“Just harden up, put your name down and get it done"
Oh, it’s on, people. While several of you may be cursing the recent spate of snow this past week, organizers and competitors couldn’t be more excited, as the new snow could keep the Crested Butte Pole, Pedal and Paddle, aka the CB3P, course intact for the third annual race on Sunday, April 26.
Two weeks ago, CB3P organizers from the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, Elk Mountain Events and race director Tiff Simpson were working on a back-up plan for the ski portion of the race, as the snow pack at Crested Butte Mountain Resort was dwindling fast.
Now, the recent refresher may just allow the race to be run in its original format.
“Üllr is a living and reckoning force to be dealt with,” says Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce director Dave Ochs. “It doesn’t hurt, that’s for sure.”
The race kicks off at 10 a.m. with a Le Mans start from the Mountaineer Square fire pit to the snow on Crested Butte Mountain, where racers will then step into their skis or snowboards for a climb up Crested Butte Mountain. The climb itself is a little over 1,500 vertical feet to Windy Gap at the top of International via Warming House Hill, Keystone and Paradise Bowl.
From there racers will “tear the hides” and bomb down Jokerville, Upper Park, Keystone and Warming House Hill before transitioning to bikes at the fire pit area in Mountaineer Square.
Bikers then have 27 miles to ride from Mt. Crested Butte to the North Bridge put in across the highway from Garlic Mike’s. At that point, competitors turn to the water for a 4.5-mile-long paddle down the Gunnison River to the Whitewater Park. The river section is predominantly class II with one class II+ rapid right before the finish line.
One thing to remember: While there is a race element to the CB3P, it is really all about the fun and participants do not need the latest and greatest in skimo, road biking and river running gear. There are some safety gear requirements such as helmets for the ski and bike portions and helmets and PFDs for the paddling section but, other than that, run what you brung.
“I would love to encourage shenanigans,” says Ochs. “Whatever you got, take it out there.”
As of press time, registration was a bit spotty but organizers expect the numbers to jump as race day approaches.
“It’s the same old thing—people are waiting to see what the weather will be,” says Ochs. “Just harden up, put your name down and get it done.”
The first 50 people to register are guaranteed a goodie bag and a pint glass. Registration is available online at crestedbutte3p.com until Friday, April 24 and then again at the mandatory racers’ meeting on Saturday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce building at the Four-way Stop in town.
Thanks to New Belgium Brewery there will be $500 in cash to be divided up among the top three men and women solo race category finishers. In addition, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery from Salida will have bottles of their product to hand out as prizes, and there will be plenty of prizes for the raffle. Suffice it to say, if you race you’ll probably end up with a cold refreshment in one hand and a prize in the other.
One thing is for sure, the CB3P has something for everyone with both race and rec classes for solo and teams of three. In addition, there is no age requirement so, just as in years past, kids’ teams are encouraged to jump in.
“This race is open to anyone and everyone,” says Ochs.
Last year’s overall winners, Team Green—Billy Laird, Brian Smith and Milozadik Wishecudski—lost Laird for this year’s race but found a replacement in Marshall Thomson and are gunning for a repeat title.
“Team Green is now Team CB ALLSTARS,” says Wishecudski. “I’m sure Marshall can deal with international pressure, but can he handle the pressure of his first CB3P?”
For more information about the race or to register, check out crestedbutte3p.com. Rain or shine, this race is not to be missed.