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Thursday, May 27, 2010 • RAGE

Gunnison Country Times

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Competition grows in Growler No. 3 Races heat up in year three

Friday, May 28 • 3-7 p.m. — Registration for Sage Burner and Gunnison Glory at IOOF Park • 5-6:30 p.m. — Gunnison School of Yoga Session at IOOF Park • 7-10 p.m. — Gunnison Glory Presentation and Climbing Film at The Bean Coffeehouse (120 N. Main St.)

Matt Smith Times Staff Writer

When 300 riders reach the base area of Hartman Rocks on Sunday morning for the third edition of the Original Growler mountain bike race, they better have their big-boy boots on. Or big-girl boots, should that be the case. The 32-mile loop that makes up this cross country course is jam packed with as much singletrack trail as one person should ever want to ride in a day. That is, of course, unless they’re taking on the twolap, 64-mile version of the Growler. “The course is great in the fact that it’s almost all singletrack,� said local rider Travis Scheefer, who took the 32-mile men’s title in 2009. “Whereas in other races, there’s a lot of road and places where you can just zone out.� Growler on page B6

Rage in the Sage Schedule of Events

All 300 spots in this Sunday’s Original Growler mountain bike race filled within hours of becoming available. Seen here, Denver’s Richard DiGeronimo tackles the course in the 2009 edition of the race. Times file photo

Race hard. Don’t Gunnison Glory climbs into year-two quit. Happy trails How many routes can you climb in 24 hours?

Duncan Callahan Special to the Times

(Editor’s Note: Duncan Callahan has first place finishes in the Moab 100 Ultra, Leadville 100 and Sage Burner 50K to his name. He lives and trains in Gunnison.)

Luke Mehall Special to the Times

Jack’s Trail comes as a rude awakening as you begin the 31-mile Sage Burner adventure by shocking your body awake. Then comes the ripping downhill on Tail-Pipe, followed by the beautiful Ridge Trail with fancy footwork ability a pre-requisite to get down in one piece. Thus is the way of this beautiful race. Up and down, up and down. The rhythm of Hartman Rocks is interwoven into this race course. Indeed, the course builders — Dave Wiens, Scott Drum

Gunnison Glory, the endurance climbing festival that will take place out at Hartman Rocks Bolted, traditional and mixed climbing this weekend, is the only and bouldering will all be in play at this 24 hour climbing event weekend’s 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory. in the Western United Courtesy photos States. Inspired by the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell in Arkansas, the event had a solid show-

Burner on page B6

Burner on page B6

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Saturday, May 29 • 6:30-7:30 a.m. — Registration for Sage Burner at Hartman Rocks • 7 a.m. — Registration for Gunnison Glory at Hartman Rocks • 7:30 a.m. — Sage Burner starts at Base Area • 8:30-9:30 a.m. — Yoga at the Base Area (Hartman’s) • 10 a.m. — Gunnison Glory begins at Hartman Rocks • 2-9 p.m. — Check In for Original Growler at IOOF Park • 4 p.m. — Sage Burner Awards C e re m o n y a t I O O F P a r k (New Belgium Beer Garden and Live Music by U-47) Sunday, May 30 • 7 a.m. — Original Growler starts at IOOF Park • 8 a.m. — Slacklining Expedition/Chair Massages at Hartman Rocks • 9 a.m. — Nature Awareness Workshop at base area • 10 a.m. — Gunnison Glory ends • 12 p.m. — Gunnison Glory awards ceremony/raffle at Hartman Rocks • 1-5 p.m. — Original Growler and Gunnison Glory after party at IOOF Park (New Belgium Beer Garden and music) • 5 p.m. — Original Growler awards ceremony at IOOF Park


2 • RAGE


SAGE SPECIAL INSERT • Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gunnison Country Times

If you’re going to


Different mountain bike races ar known for big mountains, big clim The Original Growler is all abou factor is off the charts. It all boils down to this: Singletra

2 TOP OF THE WORLD One of the newer trails at Hartman’s, built only a few years ago. Ridden in this direction, it’s all about the climb, and it’s a great one. Couple of steep switchbacks, a few rock problems, but nothing too strenuous or that can’t be ridden. Top of the World is a perfect example of how climbing can be fun.

