Words and photos by Stephen Eginoire, Durango, Colo. (May 8, 2010) CORTEZ, Colo.- One thousand cyclists from near and far hit the dusty trail this past weekend in Southwest Colorado for the 4th Annual 12 Hours of Mesa Verde Endurance Race.
Hosted at one of the western slope’s tastiest singletrack venues affectionately known as Phil’s World, riders enjoyed slingshot turns, ledgy sandstone rims and the soothing sounds of gunfire echoing from the neighboring shooting range.
The 16-mile racecourse, wove its way throughout the very best of Phil’s, in a classy pinon and juniper setting. Donning plastic daggers and other swash-buckling apparel in spirit of this year’s pirate theme, teams of up to four individuals competed for most laps completed over 12 hours of painstaking pedal-pushing. However, the real winners of this year’s race were the beneficiaries of the event, The Montezuma County Partners, a Cortez area nonprofit organization for at-risk youth.
Folks who attended the race couldn’t help but notice the ancient energy and “old west” flavors that accompany Phil’s World, as the region is home to the highest concentration of Native American ruins in the US. Including, of course, the namesake of the event, Mesa Verde National Park, which harbors the incredibly intact and extensive cliff dwellings that Ancestral Puebloans (PC for Anasazi) once called home.
With this year’s record turnout, swanky camping scene, and overall positive vibrations, you’d be hard pressed to say that the 4th Annual was anything but a success.
Race results not yet available