Western Slope cyclocross, running races are Sunday in Grand Junction | VailDaily.com

Western Slope cyclocross, running races are Sunday in Grand Junction

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Will Hays runs up a hill during last fall's Orchard Treads cyclocross race with Mount Garfield in the distance
Special to the Daily |

GRAND JUNCTION — It wasn’t that long ago that fall signaled the time for mountain athletes to put away their bikes and shoes, and get ready for winter. Not so much anymore, as there are a slew of Western Slope bike and foot races beginning on Sunday.

Mountain and Desert Racing, based in Grand Junction, is holding their second season of Urban Tread Adventures, a six-race series of cyclocross and trail-running events. Each race brings a unique course — such as through a corn maze in Fruita, or through an orchard in Palisade — with modified bike courses for all ability levels. Race organizer John Klish said the cyclocross races are ideal for people in the mountains or Grand Valley who are training for Front Range races.

“I’m trying to build a community that will thrive well on this type of racing and be ready for the Front Range. We’re meeting the standards of cyclocross and going above and beyond with additional features,” he said.

Runners race on the same course, bursting up and down short hills, jumping barriers and running through the forest. The running courses will typically be equivalent to a 5K, said Klish.

“It’s like a steeplechase race, but more fun.”John KlishRace organizer

“It’s like a steeplechase race, but more fun,” he said.

Kids go First

The first race, Match-It Treads, kicks off on Sunday in Grand Junction, with kids races going off at 9:30 a.m. and other categories following. Other races are: Corny Treads on Oct. 4 in Fruita, Creepy Treads on Oct. 23 in Grand Junction, Orchard Treads on Nov. 8 in Palisade, Salty Treads on Nov. 21 in Fruita and Merry Treadmas on Dec. 13 in Grand Junction.

Costs are $25 pre-registration, $35 day-of, with $2 per participant donated to a nonprofit. Klish said the series attracted some new riders last year, as well as bike enthusiasts looking to extend their seasons and have some fun.

‘More Rounded and active community’

“I grew up in the Grand Valley wanting to race, and we were limited at the time. I also lived in the Vail Valley for awhile and watched the racing community grow there,” he said. “I got a taste for cycling competition in college. Now I’m back (in the Grand Valley, and I want to provide these events so we can have a more rounded and active community out here.”

Find out more or register for events at http://www.madracingcolorado.com or at their Facebook page.

Assistant Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at mwong@vaildaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.