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Southern Utah News Front Page: October 16, 2014
New, adventure-based competition: Dunesday Xtreme
Kane County is hosting a new team triathlon event at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes on Saturday, November 8.
On November 8, Kane County will host a new, one-of-a-kind team triathlon at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park which will include running, sand-boarding and fat-biking through the sand.
Each four-person team will have to trudge through six miles of sand, or snow, depending on the weather. This event isn’t for the faint of heart and will go on no matter what; that is why it’s called Dunesday Xtreme, and the event participants are referred to as, “Dunatics.” Dunatics has been defined by event organizers as “a crazy sand dunes athlete.” “This event is intended to be a challenge and a lot of fun as well,” said Vicki Hooper, the director for the Kane County Events and Volunteer Center.
The fat-tired bikes have traditionally been used in snow, and recently they have caught on in the sandy areas of the desert because they go well in the sand also. “Since the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has both, we thought it was perfect to include fat-biking at the sand dunes event,” said Tyler Cornell, Kane County Recreation Director.
The sand-boards go surprisingly well in the sand with the help of a little special wax. Utah Off-road Outfitters currently rent the sand-boards out at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for $20/day. If the event should turn into a snow event, James Gilchrist of Utah Off-road Outfitters, said, “we just put a different wax on them and they go great in the snow as well.”
Each team member competing in the event will have to do 1.5 miles combined between running, biking and boarding in the sand for a combined team distance of six miles. They say that one mile in the sand is the equivalent of three hard-surface miles. Cornell said, “If there should be snow during the event, it will definitely add a challenging element to an already challenging race.”
“We are so fortunate to have so many outdoor wonders in our area and this is a new, unique event to utilize some of the assets of our county,” said Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson. Clayson mentioned the positive relationship the county has with the state park, “We couldn’t do this without the cooperation of the state park. We appreciate the eagerness of the state park manager, Michael Franklin, in helping make this event a reality.”
Registration for the event is only $75 per person, which includes a T-shirt, a Dunatic bandana, a s’more party, lunch and dinner the day of the race and the rental of the fat-tired bike and sand-board. “Basically, participants just show up ready to compete and have fun,” said Cornell.
From the conception of this event, one of the intentions was to make it fun for spectators as well as the participants. There will be a “Spectator Village” set up at the sand dunes where spectators can set up chairs, buy lunch, get warm by the fire pits, drink some cocoa and cheer on their friends and family who are competing.
Racers will check in at the Old Barn Theater on the property of the historic Parry Lodge on Friday night, November 7 at 7 p.m. and be briefed about the details of the race and have a s’more party by some fire pits. The public is welcome to join in.
On Saturday, November 8, the first set of racers will report at the dunes at 8 a.m. and begin racing at 8:30 a.m. Start times will be assigned after the registration deadline on October 18. There will be some fun activities at the dunes for spectators and for race participants to “win” reductions in their overall time if they didn’t do so well in the actual race (just for fun). Spectator Village will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The awards dinner will also be hosted at the Old Barn Theater on Saturday night at 6:30. This dinner is for race participants and family and friends. If you aren’t participating in the race, but would like to attend the awards dinner, contact the Kane County Event and Volunteer Center at (435) 644-3696. Dinner is included for the racers; for anyone else wishing to attend, it will be $12/person.
Awards will be given for fastest overall team, fastest male, fastest female and co-ed team. An award will also be given for the fastest time (after time-reduction activities). Additional awards will be given for Best Costume, Slowest Time, Best Effort and Had-the-Most-Fun.
Matt Brown, Economic Development Director for Kane County, said, “We are excited to launch this new event and we hope that it will become one that is a lot of fun and looked forward to each year. We also hope to see fat-biking in the area really take off since we have the perfect landscape and terrain for it.”
Kanab Western Adventures currently rents out the fat-tired bikes for $25 for two hours, $40 for a half day and $65 for a full day. Mike Henrie, owner of Kanab Western Adventures, is also a fat bike dealer for those who would like to become a fat-bike enthusiast.
“We really appreciate all of our sponsors in helping create this new event and we couldn’t begin to pull this off without them,” said Ken Gotzenberg, Director of Tourism for Kane County.
Sponsors include: Utah DNR State Parks, Utah Off-road Outfitters, Kanab Western Adventures, Kane County Office of Tourism, Kane County Recreation, Kane County Volunteer and Events Center, Run It Kanab, Kane County Search and Rescue and Parry Lodge.
For more information and to register for the Dunesday Xtreme, visit the website at www.dunesdayxtreme.com
Commissioner Clayson tells us that there will be several new events happening in the county to look forward to.