1 RIDGE TRAIL Only the “Full Growler” faithful will experience the Ridge Trail this year — on their second lap. It’s appropriately named, sitting high above Tomichi Creek and the valley below. Portions of this “techy” trail go right up next to the abyss. Don’t look down.


3 GATEWAY This is mostly a nice roller, with gentle ups and downs. There is one steep, short climb with switchbacks early on and one technical rock outcrop near the middle. For that, be prepared to take a hard left, follow the cairns up the rock face, and step on the gas.

4 4 DIRTY SOCK A little climby at the front, a nice descent at the end with a modest technical section in the middle. There is a narrow bridge crossing, but it is signed and going this direction shouldn’t present any problems.


6 ENCHANTED FOREST Honestly, this is more fun ridden the other direction. But sometimes you gotta pay to play. As a side note, earlier this week a herd of cows was hanging out in this vicinity and the trail was a bit loose.



5 DAVE MOE’S Named after local Rock ‘n Roll (Sports) legend Dave Meyer. A steep and loose climb to get up to the trail, but once you’re there it’s worth it.

Photos and text by Chris Dickey

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Thursday, May 27, 2010 • RAGE

Gunnison Country Times




race, you might as well ...

When you’ve reached The Notch, you know you’re almost home. But don’t relax just yet. There are a couple of challenging rock problems to get to the top, and then some very steep, loose, screamer sections on the way down. Where possible, get off the gravel and on to solid granite. Better traction, ya know?

njoy the Ride

re known for different characteristics. The Leadville 100, for example, is mbs, out-and-back course, mostly jeep roads. ut the trails. Hartman Rocks was made for mountain biking. The fun-

ack ... it’s why we ride.


Both Laps

Lap 1 Only

1 Lap 2 Only

Dirt Road


Paved Road

10 RATTLESNAKE Power Line Map courtesy of Ben Clauss


One of Hartman’s signature trails. This one offers a little bit of everything, in roller-coaster fashion. There are a few spots where options are presented to the rider. Generally speaking, the dirt trail is the safer route, while the rock option may be more direct and faster — but you better be ready to huck it or hold on.

9 JOSHO’S One of the fastest and most fun descents at Hartman’s, ridden in this direction. Beware of a few tight turns in the trees, but other than that let it roll. The climb out (pictured here) is a grunt.



7 OUTBACK If you feel a little “out there� on Outback, you haven’t seen anything yet. This is still considered the “front side� of Hartman’s. This is a fun trail, with a little bit of technical and a little bit of rolling through the sage.

8 BAMBI’S Typically used as the “back entrance� to Hartman’s. This is super fun ridden in either direction. For the Growler, it’ll be a scream of a downhill. No major technical sections so you can pretty much let it roll.

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4 • RAGE


SAGE SPECIAL INSERT • Thursday, May 27, 2010

Growler from page B3 Scheefer plans on returning to the 32-mile edition, or “Half Growler,” to defend his title in 2010. What’s yet to be determined is who among the other 299 riders will give him a run for his money. With last year’s second place winner Brian Smith out of commission for Sunday’s soiree, who steps up is anyone’s guess. Last year, Smith finished just under 10 minutes behind Scheefer, who crossed the finish line in 2:49.07. The course has pretty much stayed the same for 2010, except for the fact that it will be ridden in reverse. That’s a fact that leads Scheefer to believe it might be even more grueling. “I think the course might be a little more challenging,” said Scheefer, entering his third Growler. “The other thing you don’t realize when you’re out there is that it’s a lot of climb-

