FROM THE CRAIG DAILY PRESS
APRIL 10, 2020
For local small businesses struggling to promote themselves in this difficult time the economy is going through due to COVID-19, there might be a light at the end of the…err, trail.
Local businesses that are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic will have the opportunity to get some free exposure and a chance to support a good cause as sponsors of the inaugural Dinosaur 100 bike and foot races.
Plans are moving forward for the Dinosaur 100 bike trail race for June 27, and the Dinosaur 100 foot race scheduled for Aug. 1. Each race will cover the scenic, winding route of the historic Yampa Valley Trail, which was once known only to ranchers and hunters.
Both races will also be the first of its kind in the U.S. in the fact that they’ll be offering adaptive trail courses, allowing those with disabilities to participate, according to Mike Mathisen, who is an active advocate for increasing outdoor adventure access and opportunities for those with disabilities.
In addition to providing support for athletes with disabilities, Mathisen said he has another goal for the Dinosaur 100 series: Elevating Moffat County’s profile as a destination for recreational activities and outdoor enthusiasts, amid the region’s changing local economy.
That’s why Mathisen is offering free local sponsorship to local businesses.
“We see this as an opportunity to showcase many of the great local businesses that deserve exposure and recognition for their contributions to the community, particularly during this challenging time,” Mathisen said. “This area is a hidden gem that has so much potential as a recreation destination and it’s important to support the businesses that are vital part of that transformation.”
The race is expected to attract elite trail runners and riders to compete on what promises to be one of the most scenic and challenges courses in the nation. The Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office in Craig approved permits for the races in late 2019, the culmination of Mathisen’s two-year quest to make the races a reality.
Mathisen said the adaptive courses will set the Dinosaur 100 races apart from other recreational races across the state, and will reinforce his belief that anyone can be an active participant in outdoor activities.
Proceeds from the two races will support Mathisen’s non-profit, Follow the Footsteps/Epic Adventures. The non-profit’s mission is to inspire people with disabilities and their crew to experience epic outdoor recreation events and embolden people with disabilities to explore the US National Trails System.
“I’ve seen with my own eyes the amazing things that can happen when you provide those with disabilities with access and opportunities to experience the outdoors,” Mathisen said. “We see the Dinosaur 100 as a way to draw positive attention and publicity to this region and make a powerful statement about the need for more outdoor opportunities for those with disabilities.”