The first-ever Valkyrie Multisport Relay in Durango brought out some stellar athletes as young as 14 years old and as old as 62 for the seven-stage, 100-mile event this past Saturday.
Eighteen teams competed in the full relay, four of which were all-female teams. The top all-female team, ItsWednesday, finished eighth overall with a total time of 12 hours, four minutes and 28 seconds.
Team MTC won the full-course race in 9:25:46. Team Mercy Ortho All-Stars was close behind, finishing second with a time of 9:31:32.
“We have had so much support from Durango like Durango Trails, parks and rec, 4Corners River Sports, 2nd Ave Sports,” race director Erin Hughes said. “ … A bunch of different entities really helped us and they were willing to help us make this race happen. Whereas in other places, they want to create new hoops for you to jump through to make it difficult. So it was a huge success.”
Hughes also credited the event’s success to the “fantastic work” of the volunteers.
The relay consisted of seven different stages. Runners began the first stage with the 9.1-mile trail run, which went from the extended ridge to the Sugar Trail, Horse Gulch and back to Santa Rita Park.
Then the mountain biking ensued with two laps around an 8.3-mile course for the second stage. Standup paddle boarders got into the waters for 3.1 miles of paddling on the north end of Lake Nighthorse for the third stage.
Each team had another member hop in the water for the fourth stage to swim the 1.2-mile open-water course in Lake Nighthorse.
After a climb of almost 3,000 feet for the fifth stage, the 48.1-mile bike ride, the stage finished in Oxbow Park.
The sixth stage had either one or two teammates paddling down the Animas River for 5 miles in a canoe or kayak until they reached the Santa Rita takeout. Eric Parker won this stage by one second with a time of 50:33 for team Frequent Flyer.
Finally, the relay was completed in the whitewater park after a 16.1-mile road run for the seventh stage.
“There was just a really good atmosphere, just positive and fun, like hanging out up at whitewater park,” Hughes said. “Everybody was sitting around waiting for their teams to come in supporting them and cheering for everybody.”