Registration for Big Mountain Enduro has Begun: Interview with Sarah Rawley

Sarah Raw­ley, com­mu­ni­ca­tions & PR man­ag­er of the Big Moun­tain Enduro, has been work­ing in the cycling indus­try for the past six years. This will be her third year with Big Moun­tain Enduro. We were lucky enough to chat with her about the adren­a­line-pump­ing enduro event.

The Clymb: How many loca­tions are there for the BME?
Sarah Raw­ley: The 2014 Big Moun­tain Enduro includes four stops: Snow­mass, Duran­go, Key­stone and Moab. These four events will be includ­ed in the Over­all BME Series rankings.

The Crest­ed Butte Ultra Enduro, the first 5‑day back­coun­try enduro stage race in North Amer­i­ca, is a stand alone event that will draw races to Crest­ed Butte, which has more miles of sin­gle­track than any oth­er loca­tion in the U.S. Crest­ed Butte was cho­sen for this rea­son, where rid­ers have end­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to climb up to 12,400′ for epic descents day in and day out. Crest­ed Butte holds the longest run­ning bike fes­ti­val in the coun­try, and leg­end has it, moun­tain bik­ing was born here. 

The Clymb: How were they cho­sen?
SR: Each event was cho­sen for ter­rain that chal­lenges the rid­er with both fit­ness and skill. We want­ed to pro­vide a diverse offer­ing of every­thing from high-alpine back­coun­try descents that take sub­stan­tial ped­al­ing to access the start of a stage, to lift-access rid­ing at our part­ner resorts. We want­ed to ensure the Big Moun­tain Enduro Series has equal days of back­coun­try and lift-accessed rid­ing, but first and fore­most, we sought the biggest descents in the Rocky Moun­tains and then part­nered with resorts, cities, and towns who pro­vide a des­ti­na­tion location.

The Clymb: Are there any prizes or tro­phies?
SR: Big Moun­tain Enduro is excit­ed to announce a $45K pro purse for the 2014 sea­son, a 50 per­cent increase from 2013, and one of the largest in the indus­try. Podi­um prizes are rec­og­nized 5‑deep in each cat­e­go­ry, and medals are award­ed 3‑deep in Ama­teur cat­e­gories. Ama­teurs are vying for prod­uct pack­ages from series’ spon­sors, indi­vid­u­al­ly val­ued up to $1000.

The Clymb: If I reg­is­ter, what kind of rid­ing, and for how long, should I expect from Snow­mass, Duran­go, Moab, Key­stone, and Crest­ed Butte?
SR: Snow­mass, Duran­go and Key­stone all include two days of rac­ing. Each day, you can expect to be on your bike three to five hours total includ­ing un-timed liai­son stages. Snow­mass will include a mix of lift-accessed and back­coun­try rid­ing; Duran­go will include two days in the back­coun­try; Key­stone offers two days of lift-accessed rid­ing and is con­sid­ered the burli­est of our events; and Moab is a sin­gle day event rac­ing down the icon­ic Whole Enchi­la­da. The Crest­ed Butte Ultra Enduro will aver­age 20–25 miles per day with 4,000–5,000 feet of climbing/descending. You can expect to be on your bike four to six hours per day with min­i­mal shut­tling involved. The final day will take place at Evo­lu­tion Bike Park. In the spir­it of enduro, we will release exact course details the week lead­ing up to each event.

The Clymb: What do you think is the most excit­ing part of BME?
SR: The most excit­ing part of Big Moun­tain Enduro is how each event is dif­fer­ent from the next, and we will con­tin­ue to evolve course lay­outs in the same loca­tions, as well as change up venues each year. Enduro is based on rac­ing trails, often sight unseen, and being able to react quick­ly and smart­ly. Enduro is meant to keep you on your toes, and not be able to pre­dict what will hap­pen. The same goes for each venue suit­ing dif­fer­ent strengths of rac­ers. You nev­er know who is going to be on top of the podi­um from one week­end to the next.

The Clymb: Is it a year­long process to pre­pare for the event? What are some of the steps tak­en?
SR: Plan­ning, orga­niz­ing and exe­cut­ing events can be more than a year­long process to begin with. The per­mits and rela­tion­ships that are the basis of each event take sev­er­al months, if not a few years, to devel­op with land man­age­ment agen­cies, resorts, cities, and towns. The first steps include apply­ing for and obtain­ing per­mits and ini­ti­at­ing dia­log for for­mal agree­ments. This process entails many meet­ings and emails, and work­ing togeth­er to find an envi­ron­men­tal­ly and social­ly sus­tain­able course that will also be excit­ing, chal­leng­ing and the cor­rect pro­file for enduro racing.

Once per­mits and agree­ments are estab­lished, we can start div­ing into details for on-site exe­cu­tion includ­ing sched­ul­ing, event head­quar­ters, catering/entertainment, timing/operations, priz­ing, t‑shirts/merchandise…the list goes on and on. Behind the scenes, is always the ongo­ing process of spon­sor­ship rela­tions. At Big Moun­tain Enduro, we part­ner with lead­ers in the indus­try to bring our par­tic­i­pants the best in sup­port and prod­uct. We wrap up all of the details and infor­ma­tion into the mar­ket­ing of the series through social media, web­site and email newslet­ters that cycle year round. Cus­tomer ser­vice and emails are a part of the dai­ly job, always mak­ing sure par­tic­i­pants have all the infor­ma­tion they need to show up and have a fun, suc­cess­ful race.

The Clymb: How do you reg­is­ter? Can the Aver­age-Joe reg­is­ter or do you need to be a pro-rid­er?
Sarah Raw­ley: Par­tic­i­pants can reg­is­ter by vis­it­ing to access all reg­is­tra­tion links and infor­ma­tion. You go through a sim­ple process with imATH­LETE to put your event(s) in the cart, apply mul­ti-event dis­counts, and check­out. We have cat­e­gories for all ages and abil­i­ties from the sea­soned pro to the ama­teur rid­er, look­ing to see what enduro is all about.