VIRGIN — What do you that one day of the year when you get an extra hour? Party on a bike – what else?
The ninth annual “25 Hours in Frog Hollow” – the longest one-day off-road cycling race in the world – is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and end at 10 a.m. Sunday, taking advantage of the extra hour received due to the end of Daylight Savings. In this event, characterized by riders’ costumes and unique team names, mountain bikers race on teams or solo while completing a 13-mile loop as many times as possible in 25 hours.
“The atmosphere is fun for an end-of-season race,” said Cimarron Chacon, race director and president of GRO Races. “Many competitors extend their stay by riding other amazing Washington County mountain bike trails like Gooseberry Mesa, or spend a day in Zion National Park.”
Approximately 500 participants are expected, and an event-record 18 corporate teams have signed up, Chacon said. The allure of 25 Hours in Frog Hollow is not limited to cyclists. Chacon said volunteers travel from as far as Colorado to help with the race.
“Over the years, riders have told me that this event truly feeds their soul – both with the beauty of single track riding and festive atmosphere,” said Kevin Lewis, director of the St. George Area Sports Commission. “With almost the exact amount of light and darkness during this race and the ideal temperatures of mid-fall in Southern Utah, it’s obvious why this event continues to grow in popularity.”
Chacon said the event is also the series finale for the National 24 Hour Mountain Bike Solo Championship. The male and female winners receive a cash prize and championship jersey. Winners have been known to race 500 miles in a season to claim the crown.
Yet not everyone participates in this 25-hour race for a title. One tradition is the midnight pie from Veyo Pies, started by nurse Linda Rider in 2009, Chacon said.
“Along with the pie we have a treat center that has sports nutrition as well as other homemade goodies like banana bread. The Hurricane Lions Club comes out and serves hot soup and stew to the hardcore racers that stay up all night,” Chacon said. “The event finishes at 10 a.m. Sunday after 13 hours of darkness with a grand award ceremony and pizza slices, accompanied with live music performed by Full Tilt Boogie.”
To get to the race site when entering from Hurricane, take Highway 59 toward Colorado City/Kanab. Pass the Over the Edge Bike shop, then travel 3.2 miles to Sheep Bridge Road. Turn left and drive another 3 miles to the race hub “Frog Town.”
More information about the race can be found online.