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Hard Enduro on Silver Mountain

by JOSH McDONALD
Staff Writer | June 27, 2023 1:08 AM

KELLOGG — Silver Mountain played host to one of the Silver Valley’s largest events in recent memory as the Silver Kings Hard Enduro races returned last weekend to Shoshone County.

Enduros are one of the oldest forms of motorcycle competition, according to the American Motorcyclist Association.

The Hard Enduro race featured competitors of all skill levels, but it was pro racers Trystan Hart and Kylee Sweeten who took the top finishes in the professional men's and women's races respectively.

The Silver Kings event was the final stop in the United States Hard Enduro series, a six-race series that takes place all across the nation.

This year, 525 racers, representing all 50 states and at least five of the continents, descended upon Kellogg for the weekend-long event.

Silver Kings kicked off Friday evening with a ride from the Silver Mountain Village through town and up to the top of the mountain where the races would be held.

Hard Enduro is unique in how it forces riders to approach each race from a physical and mental standpoint. The race course featured extreme terrain and obstacles along the ski slopes of Silver Mountain, which are fraught with roots, trees, bushes and boulders in the summer.

An estimated 3,000 spectators found different ways to watch the races at various points along the course, cheering their racers to a hard-earned finish.

The starting line, lovingly dubbed a "funduro" course, was built with logs and tires along Silver Mountain’s popular bunny hill ski area.

Almost every aspect of the weekend had some sort of competition to it, whether it was for a share of the thousands of dollars in possible purse money, or to determine starting position — sometimes it was for both.

New this year was the "Street Rhythm" race — a head-to-head bracket Friday night that featured the top 32 riders in the pro class competing against one another to determine starting order for the Saturday main event.

The Street Rhythm took place on Bunker Avenue in front of the resort, with a team dedicated to building and tearing down the course in one day.

“The Street Rhythm was a huge success, it was fun seeing so many people come out for the cool free event in our town,” Silver Mountain events coordinator Gus Colburn said. “The Street Rhythm drew a big vocal crowd that cheered the racers on, and we look forward to making it a tradition for this event.”

Rounding out the top five in the men’s pro division after Hart were Ryder Leblond of Pennsylvania, Cody Webb of Colorado, Colton Haaker of Coeur d’Alene and Will Riordian of North Carolina.

Silver Kings is the largest hard enduro race in North America and is hosted annually at Silver Mountain Resort. The event is presented by Inside Enduro and directed by James Stearns. Sponsors this year included Klim, Toyota, Hammer Nutrition, 509, Sherco and many others.