Teams and solo adventure racers gathered on what was a day of unknown weather to compete in the Rock2Rock Adventure race from Monument, CO to Colorado Springs. The racers knew it would be a chilly Spring day, but no one knew whether to expect rain, snow, or sunshine. Throughout the day they experienced all in addition to some treacherous sleet and wind. However, the smiles, laughs, and camaraderie that maintained showed that the weather didn't slow the racers' adventurous spirit.
The event started bright and early (well, overcast and early anyway) at 6AM at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument. After a pre-race meeting racers began practicing for 2 special challenges that would determine their starting positions for the race: a rock climbing wall traverse and an ice hockey goal challenge. The ice hockey challenge invited racers out on the ice to complete 2 or more out of 4 attempts to land a goal. The rock climbing traverse challenged racers to use their forearm muscles to complete a 40ft traverse. Some racers elected for some last minute orienteering instruction before completing the challenges.
The course started between 9 and 9:40AM with 3 heats to spread out racers on the Santa Fe Trail. Racers headed south through the beautiful Air Force Academy stopping for their first checkpoint at the south exit gate leading to Woodmen road. While heading down the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, some racers elected to stop at Criterium Bike Shop to resolve some bike issues. Due to a serious malfunction, one racer had to even rent a new bike to continue on the course!
The second checkpoint signified the turn to one of the highlights of the race, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) land navigation and ropes challenges. After a bike drop transition area, including a check for safety gear needed for ropes challenges, racers tested out their map and compass skills in the breathtaking UCCS owned land adjacent to Pulpit Rock Park. This off trail course had racers climbing up and down the ridges and valleys in this not-widely known area. Even the race organizers were excited to discover new awesome trails in this area while planning the race. Amidst the challenging navigation, racers had to decide which one of two ropes challenges to complete in this area: a cable zipline or a rappel. The rappel was the faster choice for many competitive racers due to its favorable placement on the course, but the zipline was the undisputed adrenaline booster for many racers. The screaming fast zipline gave the sense of flying to racers who chose this 500ft challenge from the top of a ridge down into a valley. Some teams enjoyed it so much they hiked back uphill to do the zipline twice. Some teams even chose to do both the zipline and the rappel, highlighting one of the most important aspects of adventure racing, having fun!
Afterwards, racers jumped back on their bikes and continued heading south on the Pikes Peak Greenway trail to Sondermannn Park for a foot orienteering course. This course used a Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club map and had racers following topographical clues to gain checkpoints to finish the course and get back on their bikes. Sometime during this transition Team Muffin Tops was unlucky enough to acquire goat head thorns in their bike tires. Eventually, all four of Muffin Tops' tires popped, leading to a long push-bike trip to a bike shop to obtain more tubes... this time attempting to try the ones with the green jelly inside.
The next stop was at Monument Valley Park for special challenges that exercised racers' balance, coordination, and ability to work together. Teams had to choose two of three challenges in which to prevail: a slack line, a ropes descent to and ascent from Fountain Creek, and a raised checkpoint in a tree. The slack line is nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points similar to a tight rope, except that it is not as tight and is more like a skinny trampoline. While a balance challenge about 30 miles into the race was somewhat daunting, many racers completed and enjoyed this challenge! The ropes ascent and descent gave a bit up upper body muscle challenge to slightly balance out the long miles of leg work, while the raised checkpoint in a tree forced teams to work together. There was no possibility of climbing the tree so racers were on top of each others' shoulders or standing on interlaced hands to hoist their teammate to reach the checkpoint.
Upon completion of the Monument challenges the final course leg awaited racers which was, for some, the most difficult section of the course. Fatigued racers tackled orienteering while biking at Bear Creek Park. An established trail system provided plenty of opportunity for route finding choices to pedal their way to the checkpoints. Racers' reward for their perseverance was some nice double track and single track mountain biking on what was otherwise a mostly urban course.
After biking in the shadows of Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain, racers headed to the finish, where the final challenge waited racers: a 43ft indoor rock climb at the CityRock climbing gym in order to stop the race clock. Racers used their last bit of muscle reserves and conquered the final challenge that stood in the way of snagging some beer and brats! Phantom Canyon Brewery graciously provided the well deserved post race beer for the racers and the amazing Whole Foods brought and prepared the brats. The post race party included prizes for race winners and a swag raffle for all racers. All in all it was an incredibly fun time with a great community of racers!
The Big Mountain Adventure Racing for the Environment (BMARE) competition was also well received. Racers collected about 6 full trash bags worth of trash and a whole box of recyclables. Team Milky Mamas took first place with the most amount of trash collected by weight and Team Nord Vrai took second place with the most creative display of trash with their themed 'vices' trash collected: poker chips, cigarette packs, golf balls, and empty beer bottles.
