IMPERIAL CHALLENGE April 21, 2018

GENERAL INFORMATION and CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

The IMPERIAL CHALLENGE April 21, 2018. If you’re looking for a tough honest challenge with a low-key community vibe then you’ve come to the right place.  Entering its 27th year, The Imperial Challenge helps commemorate springtime in Breckenridge.

What is it?
The Imperial Challenge is a pseudo triathlon.
The Imperial Challenge is a rite of spring.
The Imperial Challenge is a party.
The Imperial Challenge is what you make of it.
The Imperial Challenge is fun!

Click these links for photos from past years! Thank you Climbbetty!
2017
2016
2015
2014

CATEGORIES
Retro Open (also know as the Doc PJ Category)
When the Imperial Challenge first began everyone rode their bikes with their ski gear strapped on. Doc PJ has never done it any other way! While most competitors use the Gear Drop Off option, we maintain tradition with the Retro Open Women and Retro Open Men Categories. Competitors pedal with ALL their uphill and downhill gear. It is NOT necessary to pedal with ski boots on but you must bring boots with you on the bike. Awards will be presented to the Top 3 Males and Top 3 Females. Retro Open Starts at 10:00 with the Age Division Categories and are factored into the Overall.

Age Divisions-19 & Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ in both Male and Female
Age Division competitors are on BIKES for the first portion. This category is designed for those intending to compete in their age group and for the Overall. See the Gear Drop off section for details on that component. Most competitors in these categories go uphill on lightweight SkiMo setups (although that is NOT a requirement). Age Division racers start at 10:00 and typically produce the fastest times in the event. The first place in each Age Division, with the Overall Top 3 removed, will be recognized.

Heavy Metal/Rec Open-(Skis required) 
Over the years we’ve received feedback that the event has gotten super competitive (not necessarily a bad thing)! This is due to the introduction of lightweight SkiMo gear and basic human evolution…people just keep getting faster, more fit…you know the drill.
The Imperial Challenge is for EVERYONE, regardless of what type of equipment you may choose or how much fitness you possess. So we’ve created a category that hearkens back to the good old days when the Imperial Challenge was more participatory…that is…it just didn’t matter how fast you were. You just wanted to be out there.
If that describes you then you may wish to consider Heavy Metal/Rec Open Men and Heavy Metal/Rec Open Women. This is for those that don’t want to worry about making the cut-off time (this category starts at 9:15), have a heavy set-up, just wanna have fun…you get the picture.
*To be clear, you may compete in this category on lightweight equipment. You see, Heavy Metal/Rec Open is as much about your attitude as it is the equipment you’re using. That said, sandbagging is strongly discouraged and will be punishable by public shaming!
Heavy Metal/Rec Open Starts at 9:15am
We will recognize the Top 3 Males and Top 3 Females.

Splitboard
New in 2018 we have created a Splitboard category! This is NOT for all snowboarders…see next section. Splitboarders start at 9:15am. We will recognize the Top 3 Males and Top 3 Females

Snowboard
Recognizing that not all snowboarders own a Splitboard we have also created a Snowboard category. This is for those that will ascend on Snowshoes, or by some other means. Awards to the Top 3 Males and Top 3 Females. Snowboarders start at 9:15am

Runners
Perhaps the most hard core group that will be racing (no offense to anyone else)! Runners contest the exact same course as everyone else and will run the section that everyone else will ride. This is a 6 mile section…essentially a 10K.
Runners will start at 9:15 and we will recognize he Top 3 Males and Top 3 Females

REGISTRATION

ENTRY FEE:
$55

ENTRY INCLUDES:
Athlete Gift sponsored by Mountain Outfitters
Discounted menu items at the T-Bar, base of Peak 8
Free Beer with your number plate at the T-Bar, base of Peak 8

THERE ARE 4 WAYS TO REGISTER:
1. Pre-register online at  through Thursday April 19 until 11:00pm Mountain Time

2.  Pre-register for $55 any day during business hours, through Thursday April 19, at Mountain Outfitters, 112 S. Ridge St. Breckenridge,  CASH OR CHECK ONLY

3. Register for $55 in-store at Mountain Outfitters, on Friday April 20, from 4-6pm 112 S. Ridge St. Breckenridge,  CASH OR CHECK ONLY
REGISTRATION IS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM 4-6pm ON FRIDAY…NOTHING DURING THE DAY!

4. Register for $60 on Race Day, beginning at 8:00am, at the Rec Center. CASH OR CHECK ONLY

PACKET PICK-UP 
Friday, April 20, from 4-6pm at Mountain Outfitters.
Packet pick-up will also be at the Breckenridge Recreation Center on race day beginning at 8:00 am.  This is also the Race Start location.
Last chance registration is on Race Day at the Breck Rec Center right up until start time…$5 day-of fee.

