Some people just aren't okay with the word "ass." Last year, the captain of a team competing in the Wild West Relay: Get Your Ass Over the Pass asked coordinator Paul Vanderheiden if he would change it to "mass." Whatever getting your "mass" over the pass may entail, Vanderheiden says he "wasn't open to it." He will, however, leave out the polemical tagline on race T-shirts by request. Phew.
Runners begin the third annual, 195-mile relay at 6 a.m. today, starting at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 2351 Busch Drive in Fort Collins. They'll continue on all day and then run by the light of tonight's full moon with most teams crossing the finish line in less than 36 hours. The panoramic course winds through a series of dirt and paved roads and national parks, and ends in Steamboat Springs. Teams can consist of six to twelve runners, and each team must provide at least one volunteer to help out on race day or "pay" for a volunteer via a tax-deductible donation to a community non-profit organization. (Middle- and high-school teams are exempt from the volunteer requirement.) Registration fees range from $15 to $125. For information and registration, go to www.wildwestrelay.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.