The Montane Grand Traverse Mountain Run and Mountain Bike races have concluded, with Vince Rodgers claiming the coveted Grand Traverse Triple Crown in the men’s event, while Nikki LaRochelle was victorious in the women’s event in what was the seventh edition of the races.
The event also saw outdoor brand, Montane, become headline sponsor of both races for the first time, building on from its existing relationship with The Grand Traverse in the form of the ski race.
The Grand Traverse Mountain Run saw Gary Messina claim first place in the men’s event with a time of 6:05:58, while the women’s event saw Sophia Gorman emerge victorious with a time of 7:09:36, placing her sixth overall. Montane Athletes Brandon Johanns and Alyssa Wendt both placed in the top 20. The race is a point-to-point ultra-marathon from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado, following the route of the Grand Traverse Backcountry Ski race. In total, runners travel 40 miles across the Elk Mountains with over 6,000 ft of elevation gain.
The Grand Traverse Mountain Bike race saw Brian Smith crowned champion in the men’s event, recording a time of 4:14:46, while Jessica Yeaton took home first place in the women’s event with a time of 5:19:16, finishing eighth overall. The race follows a similar route to the mountain run, being a point-to-point from Aspen to Crested Butte, Colorado. In total, bikers travel 41.5 miles across the Elk Mountains with over 7,800 ft of elevation gain. The course starts with a 3,000 ft ascent up Aspen Mountain before continuing deep into the Elk Mountains.
In 2015, The Grand Traverse expanded its race offering from the original ski race titled ‘The Grand Traverse’, to include the mountain run and mountain biking races. The three events now form a tri-race series, creating ‘The Grand Traverse Triple Crown’, which sees athletes take on a series of point-to-point endurance challenges from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado, in events across the year. The tri-race can be completed as individual events or as part of the wider Triple Crown series, and is positioned as Colorado’s preeminent multi-sport, multi-season endurance challenge, of which Montane is the headline sponsor for each.
Speaking on the race, Montane Athlete Alyssa Wendt, commented: “There’s something magnetic about the community and energy that surround the Grand Traverse, the creative thought and methodical process that goes into piecing together training for three different sports in a year, and the resilience to see if you can.”
Montane Global Marketing Manager, Matthew Hickman, commented: “The Grand Traverse Mountain Run and Mountain Bike races are hugely important and successful additions to The Grand Traverse series, helping to further grow and diversify The Grand Traverse challenge and form Colorado’s preeminent multi-sport, multi-season endurance race series. Tackling 40 miles of Rocky Mountain terrain is certainly no mean feat, with participants having to harness some of the very principles Montane stands for to truly push themselves to the limit, break new boundaries, and find their unknown.”
Montane has been providing innovative, lightweight, and breathable clothing and equipment for over 25 years, specifically designed for endurance sports and activities in some of the world’s harshest and most extreme environments. Alongside the Montane Grand Traverse, Montane also sponsors races such as the Montane Dragon’s Back Race, the Montane Spine Race, the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra (MLAU), and the Montane Cheviot Goat, amongst others.
More information on the Montane Grand Traverse can be found over on the Montane site: https://montane.com/pages/grand-traverse.