Skaters enliven Carbondale at Thrasher event | AspenTimes.com
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Skaters enliven Carbondale at Thrasher event

Tim Mutrie

It was billed as the anti-contest.And so there were no contests, at least not as planned, just a lot of “camping, having fun, hanging out, drinking beer, skating and seeing old friends.”That’s paraphrasing Carbondale Run organizer Mickey Reyes from last week. But what the ringleader of the San Francisco-based Hell Ride Crew Productions failed to mention was that the list was also in fact prioritized.A skateboarding event styled after motorcycling’s Sturgis, the first Carbondale Run presented by Thrasher Magazine brought together 2,000-plus skaters and fans Saturday, many of whom traveled great distances by car, for a mud fest blowout at the former North Face site ball field and brand new skatepark.Rains sacked the contest lineup scheduled for Saturday afternoon and evening, with standing water pooling up in the concrete basins. So the event gave way to impromptu fireworks displays, mudslide contests, a lot of drinking and skating (in no particular order).”Twenty kegs kicked,” Reyes announced on the PA about 5 p.m. Saturday as the rain settled in, temporarily barring skating in the main pools. Instead, skaters invented a challenge on one of the only features that wasn’t soaking wet, owing to its near-vertical pitch, by plunging off the top of the full-pipe capsule.Ryan Sheckler, a now famous pro who looks no older than his 14 years, rode out the extreme transition with ease. Other pros also made it clean, while a handful crashed trying.Later, when rains put an end to even this activity, Reyes put up $100 for a mudslide contest. It wasn’t clear whether one particularly enthusiastic participant received the funds.And despite its challenges, sloppy conditions and blown schedules, Reyes couldn’t have been happier with the ever-evolving spectacle around him.”Look at the mud – it’s better than Oz Fest,” he said with pride. “Every scumbag from every town came, and the tribe’s met. I want to thank the town of Carbondale for having us.”No matter that spectators and top pros alike had little clue about what was all transpiring – at least pertaining to the scheduled contests. (Pros Mark Hubbard, Tony Trujillo and Omar Hasson won the contests that were held long before schedule due to the weather, according to Reyes.)So when the skies cleared and the concrete dried out again at about 6 p.m., when the actual contests were scheduled to be under way, the spectators just closed in on all the lips of the bowls to watch and the pros just skated.At times, inches separated skaters from fans.”I haven’t the faintest idea about what’s happening,” said legend Lance Mountain of Los Angeles.”But it’s cool,” continued Mountain, 40, a revered pioneer of the sport who has been skating for 30 years. “I skate all the time but I haven’t entered a contest in years. And there’s so many different types of skaters nowadays, so many groups, that they don’t even meet up much anymore.”X Games is like the NBA and this is the schoolyard – all these people might not be the top pros, but I bet they all skate 20 hours a day. This is their life.”Chris Senn, a top skater from Hawaii, wasn’t fazed either.Not even when a fan accosted Senn bear-hug style, spilling beer on him, and asked to have a photo taken with him. “I came all the way from Missouri and yesterday I got to skate with Chris Senn,” the fan said, still clutching Senn. “Awesome.””This is what we do every week,” shrugged Senn, 31. “It’s all we do, really. It’s never really competitive from a contest standpoint, even when events are produced that way. So we just skated.”Aspen’s Josh Bailey, a top local skater who qualified to skate in Saturday’s events with a runner-up finish in a contest Friday in Carbondale, was also in the dark.”To tell you the truth, I don’t know what’s going on,” said Bailey, 29. “I was told to skate today. I skated and it was fun.”While skating in the ensuing jam sessions, Bailey earned praise for a high-speed, high-risk line in-and-out of the full-pipe capsule, hurtling himself from a height of 8 feet off the deck some 18 feet in distance down the deck – almost shaving fans’ faces – and stomping his landing and riding on with fluidity.At least one family left the event a little confused. Said one mother upon rising to leave from the bleachers, “It’s definitely not what I expected. It’s crazy.”In one bizarre crowd scene, a man spit half of a hot dog at another man, seemingly at random, as he walked past. The spitter just kept walking as the victim appraised the situation – “That dude just spit a hot dog on me,” he said to his buddies.Huddled up with the victim, Reyes and a Carbondale police officer talked the man out of retaliation just as someone else set off a whole pack of firecrackers in their immediate vicinity.One local resident called the event the wildest display of humanity he’d ever seen in 20 years in the valley.But according to Chris “Woodsie” Woods, the local event organizer from the Carbondale Recreation Department, there were few problems with police.”Except for the fire, which they’re investigating the cause of, it seemed to go pretty smoothly,” Woodsie said on Sunday (see related story on page A1).”No arrests to my knowledge, though some minor stuff happened Saturday night,” said Woodsie, adding, “I’m still expecting I’ll be getting a lot of crap.”As darkness fell Saturday, the last skaters and partiers began leaving the park. Some headed for nearby campsites, while others straggled downtown.At the Pour House on Main Street, one patron, a large, long-haired and tattooed man whose muddy shoes belied his earlier whereabouts, demanded of a waitress: “I’d like the ass end of a dead rhino.” When she told him they were out of that item, the man settled on a 16 oz. porterhouse steak and an order of Rocky Mountain oysters.Before he was through, and at the urging of his two companions, the man had guzzled down the bottles of malt vinegar and Worcestershire sauce on the table.So, will the Carbondale Run be back next year?”Yes,” said Reyes. “We want to rock this town again – if they’ll have us back.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail is mutrie@aspentimes.com


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