The race attracted numerous first time adventure racers which helped reach one of Big Mountain Adventure's goals of introducing this fun sport to new people. Veteran teams and racers came as well, placing some impressive finishing times! The race included a large number of local racers, as well as racers representing 5 different states. Course times ranged from 4:39 to 9:20. Big Mountain Adventure received a gamut of positive feedback from racers. The common themes were appreciation of organization, variety in the race, and course design. Thanks everyone! We really enjoyed putting on the race and hope to provide our community of racers with fun and challenging races to come. We also hope to promote the use of our beautiful parks and trails in an environmentally friendly manner.
Thanks to all the racers and volunteers who made the event happen. And BIG congratulations to all for showing your enthusiasm and amazing endurance, especially through the grueling weather. We certainly head some hearty and strong racers... the snow, bike malfunctions, map oversights, getting lost and other mishaps did not deter any of the racers from finishing the course. There were winners with the fastest times, and there those un-announced winners too, who despite pushing bikes, getting lost, and other such mishaps never gave up and finished the course. Awesome!! We hope we'll see you again at Rampart RAGE on July 16th!
The Gazette: Sunday April 24th Front page of the newspaper, front page of the sports section, rear page of the sports section!
Venue:Monument, CO to Colorado Springs, CO
Lodging available - See Race Updates for more info
Race Length: 6 hr race with 9 hr cutoffRace Distance:Approximately 30-40 miles
Mountain Biking, Running/Trekking, Orienteering, Ropes Challenges (choose between a zipline, rappel, or tyrolean traverse), Low Ropes Challenges, Special Team ChallengesGear Format:Expedition Style (no transition areas), no support crewDivisions:3-4 Coed, 2 Open, 2 Coed, Solo Male, Solo Female, Large Group and Family (4+ open and 5+ coed)
Check-In & Pre-Race Meeting:
Check-in opens at 6AM. Mandatory pre-race meeting at 7AM sharp!Post-Race Party & SWAG Raffle:6PM to 8PM
We are proud to host the Rock2Rock Adventure Race in our beautiful hometown of Colorado Springs. The race begins in Monument, CO and will take you south along the southern front range down to Colorado Springs. Throughout the course you will experience some of the great parks, areas, and trails the cities of Monument and Colorado Springs has to offer. This location is well suited for an early season adventure race, such as the Rock2Rock. Traveling from Monument to Colorado Springs you will lose approximately 1000 feet in elevation and will be at an average of 6500 feet on the course.
Note that events and distances are approximate and subject to change. Mountain BikingApproximately 25 to 35 miles
Running/TrekkingApproximately 4-10 miles
OrienteeringUse of map and compass; Very minimal UTM checkpoint plotting. If you are new to UTM we can check your points and provide help.
Low Ropes ChallengesNo special skills or preparation needed. These are just some fun, safe challenges.
Ropes Challenges Choice Between:
Zipline - Lose elevation quickly using a cable and a pulley
Rappel - Descend a cliff using a rope
Secret ChallengesNo preparation necessary
This is a point to point, expedition-style (no transition areas), unsupported race. It begins in Monument, CO and ends in Colorado Springs, CO. Check-in will open at 6AM and must be complete by 7AM. There will be a mandatory pre-race meeting at 7AM prior to the race. Race cutoff is at 6PM and the post-race party is from 6-8PM. At 8PM, BMA will provide a shuttle for participants back to Monument. Transportation of bikes and gear may also be available (TBD). After shuttling, participants may have to drive back to Colorado Springs to acquire their bikes and gear. After you finish and during the post race party bikes and gear will be held in a secure, monitored location. If possible, we encourage you to have friends or family join you at the post race party and shuttle you back to the start location. If participants arrange for their own transportation, they should plan to be at the finishing location 6-8PM for the post race party and SWAG raffle.
Friend and Family Participation
We want your friends and family to be able to watch your progress along the course. This is usually difficult to do in adventure races. Your friends and family have a couple options to get involved in the race. They are invited to join us at the start of the race to watch some special challenges. After the teams leave the start we reveal locations and approximate times where they can meet you along the course at interesting areas. As well or alternately, Your friends can family can meet you at the finishing location and join you at the post-race party.
Details of start location parking are TBD. Details of finish location parking are TBD.
Specific race rules will be distributed at the pre-race meeting. These build on BMA's General Race Rules. Please note that race rules will be enforced for your safety and to keep the race fair to all participants.
