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Boggy Draw Beat Down celebrates 25th year

The 2023 Boggy Draw Beat Down racers start a full day of testing the cycling acumen against the single-track trails of the Boggy Draw trail system. Ben Bradley/Special to The Journal
Local mountain bike race continues to build momentum

With each passing year, the Boggy Draw trail system expands its offering of trails for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

So too, the trail system’s namesake mountain bike race – the Boggy Draw Beat Down – keeps attracting larger crowds to compete on the expansive single-track north of Dolores.

Entering its 25th year, the Beat Down drew nearly 200 racers, the largest field in the event’s history, to compete in one of five distance categories. Under excellent weather conditions, racers on Saturday, Aug. 5 took on either the 60-mile “Beat Down, 33-mile “Oso,” 18-mile “Overlook,” 15-mile “Goose,” or – new to the 2023 edition – a three-person relay over the 60-mile course.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said race director Susan Lisak. “When I started in this role seven years ago, we had fewer than 100 competitors, but the event has grown every year.”

Included in the expansion of the Beat Down’s enrollment, the competition courses have evolved as the landscape of the Boggy Draw trail system changed. “Southwest Colorado Cycling Association has been creating new trails, and we’ve been excited to use them as part of our course designs,” added Lisak. “The SWCCA has been vital for this event, helping create and mark the course, as well as draw interest from cyclists all across the region.”

Money raised in the race goes right into the community, according to Lisak, supporting nonprofit and youth organizations. Supported by a strong volunteer base, the Boggy Draw Beat Down has become a staple event on a busy summer schedule.

The 2023 edition included a healthy representation from youth cycling clubs from all across the Western Slope. “I reached out to lots of youth cycling coaches to let them know about the event,” said Lisak, “and we’re so excited to see all of these different groups represented from all over the region.”

Youth was served out on the course, as a bevy of teenagers claimed top spots in the different distances. In the 60-mile competition, Kai Lokey, 18, held off fellow teenager Emmett McManus, 16, by three minutes – covering the course in 4 hours, 22 minutes. John Carmola, 56, took third in the “Beat Down” solo category, crossing the line in 4 hours 56 minutes.

The 25th anniversary of the Boggy Draw Beat Down drew nearly 200 competitors to take on five different race categories. Ben Bradley/Special to The Journal

Terri Daugherty, 60, won the women’s race, traversing the circuit in 6 hours, 38 minutes – ahead of second place Kammie Schuhmann’s 7 hours, 1 minute.

In the 33-mile race, Todd Wells, 47, outpaced the field with a winning time of 2 hours, 16 minutes – topping 18-year-old Max Johnson’s 2 hour, 19 minute effort to top the podium. Samuel Morrison, 33, took third in 2 hours, 27 minutes.

On the women’s side, 19-year-old Lauren Aggeler took top spot, winning with a time of 2 hours 44 minutes. Jessica Wood, 40, took second place in 3 hours, 5 minutes, while Janine Emmets, 39, took third in 3 hours, 28 minutes.

Teenagers went 1-2-3 on the 18-mile course, with Jake Sandau, 15, Johan Souders, 14, and Ethan Aggeler, 13, separated by just a few seconds at the line. Sandau’s winning time was 1 hour, 24 minutes, 24 seconds.

Caroline Souders, 49, won the women’s race with a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes, with Julie Van Someren, 55, taking second, and Allison Klein, 50, taking third.

In the 15-mile race, 39-year-old Mathew Wolford won the race in 55 minutes, 38 seconds, two minutes ahead of Nathan Allen, 49. Reece Blincoe took third in the men’s division, in 1 hour, 2 minutes.

Rylie Carr, 16, won the women’s race with a time of 1 hour, 57 seconds, while Shalane Benally, 37, took second and Lara Mosser, 51, claimed third.

In the inaugural relay event, the team “What Were We Thinking” finished the 60-mile course in 6 hours, 17 minutes for the top team finish.

The 2023 Boggy Draw Beat Down racers start their race. Ben Bradley/Special to The Journal