PAUL SMITHS — Organizers of an adventure race to be held at Paul Smith’s College in May are encouraging local residents to participate in the first-ever competition.
The Sunchaser Challenge is a one-day event that will take place on Saturday, May 22, which is the day after Endangered Species Day. The Sunchaser is five-part adventure competition that includes trail running, mountain biking, road biking, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
The event is slated to take place after Endangered Species Day because the Sunchaser Challenge is a fundraiser for the The Endangered Species Coalition, a national network of organizations working to protect the nation’s disappearing wildlife and wild places.
Wild Ones Productions’ mission is to support “social responsibility” campaigns and generate new fundraising opportunities for charities.
In the Sunchaser Challenge, participants can either compete as individuals or as a member of a two-to-five-person team. The entry fee is $125 per person for those registered before April 30 and $150 after that date.
“This event is all about getting people out there, having a bit of fun, trying some sports that they never tried before,” said Sarah Poole, head of events for Wild One Productions. “It’s about getting (together with) a group of friends, getting out and enjoying yourself.”
Participants will start the day at Paul Smith’s College, where they will be given a course map. The map will have a series of checkpoints on it for participants to visit. How many checkpoints a team or person visits depends upon how competitive participants want to be. For individuals hoping to complete the entire course, they can expect to spend about 12 hours on the course, according to Poole.
Poole said that the organizers are hoping that this event will return here on an annual basis. This is the first year of the Sunchaser Challenger and will be one of four taking place simultaneously. The others will be going on the same day in Lake Geneva, Wis., Lake Havasu, Ariz., and Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Expectations for this first event are modest. The organizers are hoping to just get the event off the ground and introduce it to area residents, hoping to gain their support.
“What we want to do is build this event and make it an annual event for Saranac Lake, so we aren’t expecting a thousand people this year,” Poole said. “What we hope to achieve is to get 200 to 300 people up there, have a really good time, have a really good atmosphere and build on it for next year and really kind of showcase the event, put it out there.”
The organizers are also inviting businesses to set up booths at Paul Smith’s College “to make it a bit of a festival atmosphere,” Poole said.
In addition to the Sunchaser Challenge, the organizers are also holding a 10-kilometer trail run. The idea behind the 10k run is to give people a taste of what the Sunchaser Challenge is about so they might compete in future years.
Wild Ones Productions has been working with the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the Sunchaser Challenge.
For more information about the event, call the chamber at 891-1990. The Sunchaser Challenge also has a website with information about the event: www.sunchaserchallenge.com.