As off-road endurance events continue to gain popularity throughout the country, Life Time is excited to announce The ‘Rad Dirt Fest, a new off-road cycle and trail run event based in Trinidad, Colo. The ‘Rad marks the newest event conceptualized by the Life Time Events team, which owns and produces the famed UNBOUND Gravel, the storied Leadville Race Series, and the new to-the-lineup Bentonville-based Big Sugar NWA Gravel (check out our pre-ride video of the course!). ‘Rad Dirt Fest features impressive views of the Spanish Peaks, small-town charm, and miles of smooth gravel and trails. The inaugural event, which will take place October 2-3, 2021, offers three gravel cycling distances and two trail run distances. It also coincides with a town celebration commemorating the 200th year of the Santa Fe Trail.
The ‘Rad Dirt Fest is the latest event anchored in Life Time’s passion for growing the sports of gravel cycling and trail running. With 30+ premier events across the nation, Life Time utilizes its unique ability to identify emerging geographic areas within passionate outdoor communities where these sports are likely to boom. Integral to The ‘Rad Dirt Fest are the yin and yang of ride and run, as endurance athletes from both the cycling and trail running worlds will be able to add The ‘Rad to the top of their list of anticipated events year after year.
“2020 gave our team the opportunity to reflect on our unique ability to help people live healthier lives through our endurance events. We’re passionate about creating events that enrich the lives of our participants, and enrich the communities where we host them. We believe the future of cycling and running is on dirt, where it is safer for the athlete and easier on the body. The launch of The ‘Rad allows us to create an endurance festival experience, catering to both the trail runner and gravel cyclist,” said Kimo Seymour, President of Events and Media at Life Time.
“While searching for a new host site, we were looking for a community that was equipped for a large-scale trail running and gravel cycling event, but also had a cool vibe. We found that in Trinidad, whose local officials have welcomed us with open arms and an invitation to join them on their journey toward becoming the next big outdoor recreation location in Colorado. The gravel and trail running community is rooted in successful partnerships, and we are excited and confident about the potential of growing alongside Trinidad,” Seymour continued.
Located along I-25 in southern Colorado, Trinidad is quickly becoming the newest destination for outdoor enthusiasts who are immediately immersed in the town’s rich history, emerging eclectic arts scene, and breathtaking landscape. Once vying to become the state capital and known to continually reinvent itself, Trinidad offers stunning views of surrounding peaks, endless dirt, and a reputation of never giving up. Town leaders—led by the newly established Office of Outdoor Recreation—have begun working to transform Trinidad into a new mecca for outdoor exploration, quickly developing a number of new trails in the community.
“Trinidad as a town has reinvented itself time and time again throughout history, showing our strength as a community. We have been a community of miners, of natural gas, of the arts, and most recently, shifted to focus on outdoor recreation. Today we’re looking at festivals, races, and other destination attractions to bring a new economic boom to this community, and we as a city believe that working with Life Time to create this unique race weekend during the Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial celebration is the perfect opportunity to do just that,” said Wally Wallace, Trinidad Economic Development Director. “Our town was really brought to life when the Santa Fe Trail brought economic commerce from the Eastern United States to the Southwest. Riders and runners can come to town for event weekend in October and expect to experience not just a great time on the dirt roads and trails, but also festivities celebrating all of the cultures that make Trinidad who we are, including activities like cowboy poetry, Aztlan Native American performance, fandango dancers and so much more!”
The off-road cycle race will offer three distance options for athletes on fast, fun, and clean gravel; a short 38-mile loop with 2,720 feet of elevation gain, a 90-mile course with 5,000 feet of climbing, and a 162-mile grind with 10,800 feet of elevation gain. In its inaugural year, the trail run will take athletes on two scenic routes on the outskirts of Trinidad; an approachable half marathon option with 1,000 feet of elevation gain and a 50k route with 3,200 feet of climbing. As the town evolves and grows its trail network, the trail running courses will also evolve, allowing The ‘Rad to grow alongside the town of Trinidad.
Registration for The ‘Rad will open at 9 a.m. MDT on April 13. To learn more and register for The ‘Rad, visit www.theraddirt.com. Or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Life Time continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic for potential impact on its 2021 race season.