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING

DIRECTIONS to AM REGISTRATION at REC CENTER/START LINE:
From I-70 take Highway 9 south to Breckenridge
Turn right at Valley Brook Road (1/4 mile before 7-11)
At stop sign turn left onto Airport Road.
Take second left into Rec Center parking lot.
PLEASE PARK IN SOUTHERNMOST SPACES!

TO TRANSITION ZONE AND EVENTUAL FINISH LINE, BASE PEAK 8
Please consider parking at the Gondola Lot and using the riding the Free Gondola to the base of Peak 8 for gear drop-off…

From the Rec Center to the base Peak 8 TO DROP OFF EQUIPMENT starting at 8:00.
Turn left out of Rec Center parking lot onto Airport Rd.
Turn right at light onto S. Park Ave.
Take right at next light onto Ski Hill Rd.
Take Ski Hill Road to Peak 8 Base Area.
Continue just past gondola and turn left into 15 minute Drop Off area.

OTHER PARKING$12 GONDOLA LOT $7 with 4 occupants(will require short bike ride to start but allows for easy car access via FREE Gondola after the race)
From Rec Center, turn left out of Rec Center parking lot onto Airport Rd.
Turn right at light onto Park Ave.
Take Left onto Watson Ave and immediate right into Gondola Paid Parking Lot.

If you plan on hanging out at the Base of Peak 8 after 2:00 then please plan on bringing a lock for your bike.  Bike Security will be staffed until 2:00pm.  From then on your gear will be unattended!

PART 1 - GEAR DROP-OFF

GENERAL
PLEASE USE THE FREE GONDOLA, BEGINNING AT 8:00, NO MATTER WHERE YOU PARK FOR THE DAY. The Gondola is approximately a 7 minute ride each direction. This is without a doubt the most hassle-free option for Gear Drop-off.
The Transition area will be on the Patio at Crystal Peak Lodge adjacent to the Peak 7 Gondola Station.

Option 1
Park at the Gondola Lot for $12 ($7 with 4 occupants)
Ride the Gondola, beginning at 8:00am, to the base of Peak 7 and drop off your Ascent/Descent gear.
Then download Gondola to parking area, hop on your bike and ride to the start at the Breck Rec Center.

Option 2
Beginning at 8:00am you may drive your vehicle to the base of Peak 7 and drop off your Ascent/Descent Gear…but space is limited.  Pull into the parking lot beneath the Gondola Station at Crystal Peak Lodge and be efficient with your time.
All Day Parking is NOT available at Peak 7.

FREE PARKING IS AVAILABLE AT THE BRECK REC CENTER.  PLEASE USE PARKING SPACES ON THE SOUTH END OF THE LOT!

Option 3
Register in the Retro Division!  Ride the Bike section with all of your gear and then you don’t have to use your car at all!

PART 2 - THE RIDE / THE RUN

Course Map
Imperial 18 full

START TIMES:

Runners, Heavy Metal/Rec Open, Splitboard and Snowboard Categories-9:15
Age Division Categories and Retro Open-10:00
HELMETS ARE MANDATORY FOR CYCLISTS DURING THE BIKE PORTION ONLY!
The first portion of the Imperial Challenge is a Bike or Run from the Breckenridge Recreation Center on Airport Road to the base of the Breckenridge Ski Resort via County Road 3.  The route is 6.2 miles and is on mostly dirt road.  Total Elevation gain of this section is 950′ with 450′ of descending for a net gain of 523′.
For cyclists…some choose Road Bikes, some choose Mountain Bikes.
Others choose Cross bikes.
Your choice doesn’t matter to us, but choose wisely. And remember 2009 when it snowed a foot the night before the race!

RUN DESCRIPTION
Runners will be led by a Town of Breck Police car north on Airport Road to the Upper Blue Elementary School.
At this point use the sidewalk on the east side of Airport Road
Stay on sidewalk all the way to Airport Road Storage
When sidewalk ends, merge onto Airport Road and stay on right side of road until you crest an obvious hill.
Cross Airport Road and prepare to make left onto Barton Road with Deputy Sheriff’s Assistance.
Bear Right at first major fork continuing on County Road 3 (Barton Road)
Ignore all minor roadways and continue on County Road 3.
Turn Right at intersection of County Road 3 and American Way.  This section of County Road 3 is also called Ski Hill Road.
Continue on County Road 3 (Ski Hill Road) to Crystal Peak Lodge
Turn right into Crystal Peak Lodge parking area.
Go through parking lot to staircase next to the Gondola
Run up the stairs to the patio and transition area
BIKE RIDE DESCRIPTION

Neutral Start format from Rec Center north on Airport Road.
Turn Left onto County Road 3 (Barton Road)
Bear Right at first major fork continuing on County Road 3 (Barton Road)
Ignore all minor roadways and continue on County Road 3.
Turn Right at intersection of County Road 3 and American Way.  This section of County Road 3 is also called Ski Hill Road.
Continue on County Road 3 (Ski Hill Road) to the base of Peak 7.
Go through parking lot to staircase next to the Gondola
Run up the stairs, WITH YOUR BIKE, to the patio and transition area

