Weather forces postponement of 24 Hours of Stratton

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STRATTON — The arctic weather that has gripped the region since late December has forced the postponement of the 24 Hours of Stratton, a round-the-clock skiing event at Stratton Mountain Resort that raises money to help break the cycle of poverty for children living in southern Vermont. Originally scheduled for Jan. 6-7, the event will now be held on March 17-18, organizers have announced.

"It's a bit unnerving to have to move any event — all the planning and effort made by our fundraising champions and athletes — but the very first rule of the 24 Hours of Stratton is good sportsmanship, solidarity, integrity, respect, safety and fun, and none of those things are mutually exclusive," said Tammy Mosher, the executive director of the Stratton Foundation.

Mosher noted that of the 258 athletes registered for the event, 25 are under the age of 15, and 12 are over the age of 60. "Right now, the forecast for the daytime on Saturday is -11 and at night -22, one of the coldest days and nights we've had so far. The makes for a very dangerous situation that has the potential to not be fun or safe," she said. "Skin at this temperature can freeze in less than 10 minutes and you figure it's a few of those minutes just sitting still on the chairlift.

"This is winter and Stratton thrives on snow sports, but this cold weather is brutalizing most of the country and many events are being flat-out cancelled," Mosher said.

She credited the Stratton Mountain Resort for moving quickly to reschedule the 24 Hours, working around their calendar of weekend races, the US Open, and other events. "March 17-18 2018 is the best new date for the 24 Hours of Stratton," she said. On the positive side, "We are hopeful that an extra two months of planning will prove to be beneficial for all and tip our goal of reaching $250,000."

Launched in 2013, the 24 Hours of Stratton has raised more than $1 million for the Stratton Foundation. Skiiers participate at no cost to themselves, but to ask family, friends, and colleagues to donate to raise at least a minimum requirement. Awards for top individual and top team fundraising, and for top vertical feet and the team vertical relay challenge provide added incentive for giving. Participants ski or snowboard for as long as they wish, from 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday.

The 2019 event is already on the calendar, for January 5-6.

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