ROMP in the Rocks Ride + Run
On October 5, Hartman Rocks Recreation Area in Gunnison, Colorado will transform into a mountain sports athlete’s wonderland. The ROMP in the Rocks Ride + Run is 10 hours straight of mountain biking, running or a combination of the two. Athletes can race alone, as a duo or on a team. The event benefits the gO Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to educating, inspiring and developing local athletes of all ages.
Beginning at the base of Hartman Rocks, each course is a challenging combination of both technical and flowy single track. The 12.7-mile mountain bike course gains 2,001 feet of elevation, and the running laps are 5.2 miles long with 1,100 feet of climbing.
“Hartman Rocks is really unique. It’s land managed by the Bureau of Land Management,” says Sarah Stubbe, president and founder of the gO Initiative. “The running course is pretty technical. It’s on some of the harder trails, so it’s a little bit more dicey. For the riding course, we chose a really good lap that incorporates a lot of the classic Hartman trails; they have a lot of everything – some technical ups, some technical downs.”
While the courses are open to all, Stubbe warns that the event is best left to more experienced mountain bikers and runners. The trails are intermediate to advanced levels, and there will be no aid stations along the way. Riders and runners are encouraged to be prepared with plenty of water and snacks. However, there will be a 10-minute race for kids at the base area for the littlest of athletes.
In previous years, the ROMP in the Rocks event was a spring running event, followed by a mountain biking race in the fall. This is the first year both events are merged into a singular event.
“I don’t know of any other events like this in Colorado. I think it’s a one-of-a-kind event, especially with this format. We’re really hoping that we get some legs on this thing. It’s got a lot of potential to become a really good, widespread event for a lot of people throughout Colorado and some of these other mountain communities,” Stubbe says.
The race benefits the gO Initiative, a nonprofit through Griggs Orthopedics in the Gunnison Valley whose mission is to build strong bodies and minds through physical activity. The initiative’s main program, the gOgirls mountain sports program, focuses on teaching young girls ages 7 to 14 about wellness through mountain biking.
“It’s based around education, and we’re educating and trying to inspire kids and adults alike to stay active and healthy,” Stubbe says.
For more information about the ROMP in the Rocks Ride + Run and the gO Initiative, visit thegoinitiative.org/romp-in-the-rocks. Registration for the race closes on October 3 at midnight.