Marabou race to kick off Town Challenge |

Marabou race to kick off Town Challenge

Luke Graham

— Gretchen Sehler is looking for a couple of successful firsts.

After weather cost riders a chance at two races, the summer’s first Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike series race is scheduled for today. The ride will take place at the Marabou ranch preservation subdivision off Routt County Road 42, a place the Town Challenge has never been.

“Let’s hope the weather holds,” said Sehler, director of the race series. “But I just want to thank Marabou and all the folks associated with it for hosting us. I just think it’s a real special thing for all of us.”

The race, with children’s events starting at 5:30 p.m. and adults scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., will feature four courses designed for the different divisions. All races will start at the Outfitters Lodge.

The pro/open, expert and singlespeed divisions will follow a 12.5-mile course. All sport and men’s novice divisions, and youth between 16 and 18 years old, will ride an 8.7-mile course. Novice women will race a six-mile course and the Miller Lite and rest of the youth will do a 3.5-mile ride.

“People can expect a lot from this course,” Sehler said. “It’s different than what we have available for racing. The first part of it is relatively flat. There are a lot of small little rolls. Then it climbs and descends. It’s not a sustained climb, but it’s fun. It’s a fun course, and the views are amazing.”

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Sehler said Marabou contacted her about possibly holding a race out there last year. She said she was more than open to the idea and thinks the Marabou race could become a staple to the series.

“I am extremely excited about being invited to their property,” she said. “I think this is something really special, and hopefully, it’s a partnership we can continue.”

There also will be a catered barbecue after the race. The cost for the barbecue is $10 a person.

Sehler reminded riders to leave their dogs at home and encouraged spectators to bring lawn chairs.

On-site registration starts at 4:30 p.m. Day-of registration is $16 for adults and $11 for children.