Last week, Gypsum Town Council members unanimously approved donating $10,000 from the town's reserve fund to help start a race series in partnership with the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.
The races start June 1 with the Adult/Youth Sprint Triathlon and continue through the summer. A Cycling Time Trial is June 6 and an 8K or 5K Trail Run is June 7. The second annual Gypsum Dirty Dozen obstacle race is July 13.
"Our goal is to host races from June to the end of September," Gypsum Recreation Center Manager Scott Ruff told Gypsum Town Council when he asked for a donation to the effort.
"We want to play off our Playful City theme and perhaps add a 'most health city' theme as well," he said. "We anticipate 100 racers per event in the first year, not counting the Dirty Dozen. Our goal is to register 500 people for the Dirty Dozen this year."
The town's $10K donation covers one third of the race series' budget and will help market the events.
"We're looking to bring in outside money instead of regurgitating our own money in the community," said Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll. "It will take a few years to develop the events. This is similar to what Eagle's been doing with it's mountain biking."
Ruff said he is working with the Creek Side Grill to create a "race and dine concept" that encourages racers to stay in town for dinner after the events.
The niche for the WECMRD Race Series, Ruff said, is for people who want to sample a competitive experience before entering the bigger races upvalley.
"We get a lot of never-evers walking through our doors who are intimidated by any race," he said. "We'll offer programming at the Rec Center to help them prepare and the distances of the races will be shorter."
By addressing those demographics, Ruff wants to build a series of events that will "bring people into town."
The Youth Sprint Triathlon June 1 is for children 7 to 15. Registration is due May 29 and costs $20. The event includes a 200-meter swim, 5-mile bike ride and 1-mile run.
The Adult Sprint Tri is for ages 16 and up. Registration costs $35 and is due May 29. The race includes a 500-meter swim, 16-mile bike ride and 3.2-mile run.
Registration for the 12-mile Cycling Time Trial is due June 5 and costs $30.
Registration for the 8K/5K Trail Run is due June 5 and costs $30 or $25, respectively. An 8K/5K Trail Fun Run for children 12 and under on June 7 is free but registration is still due June 5.
The Gypsum Dirty Dozen involves several unusual obstacles and there is a division for children in kindergarten up to 17 years old. Registration for children costs $25 and is due July 12. Adults race a longer course and registration is $40, due July 12.
Some of the events offer 10 to 15 percent discounts for GRC members on registration fees.
To register or find more information about the events, visit http://wecmrd.org/sports/race-series/ or call the GRC at 970-777-8888.