TRANSITION ZONE and BIKE SECURITY
At Registration you will receive a sticker with your race number.  This sticker is to be applied to your handlebars.  At the end of the race, your bib number is your claim check to get your bike back.  Numbers match and you’re good to go!  If you don’t want us handling your bike then have a support person of your own waiting for you and they can take the bike from you.
We will provide Bike Security until 2:00 pm.  After 2:00 we are no longer responsible for Bike Security.
If you think you may like to hang out past 2:00 then stage a lock in the Transition Zone in the AM and you can lock your bike after you finish.

PART 3 - THE ASCENT AND DESCENT


The choice of UPHILL gear generates the most discussion!  Factors including weight, comfort, transition times and performance are considered!
You will see racers on ultralight SkiMo gear.
Some choose telemark gear.
Others choose more traditional AT gear.
You’ll see splitboards and folks on snowshoes carrying gear in a backpack.
It doesn’t matter how you ascend as long as the stuff you’re descending on has metal edges. Running cleats, sleds, skate/classic nordic skis are not allowed.
*To be clear, Heavy Metal/Rec Open competitors may race on lightweight equipment.
Heavy Metal/Rec Open is as much about your attitude as it is the equipment you’re using. That said, sandbagging is strongly discouraged and will be punishable by public shaming!
Conversely, you may compete in the Age Divisions on Heavy Metal gear…just be mindful of the 12:30 cut-off at the top of the T-Bar.
COURSE DESCRIPTION-ASCENT/DESCENT PORTION
Climb Pioneer and turn left onto the Summer Road to bottom of T Bar.  Climb up T Bar lift line to top of T Bar.  Turn left and then immediate right up Imperial Ridge: the shoulder of Peak 8.  Continue climbing to very top of Peak 8 at 12987′ of elevation. Climb=3000’ of vertical gain.
(THERE IS A 12:30 TIME CUT OFF AT THE TOP OF THE T BAR. (BOTH BIKERS AND RUNNERS). ANYONE WHO THINKS THEY MAY NOT MAKE THIS CUTOFF SHOULD REGISTER IN THE HEAVY METAL/REC OPEN CATEGORY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXTRA 45 MINUTE HEAD START)
Descend Whales Tail, to Vertigo. The snow on Whale’s Tail and Vertigo is off-piste and variable.  At bottom of Vertigo, veer right onto Lower Forget Me Not toward T Bar.  Take left onto Pioneer Trail and finish just above base of the Independence SuperChair

 

THE AWARDS

Awards will be presented beginning at 1:30pm at the base of Peak 8
FOR THOSE RUNNING…
Overall Top 3 Men and Women RUN competitors will receive:
1st Place=First Place Medal
2nd Place=Second Place Medal
3rd Place=Third Place Medal

FOR THOSE CYCLING…
Overall Top 3 Men and Women BIKE competitors will receive:
1st Place = 2018/19 Breckenridge Ski Resort Season Pass and First Place Medal
2nd Place = Second Place Medal
3rd Place = Third Place Medal
Medals will be also presented to the Top finisher in each Age Category including Retro Open Men and Women.
Medals will be presented to First Place Overall Male and Female Heavy Metal/Rec Open finishers.

FAQS AND POST RACE

1.  Where is the best place to park?
We recommend parking at the Gondola Lot ($12 or $7 with four occupants).  The benefit is you can ride the Gondola (free) up to stage your Ascent/Descent gear.  Then ride back down, grab your bike and go to the start.  At the end of your race you can then ride down from the Finish with all your gear.
GEAR DROP OFF CAN BE BUSY WITH LOTS OF CARS SO PLEASE CONSIDER USING THE GONDOLA FOR GEAR DROP OFF NO MATTER WHERE YOU PARK.

Other parking options include:
Breck Rec Center, site of the Start Line.
Any Town of Breck in-town parking.

2.  Are Helmets mandatory?
Helmets are mandatory for the RIDE portion only!

3.  Where can I rent gear?
For Bikes contact Alpine Sports at 453-4455
For Ascent/Descent gear contact Mountain Outfitters at 453-2201

4.  Will someone watch my bike while I Ascend/Descend?
Yes!  You will be given a sticker at Registration that corresponds to your race number.  Put the sticker on your handlebars.   To get your bike simply show us your race number and if they match up off you go!  Bike Security will be provided until 2:00pm.  If you want to stay longer than 2:00, and you don’t want to worry about your bike, then please stage a lock at the Transition Zone so you can lock up your bike when you are done racing.

5.  What is going on after the race?

Bring your number plate to the T Bar and receive a free beer and discounted menu specials.