3rd Town Challenge event set for today

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If you go

What: Emerald Cross-Country Slash & Burn, a Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series event

When: Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. today; children’s race begins at 5:30 p.m.; adult race heats begin at 6 p.m.

Where: Race starts and finishes behind the Howelsen Hill Lodge

Cost: Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children

Online: www.townchallenge.com

— The third Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series Event of the season returns to a familiar area today while adding a new twist.

The Emerald Cross-Country Slash & Burn will cover and traverse the familiar trails and singletrack of Emerald Mountain. But because of logging operations, the course route will be new.

The course will go in a figure eight, including two stints on Blackmer Drive. The first time up Blackmer, racers will veer off onto Larry’s Trail; the next time up, they’ll head down Lupine Trail.

Most of to­­day’s race divisions will run a course that en­­compasses just about all of Emerald Moun­tain’s trail system, with the exception of the areas being logged for beetle-kill. The race will cover the Upper Meadow, Blair Witch, Eye 2 Eye, Orton Meadow, MGM, Bluff’s Trail, Brian’s Worry and Lupine trails, among others.

Race registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Children’s races begin at 5:30 p.m. with adult heats set to go off at 6 p.m.

Day-of registration is $26 for adults and $16 for children. A post-race party is at Creekside Café.

Town Challenge series director Gretchen Sehler said she could have set up a course that included trails in the logging area but instead chose to go a different route.

“I’ve definitely utilized every other trail I can,” she said.

Sehler loves the races at Emerald because there are such diverse opportunities for riders.

“The singletrack is skinnier,” she said. “The singletrack is more technical.”

Riders are encouraged to get a look at the course beforehand, Sehler said. Complete race descriptions and maps are available online at www.townchallenge.com.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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