own competitor, Lindsay Yaw.
Yaw, 25, grew up in Aspen as a member of the Aspen Ski Club, competing in several national and international alpine races each year. Over the past few months, Yaw has been following a demanding physical fitness program to prepare for the level of strength and endurance necessary over the 24-hour period. Yaw's brother, Fletcher Yaw will be joining her in the fight for the title of the "Worlds Toughest Skier."
The website coverage of the event will include a link to Skiing Magazine's Vertical Team, a new program developed by Skiing Magazine and Suunto Sports. During the race, Yaw will be wearing the Suunto S6 altimeter watch. Once her data is downloaded, you can access Yaw's vertical speed, altitude, slope angle, as well as her total runs skied. To log your own vertical, sign up for access to this site from the Suunto Sports link posted on Skiingmag.com's homepage.
The event is scheduled to begin with the opening ceremonies at 11:25 the morning of Sunday December 15th.