Pole, pedal, paddle the Gunnison Valley
by Than Acuff
The forecast as of press time is calling for sun and warm temperatures on Sunday, April 28, so what better way to take advantage of the weather and what this valley has to offer than by jumping into the seventh annual CB3P.
“The weather is looking awesome,” says race creator/director Tiff Simpson.
While participation waxed and waned over the first several years of the event, it reached its all-time high last year with 105 racers and Simpson is looking to push that number even higher this year as she has set a goal of 120 participants.
“All proceeds go to support the Center for Mental Health, so the more people that register, the more money we can raise for a great community cause,” says Simpson.
While the CB3P has an incredible altruistic cause, it also rivals the Al Johnson and the Chainless as a classic local event that is not to be missed, blurring the lines between competition and fun.
The course itself has a little bit of everything, opening with a climb up the snow on Crested Butte Mountain for 1,800 feet before turning around and skiing back down. While spring weather can turn the slopes into a chundery mess, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is stepping in once again to create a user-friendly hike up and ski descent.
Following that, it’s time to bike 27.3 miles from the base of CBMR to Garlic Mike’s just north of Gunnison. The race then ends with a 4.7-mile paddle down the Gunnison River with a mix of class I and II+ rapids, including one last hole before the finish line. While the hole is pretty straightforward, it has been known to flip the random flotilla and swan.
To make things a bit more official, Simpson hired a professional timing crew that will not only catch the times of each leg of the race, but transition times as well.
“They will provide more accurate times and sooner,” says Simpson. “As someone who has competed in 3P events before, I like having the overall total time as well as times from transitions so I can see how long that took me.”
Even better, the race is open to solo competitors as well as teams of two to three, so you can share in the fun with friends to make it a great day on snow, road and water.
Even more better, the prize pile is out of hand. There will be cash doled out to the podium finishers in the solo race category, bottles of whiskey from Wood’s High Mountain Distillery for podium finishers in the solo fun category and gift certificates from local businesses to winners in the team category.
Then there’s the raffle. Companies have been throwing gear at Simpson for the raffle that every participant and volunteer will be entered into, including a pair of Black Diamond skis and two of the infamous ROMP shot skis as well as Keen shoes, Pit Viper glasses, Colorado Kayak Supply gear, and Hestra gloves, just to name a few.
“There’s plenty of chances to win cool stuff,” says Simpson.
KBUT will be broadcasting live from the event with coverage of both the start and all day at the finish line.
With the course and timing in place and abundant prizes gathered, the rest is now up to you to sign up. Online registration closes at Midnight on Friday, April 26. If the cap is not reached, there will be a chance to register at the mandatory racer/bib pick-up meeting at the Brick Oven on Saturday, April 27 at 5 p.m. BUT, only pre-registered racers are guaranteed a racer goodie bag, so sign up early. There will be no day of race registration available.
For all information and registration go to crestedbutte3p.com.