IMPERIAL CHALLENGE

GENERAL INFORMATION

The IMPERIAL CHALLENGE April 22, 2017. 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 26th 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 the past three years! Thank you Climbbetty!
2016
2015
2014

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.

We are always mindful of the true “off the couch”  participant and maintaining a culture in which they feel welcome!

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, have a super heavy set-up, just wanna have fun…you get the picture.

*To be clear, you may compete in this category 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. 

We will recognize the Top Male and Top Female.

Heavy Metal/Rec Open and Run Categories start at 9:15.
Age Divisions and Retro Open start at 10:00
What qualifies as Heavy Metal? Anything other than Ski Mountaineering Race Gear.

3523’ of climbing to very top of Peak 8, including Bike/Run portion.

  • Running categories-the run is a 10K from the Rec Center to the base of Peak 8…all runners will transition to uphill gear…same as the cyclists!
  • The Retro Open Category offers both Men and Women’s divisions.  Retro Racers must carry ALL their gear on their bikes…it is, however, NOT necessary to pedal in your ski boots.,,you may carry them too!
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 20 until 11:00pm Mountain Time

2.  Pre-register for $55 any day during business hours, through Thursday April 21, at Mountain Outfitters, 112 S. Ridge St. Breckenridge,  CASH OR CHECK ONLY

3. Register for $55 in-store at Mountain Outfitters, on Friday April 21, 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 on Race Day, beginning at 8:00am, at the Rec Center . CASH OR CHECK ONLY

PACKET PICK-UP and LAST CHANCE REGISTRATION
Friday, April 21, 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
PARKING IS TIGHT FOR GEAR DROP OFF AT THE BASE OF PEAK 8. PLEASE CONSIDER USING 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.
NEW for 2017, Drop off zone/Transition area will be at the Bike Racks in front of the Ticket Window. Again, Gear for Ascent/Descent goes at the bike racks not on the snow.

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 8 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 8 and drop off your Ascent/Descent Gear…but space is limited. (see directions from Rec Center in the Directions/Parking tab). Use the 15 Minute drop-off located just past the bus stop on your left.
All Day Parking is NOT available at Peak 8.

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

START TIMES:
Heavy Metal/Rec Open and Runners-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 the Bergenhof at the base of the Peak 8 Ski Area.
The Transition Area is next to the Rocky Mountain Superchair
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 8.
Enter the bus stop area and use the lane created by event fencing on your right. Please no passing once inside the fencing
The fence lane funnels you into the transition area where you can rack your bike and head to the snow.

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 and party at the base of Peak 8 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 Claimjumper and turn left onto Columbine 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.
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.  FOLLOW SIGNS TO PEAK 8 and take Claimjumper to finish just above base of Rocky Mt Superchair.

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.

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 = 2017/18 Breckenridge Ski Resort Season Pass and First Place Medal
2nd Place = Second Place Medal
3rd Place = Third Place Medal
Medals will be presented to the Top finisher in each Long Course 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.