Multi-sport racing is re-born
CB3P a success in year one
Times Staff Writer
Originally published 2013-05-02
Another niche of the multi-sport racing world looks like it might have found a home here in the Gunnison Valley.
Despite having just seven athletes signed up to compete in the days leading up to Sunday’s inaugural Crested Butte Pole, Pedal Paddle (CB3P), almost 50 showed up on race day to set the event off on the right foot.
“We were considering cancelling the event,” said race organizer Tiffanie Simpson, a Crested Butte resident. “But just like everyone told me, in the last 24 hours registrations started pouring in.”
Similar to events held in Jackson, Wyo., and Salida — and one that was held in the Gunnison Valley several years ago — CB3P challenged participants in three disciplines: skis, bikes and boats. The race course began with an abridged ski race on Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR), transitioned into a road bike leg from Mt. Crested Butte to Gunnison and finished with a paddle down the Gunnison River from North Bridge to the Whitewater Park.
Simpson said that the warm weather late last week and throughout the weekend provided ample terrain for the river portion, while the ski course had to receive some tweaks at the last minute due to potentially hazardous conditions.
“The day prior it got up into the 50s and everything was pretty slushy,” she said.
Signs of life amidst mud season in Crested Butte were present for Saturday night’s pre-race party at the Brick Oven, where most people signed on for the race. A majority of the 49 participants in Sunday’s race were from Crested Butte.
“Everyone says this is off season and you can’t do anything, but we’re all still here,” said Evan Ross, who was the first place overall finisher. “It was good to see everyone come out of the woodwork.”
Ross, also a Crested Butte resident, is no stranger to pole, pedal paddle events. He’s posted a number of second place finishes at the Salida version of the event, before de-throning Gunnison’s Jessie Rickert for the crown this year.
Ross was in fourth place after the ski leg, but made up serious ground in the 25-plus miles of road riding to North Bridge. He was able to pass men’s race leader Shane Sigle in the process and mount about a three minute lead going into the float to the Whitewater Park.
Sigle crossed the finish line in 2:14:31, just under two minutes behind Ross. Crested Butte’s Zach Guy finished in third place in the men’s race division, in 2:24:49.
Crested Butte’s Sarah Stubbe won the women’s race category, while Grant Bremer took home the title in the men’s fun division. A total of 24 participants chose to take on the event in the team category, which split up the duties of each leg.
Simpson said that she hopes to continue holding the event on the final Sunday of April each year. With year one under her belt, she believes that there are a handful of tweaks that will help improve CB3P in years to come.
“We had such an amazing response that we’re definitely bringing it back next year,” she said.
One of those improvements, according to Ross, will be spicing up the pot in the costume contest.
“I’d like to say that CB holds its own with costumes, but this particular event we had more spandex than anything,” he said. “But I was honestly blown away with the number of people that came out.”
For complete results from Sunday’s CBP3, visit crestedbutte3p.com.
(Matt Smith can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com)