Derek Franz
dfranz@eaglevalleyenterprise.com

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July 12, 2012
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Event-filled Saturday in Gypsum

Over the mud, through the "spider web" and over the flames they'll go - about 200 people are going to get down and dirty on Saturday when the starting gun goes off for Gypsum's first Dirty Dozen 5K race.

Saturday also features a Collin Raye Concert, a beer tent and all-day fun and games.

Registration for the race now costs $65 for adults. All children under 12 may participate for $25. The cost of registration includes a T-shirt, a ticket for one beer and admission to the Collin Raye concert at Lundgren Theater.

Non-racers may enjoy the all-day festivities, including the concert, for $15. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult.

The foot race involves 12 earthy obstacles that are encountered throughout the approximately 3-mile course. Children 12 and under will run two laps through the first four obstacles, a distance of about 1 mile.

"They are going to get really muddy," said Scott Ruff, manager of the Gypsum Recreation Center and organizer of the event. "The depth of the mud varies. In some places it's about a foot, and in others - where people will be crawling through pipes into water and mud on their stomachs - it's shallower, to make it a safe depth."

There is now a 13th obstacle as well, which wasn't planned.

"A large tree fell across the path of the race course this spring," Ruff said. "I figured we might as well make it part of the course."

The highlight obstacle will be at the finish line near Lundgren Theater and is likely to ignite interest from spectators.

"The adult racers will jump over burning logs into the finish line," Ruff said. "There won't be big flames - the logs will only be smoldering under the supervision of the fire department - but they'll be hot and you'd better get your feet up."

As the race runs its course, music gets started and food and craft vendors will be on site. A beer garden is planned from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a variety of live music and special events are planned throughout the day. To conclude the day's fun, Collin Raye will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.

Collin Raye seems to be a musician whose work is better known than he is.

For anyone who catches his concert at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Lundgren Theater, odds are good to hear something familiar even if you've never heard Raye's name before. His heart-felt music has been popular at weddings and funerals since the early 1990s and his pitch-perfect voice continues to produce hits today. If you're familiar with the lyrics, "Every second, every minute, every hour of every day," you've heard Collin Raye, who has been nominated five times as country music's Male Vocalist of the Year.

Raye has been known especially for addressing social issues in his work. "Little Rock" was used in an Alcoholics Anonymous awareness campaign and "I Think About You" was part of a child-advocacy campaign.

"Love, Me" brought Raye his first bit of fame in 1991 and "In This Life" became a wedding favorite shortly after.

Besides his serious songs, Raye has a good portfolio of fun ones, such as "Hurricane Jane" and "Mid-Life Chrysler." Those songs and "Never Going Back" contrast his softer music with a bluesy hard-rock style.

Comments on YouTube attest to the quality of Raye's live performances.

"This guy is a must-see in concert," reads one comment on a video of a live performance of "Mid-Life Chrysler."

"He is a great live entertainer/singer," reads another comment associated with the video.

Raye is obviously doing what he loves and continues to work hard at what he does.

"I'll be in the recording studio tomorrow recording a greatly anticipated song!" his Facebook page read on Monday.

"I believe there's a reason things happen the way they do," Raye says on his website, www.collinraye.com. "I also believe that if you've treated people right and you continue to work hard at your craft, things will happen. I want to keep going. I want hit records. I want to make music."

He'll do just that Saturday evening in Gypsum.


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 12, 2012 09:54PM Published Jul 12, 2012 09:48PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.