Grand Traverse in the summer? |

Grand Traverse in the summer?

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Grand Traverse takes a turn this weekend.

The popular winter ski mountaineering race between Crested Butte and Aspen will transform into a summer event — trail running and mountain biking.

And there’s $6,000 in prize money to stimulate the field.

The Grand Traverse Mountain Run and Bike will be held over two days with competitors having a chance to compete in both events.

The trail run will leave Crested Butte (downtown) at 6 a.m. Saturday with the finish in Aspen later Saturday. The finish will be at Ajax Park which the runners will access via Ajax Trail on Little Nell at the base of the mountain.

The mountain bike race will start Sunday morning in Aspen and travel in the reverse direction, finishing at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

This year, the Grand Traverse Triple Crown is planned with a combination of the three Grand Traverse events: skimo, run and bike.

Those who participated in the skimo race in March are prequalified to attempt the triple crown.

First places this weekend will yield $500 for the top man and top woman.

Second pays $300.

The king and queen of the mountain (run and bike) will earn $500 each.

The trail run will hit an elevation of 12,331 at the top of Star Pass.

The bike will hit 11,416 feet at the top of Aspen Mountain.

According to director Andrew Arell, summer races will offer team and individual competition.

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