Gunnison, CO – The 6th Annual Original Growler was held this Memorial Day weekend at Hartman Rock in Gunnison, Colorado.  This 64-mile mountain bike race is a non-stop technical single track with nearly 8,000 feet of punchy climbing. This brutal race can beat down the most experienced riders. With temperatures getting into the eighties, the Western State Mountain Sports Team came out determined to complete the grueling 64 miles. Participants representing the Mountain Sports Team included Graham Ruhmann, Brae Patten, Ben Jackson and Alex Alleman. Everyone but Brae Patten had a first time experience with the Growler this past Sunday but all riders completed the full 64 miles.  The whole crew put down solid first lap times all close to the three hour mark, but problems started to happen for the Mountain Sports crew as the harder second lap set in. Brae Patten suffered from the relentless heat and lost valuable time to an upset stomach, Graham with his fast first lap time found out how long 64 miles really was and Alex Alleman suffered multiple mechanicals including a flat and a broken chain setting him at least an hour behind.

Final Finish Times

Graham Ruhmann- (60th place) -6:13:18
Brae Patten- (93rd place)-  6:47:26
Ben Jackson-(98th place) -6:53:01
Alex Alleman-(132nd place) -7:26:12


Graham Ruhamm powering up a technical section of the course. Graham finished in 60th place with a time of 6:13:31. Photo Credit- Kevin Krill


Alex Alleman descends a rock section on Skyline Trail during the first lap. Alex finished 132nd with a time of 7:26:32. Photo Credit- Kevin Krill


In all, the Mountain Sports Team finished the grueling 64 miles of the Gunnison Growler in decent times. Other Western Alumni riding for Griggs Orthopedic dominated the home turf race this past weekend. Brian Smith took 3rd place,  Bryan Dillon snagged 4th place and Amy Beisel took 1st in the Women’s Half Growler .  Some Western faculty also showed up for the demanding race. Jarral Ryter (Chemistry Professor)  and Gary Pierson (VP of Student affairs) both finished their sixth Growler. Mountain bike endurance powerhouse/chemistry professor Jarral Ryter finished with a personal record of 5:57:23. After the race Jarral described the course :

Every year that I do the Growler 64 mi mountain bike race, I start the first lap just trying to go as fast as possible and sustainably and having fun on the great trails. This deteriorates upon hitting the second lap. Cramps set in. The steep punchy climbs begin to hurt really bad and I’m in survival mode through the technical sections. I begin to curse Dave Wiens who at this point seems like a sadistic lunatic for thinking up such punishment. I think of only the next one or two trails ahead. Finally I know the last descent to the finish line is next. All pain fades. I let loose and fly, give Dave a high five as I finish, chat with friends and partake of some refreshments. Until next year.


Chemistry Professor Jarral Ryter riding up one of the last technical moves of the course. Photo Credit- Kevin Krill


Ben Jackson enjoys the bacon feed back at the Skull pass trail. Ben finished 98th with a time of 6:53:01. Photo Credit- Catherine Vader


The Growler is a fundraiser for Gunnison Trails, which supports the trail system around Gunnison. Gunnison Trails is led by former professional mountain biker and current Mountain Sports Director Dave Wiens. Dave organizes and lays out the brutal course of the Growler. We thank him for his hard work for the community of Gunnison and Western State Colorado University.

 Full results can be found here-


Kevin Krill-!i=2536734154&k=rmKZwRK

Matt Burt-