The Crested Butte Nordic Center’s 27th annual Alley Loop Nordic Marathon to be held on Saturday, February 2 is getting an update for 2013 with a new sponsor and new Friday festivities before the race. Griggs Orthopedics (GO) is stepping up to the plate as the presenting sponsor and, as a specialized clinic working on enhancing athletic performance as well as medical care, GO is offering skiers the chance to purchase a personalized training plan when they register for the race. The 2013 event also brings with it a Friday snow bike/fat bike criterium followed by the first-ever pub ski (pub crawl on skis). While the Alley Loop has been a staple of the winter calendar in Crested Butte for the last 26 years, these new events extend the skiing fun into Friday, giving locals and visitors a chance to enjoy the snow-laden streets in a whole new way.
Incorporated in 1880, Crested Butte is known for its spectacular scenery and quaint charm. The Alley Loop highlights both aspects by starting and finishing right on the main street, Elk Avenue, before meandering through snow-lined alleys and behind false-fronted Victorian buildings, then heading out onto the Crested Butte Nordic Center’s expertly groomed trails. Comprised of distances ranging from the 1.5 and 3 kilometer children’s races all the way up to the half and full marathons, the Alley Loop has a place for both the serious racer and the cross-country enthusiast.
What began as a handful of hardy Buttians skiing the alleys of Crested Butte in 1986 is now one of the premier Nordic races in the country. Already an American Birkebeiner qualifier, the Alley Loop drew 450 skiers from 18 states in 2012. Last year it also joined the prestigious American Ski Marathon Series (ASMS)—14 races from Vermont to Alaska that includes only four events in the Western United States, with the Alley Loop as the sole Colorado event. Registration and more information for the Alley Loop Nordic Marathon presented by Griggs Orthopedics is online at cbnordic.org.
This year, the Nordic Center is taking advantage of the snow on Elk Avenue to host the pub ski on Friday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m. This is a unique event that is part dare, part trivia, part progressive party. Participants will be grouped in teams to visit local establishments where they will imbibe unique libations, but also rack up points doing quirky challenges or answering trivia questions. Registration for the pub ski is online with race registration, or in-person on February 1 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the CB Visitors’ Center. The cost is just $5 for racers; for non-racers, the event is $10 in advance or $15 the day-of.
Friday will also feature the first-ever Crested Butte snow/fat bike criterium. Cyclists will utilize the Alley Loop start and finish before heading out onto the Nordic trails. Races will include a solo race starting at 3:30 p.m. and a relay race (2, 3, or 4 people) starting at 3:40 p.m. Individual registration is $15 and teams are $30, with cash-only registration starting at the Brick Oven Pizzeria at 2:30 pm. The only requirement is a “snow” or “fat” bike with tires that are a minimum of 3.7 inches wide. Prizes will be given for the winners of each category, but the real reward is cruising around the beautiful CB trails on two-wheels for the first time. Demo bikes will be available, and one bike can serve an entire team. Please see elkmountainevents.com for race course and more info, and email email@example.com with questions and to reserve a demo bike.
Poised at 8,885 feet and surrounded by the spectacular Elk Mountains, Crested Butte is a small ski town with a big character. Its warm welcome and wacky spirit come out in full force during the Alley Loop when costumed locals take to the streets in droves to ski, volunteer, and cheer, making it a true community-wide event. Paired with the nearby Alpine ski area, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and an average of 300 inches of snow a year, CB is a perfect destination for skiers of all kinds.
The Crested Butte Nordic Center (CBNC) is a world-class destination Nordic ski area, offering breathtaking views and the best cross-country skiing in Colorado’s high country. The Center offers 55 km of groomed Nordic trails, as well as guided tours, ski lessons, snowshoeing, sledding, a covered ice skating rink, and dining at their backcountry yurt. CBNC is located at the corner of 2nd and Whiterock, in the historic mining town and renowned skiing destination of Crested Butte, CO. For more information, contact the Nordic Center by calling 970-349-1707, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting the CNBC’s website at www.cbnordic.org.