Inaugural four-race season in New England & New York blends natural challenges, local environmental commitments and exhilarating summit finishes
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) — A new kind of race for runners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the O2X Summit Challenge Series (www.O2X.com) will debut on Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush Resort on September 13-14, 2014.
A mountain running experience that blends trail running and creative natural challenges with a summit finish, the O2X Summit Challenge at Sugarbush will feature two distinct race courses – a Single Diamond route gaining 1,000 net vertical feet, and a Double Diamond route gaining 2,000 vertical feet. The course routes will blend single-track trails, access roads, glades and open slopes, and will be unveiled 90 days prior to the race start.
“O2X Summit Challenges are crafted mountain experiences that are fundamentally different from simple uphill running races,” said Gabriel Gomez, co-founder of O2X Summit Challenges. “We’ve worked with local mountain managers and national performance experts to create challenging and enjoyable adventures for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.”
The launch venue of Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen (4,083 feet) is one of four peaks in Vermont over 4,000 feet, and is known for spectacular summit views, proximity to the Long Trail, and a colorful history of year-round alpine adventure.
At the Mt. Ellen O2X Summit Challenge – as with all O2X events – a weekend-long “BaseCamp” will blend on-site camping, scheduled nature hikes for friends and spectators, training-and-performance exhibits, and a farmer’s market-inspired gathering of local fare. It will also include a first-of-a-kind “remediation commitment” from race organizers to leave each venue better than they found it, and the introduction of an innovative partnership with 1% for the Planet (www.onepercentfortheplanet.org), a spotlight advocacy partner of O2X Summit Challenges.
“We are very excited to bring the debut event of O2X Summit Challenges to Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley. The combination of an enjoyable outdoor adventure, a strong environmental commitment, and a casual setting for friends and spectators is a perfect addition to our year-round calendar of events,” said Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort (www.sugarbush.com)
Founded by three former Navy SEALs (Gomez, Adam La Reau, and Paul McCullough) and a recovering attorney (Craig Coffey), O2X Summit Challenges are centered on the core belief that natural terrain is both the most challenging and the most beneficial for athletic performance – a near-vertical hill for strength, a fallen tree for balance or a rock field for dexterity.
The course concepts were refined with the input of the O2X performance advisory board, a group that includes an elite Paralympic athlete, a professional sport nutritionist, a professional sport science expert and an Olympic trainer.
Designed to provide a healthy challenge for a variety of fitness levels, from weekend hikers to elite trail runner, every O2X race venue will showcase unique, unexpected and memorable features of the host mountain, and will conclude with an exhilarating summit finish.
“Whether you’re in the Himalayas or the Green Mountains, the reality is that nothing is more satisfying than overcoming a physical and mental challenge at the summit of a mountain. That experience, that sensation, and that feeling is what we’re trying to give everybody at the O2X Summit Challenge Series,” added Gomez.
The registration fee of $120 per event includes parking, insurance, processing fees and bag drop. Camping is the sole option, with a $60/night charge for a four-person tent rental ($15/camper), or a $30/night charge for campsite only.
The 2014 O2X Summit Challenge calendar includes events at Sugarbush, Vermont (Sept. 13-14), Sunday River, Maine (Sept. 27-28), Loon Mountain, NH (Oct. 18-19) and Windham NY (Oct. 25-26).