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Gunnison Growler - Gunnison, Colorado

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |June 13, 2012 4:10 PM
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Gunnison Growler – Gunnison, Colorado

Alex Grant Wins 64-Mile Battle Over Kalan Beisel, Kelli Emmett Dominates Women’s Race

Dave Wiens’ Original Growler in Gunnison, Colorado, produced another weekend of great racing.

For the first time the Growler’s field size was doubled by moving the 32-mile event to Saturday and tholding he 64-mile main event on Sunday. The change allowed a full 700 racers to compete over the Memorial Day weekend.

The 64-mile Full Growler starts in downtown Gunnison. Riders lined up at 7am in 30-degree temperatures prior to the 4-mile neutral ride out to Hartman Rocks. The racecourse is a burly compilation of roughly 95% singletrack that even the most hardened racers describe as "tough”.

Once racers hit the dirt after the neutral start an elite group charged up Kill Hill quickly forming a lead group. Kalan Beisel (Orbea/Tuff Shed), Tim Allen (Niner/Ergon), Josh Tostado (Bach Builders), Alex Grant (Cannondale), and Alpine Orthopedics duo Brian Smith and Travis Sheefer were all represented at the front of the race.

Smith took the early lead as riders hit the singletrack. Smith powered away on the climbs putting the hammer down early. The Alpine Orthpedics rider looked to be on pace to repeat his 2011 Growler win. His gap continued  to grow until Alex Grant worked his way past Tim Allen and rolled up to Kalan Beisel who was also having a good day sitting in second.

Beisel and Grant cranked their way up to the leader and all three were together at the end of the first 32-mile lap.

The two aggressors, Beisel and Grant, got out of the feed zone first leaving Smith behind. Kalan Beisel led the steep climb out of the feed but Grant stayed close and overtook him leading into the most technically demanding portion of the trail.

The Cannondale rider piloted his way flawlessly through the rocks opening a gap that Beisel wasn’t willing to close with 30 miles of trail riding left to go. Kalan stayed close behind the leader but was never able to close the gap on Grant.

Alex Grant shredded his way through the second lap despite never having ridden the full Growler course before the race. By the end the Utah rider had almost 4 minutes on second placed rider Kalan Beisel.

Brian Smith put together a good ride holding on to third place at days end.  Smith was followed by teammate Travis Scheefer and endurance strongman Josh Tostado.

The women’s field started with the men and many of the top ladies worked their way up towards the front third of all riders on course. The field included several of the top female racers in Colorado but anyone looking at the start list could tell you the race would come down to former Growler champion Jari Kirkland (Alpine Orthopedics) and longtime Giant superstar Kelli Emmett.

After the race Emmett said she had a hard time getting going after the cold early-morning start but that didn’t stop her from dominating the women’s race. Emmett rode her hardtail Giant XTC 29 and used her finely tuned handling skills to out pace Kirkland and the remaining ladies field.

Emmett finished with a time of 6:22:55, over 20 minutes in front of second place Jari Kirkland.

Janae Prtichett crossed the line in third followed by Kelly Boniface (Moots) and Tammy Sadle.

Race Notes

  • The Original Growler uses the same course from year to year but reverses the direction each season. This year riders ride the 32-mile loop in a counter clockwise direction, which meant each lap included the brutal hike-a-bike up Skull Valley
  • Race officials were stationed on course giving out bacon hand ups to the racers throughout the weekend. Racers ate their way through 40 pounds of the fried fatty meat



Men Overall


Alex Grant

Cannondale Factory Racing



Kalan Beisel

Orbea/Tuff Shed



Brian Smith

Alpine Orthopedics



Travis Sheefer

Alpine Orthopedics



Josh Tostado

Bach Builders



Ethan Passant




Tim Allen




Nick Truitt




Daniel Matheny




Matt Schiff




Ken Benesh




Paul Gorbold




 Sam Sweetser




John Klish




Trevor Walz




Brian Riepe




 Travis Macy




Allen Krughoff




Nick Gould




Evan Ross




John Mallow




Shannon Boffeli




Troy Hiatt




Oliver Whalley




 Fred Hankinson



Overall Women


Kelli Emmett




Jari Kirkland

Alpine Orthopedics



Janae Pritchett




Kelly Boniface




Tammy Sadle



Overall Singlespeed


Cameron Chambers




Dan Durland




Mark Thompson




Bradley Berger




David Ochs



Click Here for full results and times from all categories

polo2014 06/16/2014 1:29 AM
Admin 05/29/2012 2:28 PM
Thanks. We got Ken's placing corrected. He's 11th because we broke out all the single speeders into their own category. Great ride by Ken!
Colin Vito 05/29/2012 9:28 AM
Thanks for the article. Your results are missing Ken Benesh who finished 12th overall.
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