Manic Ignite outdoor virtual challenge raises over $23K for LiftUp

The Manic Ignite outdoor virtual challenge raised more than $23,500 for LiftUp of Routt County. Pictured from left are Michelle Geib, Graham Muir and Erin Nemec wth Manic Training, and Sue Fegelein, executive director of LiftUp of Routt County.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Manic Ignite, a new outdoor virtual challenge that was loosely based off the former Steamboat Pentathlon, raised over $23,500 for LiftUp of Routt County.

Participants took part in five socially distanced events March 5 to 7. The challenges included: ascending Blackmer Road to the top of the Lane of Pain via foot, ski or bike; Nordic skiing a 5K loop at the Borden Ranch; biking Routt County Road 44; ascending Steamboat Resort to the top of Christie Peak or the Gondola building via foot, ski or bike; and snowshoeing MGM or Molly’s trails on Emerald Mountain.

“The weather was perfect for Ignite,” said Michelle Geib, one of the event organizers in a news release. “We couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend. Everyone you saw outside taking part had a smile on their face. Everyone was in a great mood, and there was almost magic in the air.”

In all, the event drew 188 participants, 172 of whom live in Steamboat Springs. Since there were virtual course options, individuals also took part in Minnesota, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, Australia, Scotland, Japan, New Zealand and England.

The youngest participant, Ryder Robinson, 9, entered the duo short course category with his father, Barkley Robinson. The oldest competitor was Larry Wennogle, 72, of Steamboat.

Manic Ignite was not only a fundraiser but a physical challenge as well. The long course included 33 miles of traversing and approximately 5,500 feet of climbing across all five challenges, and the short course was 22 miles in length with approximately 3,600 feet of climbing.

The fastest individual to complete the long course was Peter Surgent, who was able to finish all five challenges in 3 hours and 50 minutes. Megan Robinson was the fastest female to complete the long course in 4 hours and 13 minutes.

The largest individual fundraisers were Dave Carroll, Laura Cusenbary, Benjamin Stroock and Kim Temple, and the top fundraising team was the Queen Bees. The event participants collectively raised $14,131, and the remaining $9,400 was generously donated by Tim and Janet Borden.

“We couldn’t be happier with the success of the event, the support of the community and the results of our efforts to raise money for those who need it most,” said Graham Muir of Manic in a news release.

LiftUp of Routt County serves more than one in 10 Routt county residents through three food banks and emergency financial assistance with housing, utility, health care and other expenses.

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