A cracking good time at Glenwood Oyster | AspenTimes.com

A cracking good time at Glenwood Oyster

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy Derek Jolly Participants in the The Merrell Oyster Off-Road Adventure Race zoom down the alpine coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure park. The race wasn't all fun and games, though, as racers had to bike up to the caverns from Two Rivers Park during the first of four legs.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Merrell Oyster Off-Road Adventure Race went down this weekend as smoothly as, well, a fresh oyster slides down the hatch.

“It went incredibly smooth,” said Lindsey Lewis, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association marketing project manager.

The race challenged teams of two to four participants in disciplines including mountain biking, running and rafting. Racers also had to ride the alpine coaster at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and had to try out the new Glenwood Canyon Resort zipline that crosses the Colorado River at No Name.

The race also included several surprise challenges, such as a word search and a logic puzzle. Racers even had to partake in a round of beer pong at the Springs Downtown Bar and Grill.

Lewis, who worked on getting the adventure race to Glenwood Springs, also participated in the event on May 22. She said that the course was more challenging than she expected but was still a lot of fun.

“It was pretty fun and quirky,” Lewis said. “I worked hard to get this event to Glenwood, so it was nice to participate in it and see it come together and to be successful.”

Lewis looks forward to having the Oyster Off-Road Race return to Glenwood in 2011, too.

“It was really fun, and it sounded like people were really excited to bring it back next year,” she said.

Organizer Luann Morris with Team Player Productions is definitely excited to bring the race back to Glenwood next year with the spectacular turnout that this first-ever event received. Morris said that first year events in the urban races typically draw about 30 to 40 teams. So, to have 55 for teams register for this race was a very good sign.

“It’s definitely a great product and one that has proven to be popular with this kind of turnout,” Morris said. “It was definitely a success.”

Fifty-five teams comprising 159 people registered for the adventure race in its inaugural year. Of the teams that registered, Lewis estimated that 36 were from out of town and 19 were from the local area. For Lewis, that local interest was nice to see.

“It was great to get so many locals involved, too,” Lewis said.

The Oyster Race has traditionally been an urban adventure race set in cities like Denver, Austin and Chicago. However, after the success of the Off Road version of the race, Morris said that more will likely be sprouting up next year. Morris said that Team Player Productions already has plans to expand the Off-Road race to cities of Bend, Ore., and possibly even Park City, Utah, next year, just off the success that Glenwood has shown.

“It was a great time and a great town to hold the first event,” Morris said. “Glenwood is a great playground for us.”

Ken Murphy, member of the Glenwood Springs Tourism Board and owner of Glenwood Canyons Zipline Adventures, is excited that this race had such a good turnout.

Murphy said that the interest and success of this race will hopefully spill over to another adventure race, the Adventure XStream Series, that is scheduled for Sept. 11.

“It’s a little more of a true adventure race,” Murphy said.

Registration for that race begins June 1, and information is available at http://www.gravityplay.com.