Watching the hellish Eco-Challenge Adventure Races on television may have kept some would-be daredevils frozen to their couches. Anyone tempted by the extreme concept but hoping to avoid undue pain (leeches, anyone?) would be better served by today's Denver Oyster Urban Eco-Adventure Race. The event gets going at 6:30 a.m. in front of the flagship REI store, 1416 Platte Street, and doesn't call it quits until the last competitor does. Make no mistake about the Oyster's endurance element: The ten-hour, fifty-mile contest will include plenty of hiking, biking, floating and in-line skating. But unlike the hazards offered on TV, Eco-Adventurers will do their tough stuff in a setting of urban parks and other landmarks.
Teams must sign up by Friday, August 20, and be made up of three people each, with a fourth person for support. Personal gear is essential, but bikes, rafts and skates can be rented if necessary. In addition to the $75-per-team registration fee, each group must raise at least $300 in pledges; proceeds will go to Colorado Special Olympics. Those who are more comfortable spectating should stake out some turf -- with lawn chairs and coolers in tow -- near the REI store, which is also the course's finish line.
In true Eco fashion, this show will go on, rain, snow or shine. To register, call 303-777-6887 or visit www.denveroyster.com. -- Cub Buenning
Lake City seeks spot on the map
The town of Lake City, located nearly 300 miles southwest of Denver, garners little tourist attention -- despite the fact that Alfred Packer ate here. Travelers generally head to the more popular ski destinations due west or blow right by Lake City on their way to the hot springs in Ouray or the glamour of Telluride. But the small town nestled in the San Juan mountains is hoping to change all that. Surrounded by pristine alpine lakes and deep, unspoiled forests, the residents of Lake City are out to prove that their home is as good as anything out there. Hence the motorcycles and gambling. Lake City's First Annual Poker Run will benefit the revitalization of the burg's historic downtown area. Participants riding street-legal motorcycles will leave Lake City by 9 a.m. and embark on a 260-mile tour through the San Juan Mountains; they'll stop at various locations along the way to receive cards in an ever-accumulating poker hand. Once all the hog jockeys return to town, the cards will be surveyed and cash prizes awarded accordingly.
The Poker Run entry fee is $45; for details, call 1-800-569-1874 or go to www.coloradocannibals.org. -- Adam Cayton-Holland