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Whistler to host 24 hour bike challenge

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Part race, part-survivor series, the legendary 24 Hours of Adrenalin is coming to Whistler this Labour Day Weekend (Aug. 30 to 31).

In its ninth year, the 24 Hours of Adrenalin is one of the most popular mountain bike racing series in North America with 13 events in Canada and the U.S. The event in Canmore, Alberta, in July had more than 1,400 racers, including 39 solo racers, 53 corporate teams of six or more riders, 178 teams of five, and 15 teams of four.

"We’re very excited that we’re coming to Whistler," said Mike Britten, the retail marketing manager for Trilife Sports International, which organizes the 24 Hours series. Britten was in Whistler on July 24 to promote the event at the Snow Covers Sports Loonie Race.

"We’ve come a long way since those first races and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The last event at Canmore was one of our biggest so far, and part of the reason is because it is so fun. Word gets out. You get the teams that are out there to compete, ride as hard as they can. And then you get the teams that have really creative pit areas, and wear costumes and things. It’s really a lot of fun, whatever you make of it."

The Whistler event was previously held at Silver Star Resort in Vernon.

"Bringing it to Whistler will hopefully build up the series in this part of the world. With so many riders in the area and a club like WORCA, we think this could be one of our biggest events in a few years," said Britten.

Each solo competitor and team sees how many laps of a cross-country mountain bike course they can complete in a 24-hour period, riding through the night with the aid of bike lights.

Courses are usually longer, with the top riders completing laps in approximately 45 minutes. The tentative course for the Whistler race uses the Lost Lake trails as well as some trails on Blackcomb. They also get underway with a LeMans-sytle start – one member of each team will run 600 metres from the start line to their bikes.

For Whistler only, there will also be a special WORCA team category.

"Whistler is the only stop on the tour to have its own category, so you guys can compete against each other," said Britten.

For WORCA members, there is also a substantial discount – more than $15 off for each rider on a team of five with a total cost of $450. In addition, the race organizers are donating money to WORCA based on the turnout. The more WORCA teams entered, the more money will go back to the organization.

Whistler is also the site of this year’s World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships, featuring the top solo racers on the tour. They will do the same lap as the other riders with an extra loop to add to the challenge.

While the race is a challenge, race creator Stuart Dorland has tried from the beginning to keep it as inclusive as possible – something for the weekend warriors as well as the top athletes.

"The point of our event is not so much about a race, it’s about welcoming people of all abilities and encouraging them to challenge themselves in the spirit of friendly rivalry or personal goals," explains Dorland.

Entry forms for the 24 Hours of Adrenalin are available from Snow Covers Sports on Main Street, or by visiting the Web site.

The cost is $300 for solo racers, $525 for four and five-person teams, $950 for corporate teams up to 10 people, and $450 for WORCA teams.

The entry free includes a T-shirt, camping, a midnight corn roast and movie, free tech support, free drinks and food, a post-race pasta party, prizes for best pit themes and helmets, and the ability to participate in other fun side contests.

Athletes will need to bring their own bikes, water bottles and hydration packs, spare bike parts and tools, camping equipment, food, rain gear, and light systems.

For more information on the race, visit www.24hoursofadrenalin.com.

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