The 2009 Original Growler mountain bike race is in the books and while competitors valiantly endured volley after volley from both the race course and Mother Nature, most remarkable to me was the overwhelming support for this event from our community. So many were willing to roll up their sleeves and be a part of its quick ascension to becoming one of the premier mountain bike races in Colorado. This list is long and I have a feeling that this may be a two-part thank you letter: This one and the one in next week’s paper where I thank everyone that I overlooked here.
Special thanks to the Sage Burner crew of Scott Drum, Jake Jones, Christina Buchanan and Chris Martinez and WSC. Without the Sage Burner, the Growler doesn’t even exist.
The same goes for our local BLM office and Arden Anderson and Sally Thode. Without our Hartman Rocks public lands and the support from the BLM, we have nothing.
The City of Gunnison played a major role in supporting the Growler and contributed greatly. IOOF Park, the Hartman Rocks base area, the assistance in starting the race downtown, the clerk’s office, public works, this list goes on and on. Special thanks to Ken Coleman, Dan Ampietro, John Messner, Keith Robinson and the entire police department. Gunnison County and the Colorado State Patrol were both key players, as well. CSP Captain Clark Bates and Sergeant John Ehmsen were instrumental in our use of Highway 50 as the race rolled safely out to Hartman Rocks.
Steve Mabry , Chris Hanna and Brian Riepe from Crested Butte Printers and the Mountain Flyer Magazine: These guys have been a part of Gunnison Trails and the Growler from day one and have contributed thou:sands of dollars of in- kind hours and materials to our organization. Nearly everything visual that is Gunnison Trails or the Growler has come out of CB Printers.
Mary Burt lead our downtown operations and was the point person with local businesses. Mary is awesome and put in more time than anyone leading up to and through the event.
Ricky Garcia from the Tune Up once again headed up our far-flung Skull Pass Aid station with his primary crew of Clint Nichols and Joe Staub.
Cathie Pagano was thrown into the fire and executed beautifully our key Hartman Base Area operations, along with the help of her sidekick, Dan Crean. Dan also offered up the resources of Mavic, setting up neutral support services and vehicles for race support.
WSC Search and Rescue headed up by Matt Willis and his crew of Hannah Cotter , Ron Edwards and Scott Krankkala were covering the “safety bases” for us.
Other volunteer medical specialists who endured the entire day on various parts of the course and thankfully, had very little to do: Krista Powers, Erin Rogers, Colie Campbell Talbert, Matt Cotter, and Susan Calcaterra.
Our crew of course marshals who spent the entire day out in the wilds and elements of Hartman Rocks: Jefe Branham, Rory Piontkowski, Heather McDowell, Amelia Jervey, Todd Eggebraten, Jay Hunt, Bryan Wickenhauser, Drew Nelson, Marjorie Scarpella , Tom Verry, Phil Lambert, Jon Brown, Dave Kozlowski and Thornton Mount.
Our timing volunteers, Greg Morin and Ann Michel, who assisted Mitch Fedak and Tracy Rock with those important, day-long duties.
Key race day volunteers also included Heather O’Brien, John Nelson, Amber Prentiss, Steve Westbay Nikki Randt, Carly and Dana Morgan, Leia Morrison, Mary Jo Marvel, Kathryn Peacock, Shawna Campos, Allison MacAllister, Lisa Holland, Lane Nelson, Kate Magnus, Casey Davis, Eric Sullivan, Bob Blackett, and Elena Oster.
Lori Alexander and the Gunnison Brewery had their handprints all over the downtown festivities, while Matt and Charlotte Burke from Sugah’s Café put on the best post-race feed of all time.
KOA Dave Taylor provided, set up and tore down the highly appreciated and well-used giant tents in the park. He also BBQ’d meat on a stick at the finish line for hungry racers, volunteers and spectators. Free showers for racers at the KOA, too.
Kudos to Lisa Cramton and Travis Underwood from The Alpineer for donating great prizes and lending a wealth of experience in race promotion,and to Bill O’Rourke and Susan Teal at Tomichi Cycles for setting up a surprise feed zone on Josie’s trail as well as donating great raffle prizes.
Seth Weiner and Chad from Sun Sports transported racer bags to and from downtown and then were all over the course on a quad providing assistance and connectivity.
Ted Harter and Tracy Hildreth of Moncrief Ranches, who held off on turning their cattle onto the BLM lands for a couple of extra days to accommodate the Sage Burner and the Growler, were greatly appreciated.
Bruce Ost from Safeway; Dave Ochs, our MC Specialist; Mochas Coffee House; the Old Miner Steakhouse; Tee’z Me Screen Printing; The Firebrand and The Steaming Bean; Gunnison Valley Hospital EMS; Greg Brunson and Craven’s Coffee; Jean Steelman and City Market; CJ Miller and the Pioneer Society; and the crew at Pat’s Screen Printing.
Also, numerous trail users helped picked up course markings and remnants of the race. The course was completely cleaned by late Monday afternoon. If you do find an errant sign of the Growler, please help us by picking it up and disposing of it in an appropriate manner. Toward our goal of leaving the Hartman Rocks area in better condition after the race than it was in before, additional non-race garbage was also picked up.
Key supporters from outside the valley include Ergon, Oakley, New Belgium Brewing, Powerbar, SmartWool and Kenda Tires.
Finally, a huge thank you to all competitors and to everyone that came out to cheer for the racers. You were all fantastic! The 2009 Original Growler was an effort of the entire community and all proceeds benefit Gunnison Trails and your Gunnison trails!