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Mountain Rats Festival in Eagle hopes to capture ‘the spirit of the valley’

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Mountain Rats Competition in Eagle hopes to seize ‘the spirit of the valley’

The Mountain Rats Competition is again for one more yr of working, fun-running and biking. This yr, it’s bringing a slice of actuality TV to Eagle Ranch: The Wonderful Race scavenger hunt.

Twenty groups of 2-6 folks will race on human-powered transportation — foot, skateboard, scooter, even bike although there is perhaps a time penalty for that — to clue packing containers round Eagle Ranch. Identical to the present, individuals rip open an envelope, deduce the place they’re headed to subsequent, and jet off as quick as they’ll. The spirit of the hunt celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Eagle Ranch, and every participant receives an Wonderful Race branded buff.

“It’s the very same format as you see on TV,” stated Clark Gundlach, organizer of Mountain Rats and co-founder of Coloration Espresso Roasters in Eagle. We met exterior the espresso store to speak all issues Mountain Rats, and each of us are followers of “The Wonderful Race.”

“I used to be sitting in right here on a Friday night time, manner again in January, we have been speaking and it simply went,” he made an “aha” face, “‘I do know what we are able to add.’”

Members within the Wonderful Race scavenger hunt will obtain a commemorative buff.
Particular to the Day by day

Mountain Rats Competition takes place from Saturday, Sept. 19 to Sunday, Sept. 20. The flagship occasions are the path half-marathon, the 55K extremely on Saturday and the family-friendly 5k in Eagle Ranch on Sunday. New this yr is a 50K mountain bike race to lift cash for The Cycle Impact, and naturally, The Wonderful Race: Eagle Ranch. Signup for occasions is required: there are nonetheless spots within the mountain bike race and the household 5k. Head to mountainrats.com or geminiadventures.com to RSVP and examine extra data.

In its first three years, Mountain Rats occurred over simply someday of ultra-running occasions. The 5k was new final yr, winding via the recreation path. Day 2 was added to the pageant for just a few causes. One of many primary components was spreading out the group for social distancing. The occasion has been working with Eagle County Public and Environmental Well being departments, and again within the spring, each recommended spreading the occasion out over two days to cut back neighborhood impression.

“And, relatively than simply someday, we’re constructing it right into a pageant,” Gundlach stated.

Gundlach wished to host extra stay music and meals vehicles to actually give Mountain Rats a pageant vibe, however that’s not potential this yr. There can be refreshments and DJ music all day, and organizers hope to tug every part collectively in full power subsequent yr.

Each participant will get a free espresso from Coloration Espresso, and a free beer from sponsor Sierra Nevada. Sponsor Strolling Mountains Science Middle is bringing of their workforce to assist run the occasion with zero waste.

In essence, Mountain Rats is a hyper-localized, post-Labor Day model of the GoPro Mountain Video games. Gundlach hopes to seize that adventure-junkie, outdoor-loving spirit of the Eagle Valley with the occasion.

“It’s constructing into an iconic occasion down right here,” Gundlach stated.

Mountain Rats began as a possibility for runners to compete in difficult path occasions, and has grown. The pageant is now in its fourth yr.
Particular to the Day by day

The ultra-running occasions have additionally attracted high-profile runners from across the state that haven’t gotten to compete a lot this summer season. Resulting from spring occasion cancelations, Mountain Rats is internet hosting one of many few ultra-running occasions within the state, and the 55k extremely is full. Whereas extra folks can be coming into Eagle, Mountain Rats has taken diligent care to be sure that everybody stays protected through the pandemic.

“We’re setting it up like most of the occasions which have run, the place every part is unfold out, begin instances are unfold out,” Gundlach stated. “[Vail Recreation District] is doing the identical factor. They’ve been an awesome benchmark for us.”

The identical holds true for The Wonderful Race: Eagle Ranch. Half of the groups will run the course one path, and half will run the opposite manner. And everybody will take off at totally different instances.

However a very powerful a part of the Mountain Rats Competition isn’t concerning the occasions that occur: it’s about bringing pleasure and sharing our neighborhood’s values with others.

“I’ve been concerned with out of doors occasions for a few years. The satisfaction of watching folks having enjoyable open air, having fun with the outside right here domestically … you understand how it’s,” Gundlach stated. “It’s the spirit of the folks within the valley.”

To enroll in the 5k or the mountain bike race, in addition to view occasion instances, go to mountainrats.com or geminiadventures.com.


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