Rage in the Sage Weekend Taps Incredible Terrain & Athletic Spirit in Gunnison, Colorado

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Four races & rides kick off the summer over Memorial Day weekend – May 28 – 29

growler_logoGUNNISON-CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (April 8, 2011) — Located at 7,700 feet and home to a large number of adventure athletes and Olympians that compete across the globe, Gunnison, Colo. offers legendary trails and climbing routes. To kick off the summer right and showcase the terrain, Rage in the Sage weekend features two days of biking, running and rock climbing over Memorial Day Weekend on May 28 – 29.

Three annual races from the three disciplines have synced their schedules with all the competitions taking place at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area, located 3.5 miles west of Gunnison. Pre- and post-race activities and entertainment will be held downtown at IOOF Park, allowing family, friends and the general public to enjoy the live entertainment and festivities. A new addition to the weekend is the Pedal to Paradise Gran Fondo bike ride from Gunnison to Mt. Crested Butte and back for a round trip of 62 miles of road riding surrounded by stunning scenery.

The goal of the third annual 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory is to bag as many rock-climbing routes as your body and mind will allow from 10 a.m. on May 28 to 10 a.m. on May 29. Climb with one to five of your favorite climbing partners and explore more than 200 routes featuring a variety of traditional, mixed, sport and boulder options. Last year, 74 climbers, ranging in ages from 5 to 55, participated. Four bands—Spring Creek, Russell Chapman, Iola and Poetry Normal—will play at Hartman Rocks from 6 – 12 p.m. on May 28. The public is welcome to attend. Visit www.gunnisonglory.com for details and www.athletereg.com for registration. Proceeds will benefit youth organizations, including the Gunnison Valley Peaceful Warriors and Climb up So Kids Can Grow Up, a climbing fundraiser hosted by the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.

The fourth annual Sage Burner Trail Race is set for May 28 and features 50K and 25K races at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area, both starting at 7:30 a.m. The number of racers is limited to 350. For information and registration (including costs), visit www.gunnisontrails.com. Proceeds Gunnison Trails, a not-for-profit trail advocacy organization.

The local mountain biking race season officially kicks off on May 29 at 7 a.m. with the Original Growler organized by racing great Dave Wiens who dominated the Leadville 100 for many years, edging out Lance Armstrong in 2008. Registration for the 64-mile (two laps) and 32-mile (one lap) competitions, with each lap climbing 4,000 vertical feet, are sold out. The race is for experienced mountain bikers and is capped at 350 riders, with proceeds benefiting Gunnison Trails. Go to www.gunnisontrails.com for information.

Pedal to Paradise Gran Fondo, new to the area’s biking calendar, is a metric century bike ride (100K or 62 miles) from Gunnison, located at 7,700 feet elevation, to Mt. Crested Butte’s Prospect area at 9,700 feet, and back to Gunnison. The ride begins at approximately 7:15 a.m. on May 29, immediately after the start of the Original Growler, and is expected to take three to six hours. The pre-registration cost is $65 (includes T-shirt, supported ride, rest stations with snacks/drinks, lunch in Gunnison, beer and entertainment) or $80 the morning of the event. Kids up to the age of 15 pay $10 when riding with an adult, and tandem bikers pay $120 for a duo. For information, contact Janice McElroy at (970) 349-1195 and watch for a website to go live at www.pedaltoparadise.com.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information
To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte’s calendar of events and personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free number (800) 814-8893 or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com/packages. Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow us on www.twitter.com/gcbta.

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver and also by Continental Airlines and American Airlines in the winter.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

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SOURCE:
Beth Buehler
Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association

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