Posted by Editoress on 07/16/13
More than 1,600 riders and 5,000 spectators will gather at the Canmore Nordic Centre this weekend for the 18th annual 24 Hours of Adrenalin mountain bike event.
The popular mountain bike race, which sells out almost a year in advance, features solo racers and teams of up to 10 people trying to complete as many trail laps as possible over a 24-hour period over July 20-21. Racers, friends and family spend the weekend camping out at the Canmore Nordic Centre. This weekend's festivities include live bands, a corn roast, a youth tour and a kids' race - 24 Minutes of Adrenalin - which is held in support of the Right To Play charity.
24 Hours of Adrenalin - co-presented by The Bike Shop and Planet Foods - will be one of the biggest events held in Canmore since flooding caused widespread damage to the town 80 kilometres west of Calgary. Although there was some minor flood damage to the trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre, teams of staff and volunteers have been working hard to repair the trails and the event is scheduled to go ahead as planned.
"We're really excited to be back for the 18th annual 24 Hours of Adrenalin presented by The Bike Shop and Planet Foods," said Stuart Dorland, founder of twenty4 Sports, which organizes the race.
"We're very fortunate that there was not very much damage to the trails and nothing has been cancelled - we're just adding things to make the event better than ever. We're hoping it will be like a reverse flood that brings thousands of people back to the community and shows that Canmore is open for business."
The first 24 Hours of Adrenalin event was held in Canmore in 1996 and it has grown into a hugely-popular annual weekend celebration for mountain bike enthusiasts. Entries are capped at 1,650 racers, but another 5,000 friends, family members and other supporters spend the weekend camping out at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Over 90 per cent of the participants are from Alberta.
"It's a really fun environment. Everyone camps out for the weekend and that's one of the things that makes this a unique, special event," Dorland said. "You meet so many people during the course of the weekend.
"The venue is incredible and we basically sell out the day after the previous year's event. We have a large economic impact and we really feel that this year's event will be a big help to a community that has shown so much courage and resilience to bounce back from the damage caused by the floods."
Michael Roycroft, area manager for the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, said he's looking forward to this weekend's event.
"The Canmore Nordic Centre is once again excited to host our largest annual event; the popular 24hrs of Adrenalin mountain bike race here in Canmore on July 20th and 21st," Roycroft said. "Together with teams of dedicated volunteers, we have worked extremely hard repairing flood damaged trails and promise to have the course in tip-top shape for the thousands of participants and spectators come race weekend."
Although the event features awards for the top three teams in different categories, 24 Hours of Adrenalin is not aimed at elite racers.
"Right from Day 1 we've designed 24 Hours of Adrenalin as a fun event for weekend warriors and local fast folks who want to gather together and enjoy the sport of mountain biking," Dorland said.
The fun starts Friday with an expo at 2 p.m. and live music from 7 p.m. The race itself gets underway with the Merrell Le Mans start - in which riders run a short distance before hopping on their bikes - at noon on Saturday.
One of the other highlights of the weekend is the 24 Minutes of Adrenalin kids' race, in support of Right to Play, which is being held Saturday at 5 p.m. Children aged 12 and under pay a $10 entrance fee - which is matched by organizers - with all proceeds going to Right To Play. Olympic speedskater Kristina Groves and Martin Parnell, who ran 250 marathons in one year to raise money for Right To Play, will be on site to meet guests and talk about the charity's vision of creating a healthy and safe world through the power of sport and play.
More than 300 volunteers help to stage the race and this year's event features the Honey Stinger V-Lounge - a special area in which volunteers can relax, get refreshments and enjoy Planet Foods products.
"We're excited to expand our relationship with the 24 Hours of Adrenalin , and have the opportunity to showcase a full suite of our products to this engaged group of outdoor enthusiasts - helping them stay strong and healthy," said Clay Gillies, founder of Planet Foods.
Dorland said staging such a large and successful event wouldn't be possible without the support of sponsors such as Planet Foods and The Bike Shop.
"We're happy to resume our partnership with 24 Hours of Adrenalin - an event that is much more then a bike race. It truly is one of the best ways to spend a weekend," said Kevan MacNaughton, president of The Bike Shop.
Following this year's race will be much easier for those on- and off-site thanks to a new partnership with ms-1 timing, a company that specializes in accurate timekeeping and broadcasting multi-platform results in real time. Participants and spectators can follow the results live via www.adrenalin.my24h.ca .
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