Race Lindsey Vonn at Vail Resorts
If you’ve ever wanted to test how your racing skills stack up against skiing’s best, this winter you’ll get your chance. Yesterday Vail Resorts announced that the third-generation upgrade of EpicMix—their proprietary web- and mobile app-based program—will allow skiers and snowboarders to virtually race against Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn.
EpicMix debuted two years ago as a way to bring social media to the slopes. The technology lives in a radio frequency chip that’s embedded into season passes, Epic Day lift tickets, and PEAKS cards—no sign-up or registration is required. Each time the user’s ticket is scanned at the base of a lift, their stats are logged into a database, which is instantly accessible via EpicMix.com or a companion iPhone or Android app. Over the course of a season, EpicMixers can follow their days skied, track their vertical feet, see where they rode, earn virtual awards, and share their progress on Facebook and Twitter.
Last year Vail Resorts added pictures to the Mix by stationing photographers on their mountains. Like stats, a user’s pictures are automatically uploaded to their dashboard where they can be shared for free via social media.
This season EpicMix Racing will aim to eliminate paper registration and long wait times for racers. Starting in mid-December, users will be able to ski or snowboard up to starting gates and have their lift tickets scanned. As soon as they cross the finish line, their time will be accessible on their smartphone.
To up the competition factor, each run will also be handicapped based upon gender, age, and discipline (skier, snowboarder, telemark, adaptive) and then compared to the time Lindsey Vonn would have had on the course that day (read how it gets calculated here). Each racer gets a “seconds behind Lindsey” score, which determines their rank on the leaderboard (and among friends).
Each person who races at least 10 times during the 2012/2013 season will also qualify for the Lindsey Vonn Race Series. In April 2013, the people with the highest overall score (based on their top 10 runs) will be invited to Vail’s Beaver Creek, Colorado resort to race on the bottom of the famous Birds of Prey course for the championship.
Vonn, who stopped by our offices yesterday, said EpicMix is a technology that will make racing easy and accessible. “I think it’s going to generate a lot of energy and excitement for the sport that we haven’t had recently—if at all,” she said.
Epic Mix Racing will be available at all Vail Resorts, save Kirkwood, which the company recently acquired. For more information, visit EpicMix.com.
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