ing.” Durango’s Travis Brown will be in attendance to defend back-toback “Full Growler” titles, after winning last year’s race by almost 14 minutes over Gunnison’s Jeff Irwin. Brown was the only rider to turn in two, sub-three hour laps in 2009. After taking second last year and finishing in a close third in 2008, Irwin is just hoping that Brown somehow finds a way to beat himself. “Travis Brown is still one of the fastest guys in the country,” said Irwin. “He’d have to have an extremely off day for anyone else to really have a shot at it.” Golden’s Kelly Magelky is among a large pack of professional contenders that could slip onto the leader board. Magelky finished just six minutes behind Irwin in 2009. But Irwin is more concerned with properly preparing himself for the daunting task ahead. For him, that means “eating before

Gunnison Country Times

you feel you need to” and “drinking more than you think you should.” “It’s a pretty tall order,” said Irwin. “And you can’t fake it out there once you’ve blown.” The number of female riders to finish the “Full Growler” increased from three finishers to seven from year one to year two, and that number is expected to continue to rise this year. According to Crested Butte’s Laura Anderson, who took second both years, the level of talent pulled in is also on the rise. “There’s going to be a lot of good women out there,” said Anderson. “I think it’s going to be the most competitive field, whether it’s the small Growler or big Growler, that we’ve ever had.” The only question remaining for Anderson, is how much fun she wants to have. While she’s signed up for the full 64-mile jaunt, thoughts of sitting back after a shorter 32-mile trek have

Burner from page B3 and Jake Jones — had this in mind three years ago as they mapped out what has become an instant spring-time classic running race. The Sage Burner has lived up to its billing as a race to showcase the beauty of Hartman Rocks, and I for one am completely hooked. I love this race, not only because it is in my backyard, but also because the true nature of Hartman Rocks can only be experienced by running a large loop, which includes just about every major Hartman Rocks singletrack. This race has it all, from steep climbs and nasty drops to gradual dirt ascents and technical running sections. This Saturday I will be racing the Sage Burner 50K for the third consecutive year, as will many more. Many have faced challenges and many have effortlessly floated on its “buttery” singletrack. In 2008, the first year of this great event, 70 people toed the line in either the 25K or 50K events. Last year this event tripled in size to over 200 competitors. As you move on from the Ridge Trail and up the big climb on Top-of-the-World, you do begin to warm up and find a rhythm, one that will not leave you, if you are lucky, until the finish. Dropping down the north side of Top-o-the-World, the main goal needs to be to stretch out the legs from all the initial climbing and technical running. As you head down onto the

Duncan Callahan, seen here, is looking for his second Sage Burner 50K title on Saturday at Hartman Rocks. Times file photo

Water Treatment Plant trail, the temptation is to pick up the pace and hammer it out. Don’t. This could leave your legs devastated for the rest of the race. A quick scramble up to Gateway trail leaves you gasping and quickly you come to the realization that this is only seven miles into the race. No time to dwell on this though; it is time to move on. Eventually, through a mix of technical rock sections and dirt singletrack bliss, you end up about to head out on Buddy Bear and Dirty Sock and beyond. It is here, approximately 11 miles into the race, that aid station No. 2 greets the runner. This is the time to re-fuel and re-focus. The bone crushing descent down Enchanted Forest and the subsequent climb leaves the

50K runner on the verge of serious fatigue as you see the mile 15 aide station and begin your drop down toward the Aberdeen Quarry. This is a chance to take a brief rest before a gigantic climb up the technical Skull Pass Trail. I have many fond memories from this climb, as a place where decisions are made and character is forged. In the inaugural 2008 Sage Burner, this is where I launched my attack on a flagging Tim Parr and began to try and overcome a 5-minute deficit. A sagging spirit is quickly renewed at the top of this climb as you pass the aid station and realize you have just passed the halfway point. The Outback trail is next, which is by far my favorite part of this race course.