Big Mountain Adventure Racing for the Environment (BMARE): We provide each team with a trashbag to have our participants collect trash at the race venue. There are two conditions for winning BMARE: amount and creativity. The team that collects the most amount of trash by weight wins first prize. The team that provides the most creative display of the trash collected within a 10 minute period wins second prize. Everyone has an equal chance to win this competition, but the environment is the real winner. The competition will be judged at the post race party.
Volunteer to help with Rock2RockGet a behind the scenes look at an adventure race Get involved in a friend or family member's passion without having to race with them Make some new friends Enjoy free food and beer/beverage Get a t-shirt or maybe even some SWAG
First Aid Kit containing at minimum the following:
2 4"x4" gauze pades
Small roll of 1/2" medical or duct tape
3" Ace Bandage
8 anti-inflammatory tablets (Ibprofen or similar)
One fully charged cell phone in a waterproof enclosure (zip bag ok)
Backpack to hold all gear for the race
Cool Weather Sport Performance Clothing (no cotton!)
Water Resistant Jacket
Waterproof Map Case
Waterproof bags or zip-lock bags for sensitive gear or clothing
When choosing a camera system, a system capable of quickly and easily providing pictures to the race officials using a PC is prefered
RACE PRIZES 1st Place
3-4 Coed: Sponsored by Nathan Sports
2 Open: TBD
2 Coed: TBD
Solo Male: BMA Race Voucher, value TBD
Solo Female: BMA Race Voucher, value TBD
4+Open/5+Coed: Race Vouchers, value TBD
3-4 Coed: TBD
2 Open: Sponsored by Planet Bike and Polar Bottle
2 Coed: Sponsored by Planet Bike and Polar Bottle
3-4 Coed: Sponsored by The Trailhead
Most Trash Collected: Sponsored by Golite
Most Creative Trash Display: Sponsored by Golite
Original Announcement Will YOU be ready to stretch your legs?Kick start your adrenaline reserves from the winter hibernation with the Rock2Rock adventure race in Colorado on April 23rd! Mountain bike, trek, and orienteer to ropes challenges including rappelling, traversing, or zip lining and conquer special challenges along this adventure-filled 6-9 hour course. Grab your teammates or brave it solo; we have a number of categories to accommodate any size group. Beginners through seasoned adventure racers can all enjoy! The race will go through some of the area's nicest parks and trails from Monument to Colorado Springs. Winners of each division can look forward to a variety of exciting prizes, plus all racers will score a t-shirt and awesome swag... and of course some adrenaline induced memories! Share the excitement at our post race party with included food, beer, and a gear-filled prize raffle (thanks to our generous sponsors!). Registration for Rock2Rock is open, cost is only $59/racer.
We wanted to kick start the AR season off early to shake off that pesky AR winter cabin fever. The ski season's blessed snow may still be upon us, so our terrain selection is limited compared to what we'll be providing for the rest of the AR season. So to make up for it... This race will be PACKED with fun and adventure!
We are proud to host this race in our hometown, Colorado Springs. The race will be in Monument/Colorado Springs area for a fun, early season adventure! There will be elements of urban and non-urban adventure in this race, but trust us: this will be 100% adventure racing fun!
Post Race Party and SWAG Raffle!You won't want to miss the post race party! Thanks to our generous sponsors we've got over $4000 of race prizes, SWAG, and raffle prizes to share with you! There will be food, beer, a raffle with number of sweet door prizes, a slideshow of the event, discussion, good company and good times. This is also a great time to give BMA feedback on your race experience. Friends and family are invited to the post race party, but food and beer are only guaranteed for racers. If you want to reserve food and drink for your friends and family, please send an email to email@example.com. The SWAG raffle is for registered racers only. We hope to see you there!
Massage and Chiropractic Services Available on Race Day. Healing Touch Massage will be at the race giving complimentary chair massage before the race and low cost table massage at the finish line and during the after race party. If you are interested in massage, be sure to bring money for tips at the beginning of the race. Pre-race massage is first come, first serve. Post-race massage is by reserved time slots first and then first come, first serve. Time slots for massage after the race will likely be hard to come by, so be sure to reserve your time slot by clicking here (link TBD). If you enjoy Healing Touch Massage services or if your body is in need of some post-race TLC, massage appointments for the following week can be made at the event. Any racer who books an appointment for massage at the conclusion of the event will receive $10 off!
We've partnered with Carefree Chiropractic for chiropractic services. Adventure racers beat up their bodies. Chiropractic tunes up the nervous system and keep you running at tip top shape. Carefree will have tables at the post race party and will introduce interested people to the benefits of chiropractic.
Updates on BMAR Blog, Facebook, and TwitterYour friends and family can stay upated during the race on how you're doing even if they can't attend. Team times and status will be updated periodically on the BMAR Blog, Facebook , and Twitter .