crossed her mind in recent days. “I’m still trying to decide,” said Anderson. “It’s between going out and having a hard race and then sitting around and drinking beer while everyone else suffers, or suffering for seven hours.” Locals Jennifer Smith, Susan DeMattei and Jari Kirkland will also be big threats for how the final podium shakes out. Boulder’s Eszter Horanyi owns the rights to the women’s “Full Growler” title, while names like Sonya Bugbee, Jennifer Gersbach and Sonya Looney have been thrown in the mix. Only time will tell and time is running out for participants in the 2010 edition of the Original Growler. The race starts at 7 a.m. sharp on Sunday from IOOF park in downtown Gunnison. (Matt Smith can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or mattsmith@

I usually use this as my “surge” trail. Working around in this counter-clockwise fashion, the 50K racer maneuvers eventually to Bambi’s trail, Gold Basin Road and then up the infamous “Elevator Climb.” This steep quad-buster takes you from Gold Basin Road back up to the Powerline and Josho’s trail. Most hike this climb and they cannot be blamed for that, as it comes some 24 miles into a difficult run. Dropping down Josho’s and Broken Shovel is the time to put the hammer down. Just don’t forget the ensuing run back up the Sea of Sage. After navigating the devastatingly deceptive Rattlesnake trail, it is all downhill on Becks and the infamous Notch. If you have any legs left at all, this is a great place to make up time on those who have lost their legs long ago. However, taking risks coming down the Notch is not advised, as any fall will lead to serious wounds. Coming into the finishing stretch is exhilarating with many spectators and the bloom of pride from finishing a daunting 31-mile run in the beautiful Hartman Rocks Recreation Area. I look forward to seeing you all out there this weekend, battling hard, fighting through fatigue and pushing back boundaries. The Sage Burner is a fantastic race that has become an instant spring-time classic in the high desert. It is a course to be respected and a field of participants to be admired. Race hard. Don’t quit. Happy trails.

Glory from page B3 ing in its inaugural year, with 40 climbers, and promises to be even bigger this year. Climbing will kick off on Saturday at 10 a.m. So what’s it all about, and what can a climber expect to experience out there? The concept is simple, to climb as many routes as possible in 24 hours. There will also be a 12 hour youth category with the same challenge. The event is promoted as a festival and a personal challenge, rather than a competition. All competitors will have equal chances at prizes from their 40 plus sponsors via a “golden ticket” giveaway. Prizes will also be awarded to the top male and female climbers. Hartman Rocks is reminiscent of the world-famous Joshua Tree climbing area in southern California. Granite domes, spires and crags that are surrounded by rolling hills, with incredible vistas of surrounding mountains. The rock is some of the sharpest anywhere, so a roll of athletic tape is recommended, especially for 24 hours of continuous climbing. Event organizer and Gunnison local Alec Solimeo reported that more than 300 routes are on the scorecard for Gunnison Glory this year. The climbs are bolted, traditional, mixed and bouldering. Many of the boulder problems are quite tall (up to 20 feet) so a crash pad is another advised piece of equipment. A helmet is required for the roped climbing and a headlamp is essential for night climbing. A steady intake of water and proper nutrition is essential to success. Food and drink will be available at the event from local businesses. Yoga sessions will happen over the course of the day, with teachers from both Gunnison and Crested Butte leading classes out at Hartman’s. Other events include chair massages, yoga, slack-lining and a nature awareness workshop for youth. The most difficult and trying time for the event will be during the night time. Some climbers will choose to mostly rest during the evening hours, while others will persevere and continue climbing. Volunteers from the event will patrol to ensure safety. Caffeineinfused drinks and gels will be popular choices for those trying to go the distance. Once the climbing is over at 10 a.m. on Sunday, the Gunnison Glory will move in town for an after-party awards celebration at Sugah’s Café/IOOF park in downtown Gunnison. For any last minute information contact Solimeo at 719.239.1939.


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Rage in the Sage Weekend  

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