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Sarlacc Attack 50K 2024

May 11

Last Updated May 3, 2024

The Sarlacc Attack 50k is a top mountain bike race in Colorado and part of Adventure Fest, a unique multi-sport experience in one of the Best Destinations for Outdoor Athletes – Fruita, Colorado, near Utah’s border. The event combines MTB, Gravel (Dirty Edge Gravel), and a Trail (Fruita Trail Half Marathon) running event in a one-weekend festival celebrating backcountry racing. Premier regional event operator Gemini Adventures produces the event. The motto of the course is ‘Ride the Edge!’ This is not just the name of the trail but a description of the Sarlacc Attack 50K course. The loop combines The Edge, Cicada, and Sarlacc trails to make up an epic adventure. You’ll ride on the edge of cliffs and your limits which is why Strambecco considers it to be one of the Best Mountain Bike Race Events in Colorado and one of the Best Mountain Bike Race Events in the Rockies.

Below you will find information on course details, lodging, dining, and other outdoor activities to do while in town for Sarlacc Attack 50k.

Event & Course Info

There are two course options for this event, the Sarlacc Attack 50k, and the Zippity 22k.

The 50K features world-class singletrack, uphill grinds, and flowy descents abundant on the Edge Loop. The Sarlacc trail section is some of the most fun singletrack on the course, and riders will be there on the season’s opening week! This desert 50K course is an early-season stamina test and gives a reason to train through the winter. This event will push riders with many short ups and downs and the big climb up the mesa. Racers will have three aid stations and receive a finisher’s memento and age group awards. Finish in less than 3 1/2 hours, before noon, and receive a Bruncher award, while those that finish after noon and within the official 8 hour cut-off time to earn a Luncher award.

The Zippity 22K course offers a smooth, flowing ride without any demanding ascents. Combining the Chutes and Ladders, Frontside, and Western Zippity trails, it creates a scenic route that’s ideal for both beginners and those looking to push their pace. Spanning 13.8 miles, the course includes nearly 1000 feet of elevation gain. Riders will revel in the expansive desert landscape, featuring brief yet challenging climbs and descents, all set against stunning views of the surrounding buttes and mesas. The course is designed to be ridden counterclockwise, incorporating a variety of switchbacks and challenging terrain. There is also an aid station located at the 7.5-mile mark on the Frontside to support riders in reaching the finish line.

Rock out at the apres ride! Food, beer, games, and live music at 5:30 pm at Colorado Backcountry Biker in Fruita. See old friends and make new ones. Family, friends, and crew are included; bring everyone! Mountain bike race awards will be handed out. Sponsored by Upslope Brewing, there will be free beer for rehydration. The Troy Douglas Band will be supplying folk-rock tunes to go with it. The Adventure Fest at 18 Road is a weekend celebrating everything we love about the outdoors, including our community.

Customized cowbell awards will be given to each category’s top three male and female finishers. Men’s & Women’s winners will receive comp entries to next year’s races. Customized finisher awards will be awarded to all as they cross the finish line. Placer’s awards will be distributed at the awards ceremony Saturday night. Awards and mementos will not be mailed after the event.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Where to Stay in Fruita

After days of pushing physical limits, Fruita offers a range of accommodations to ensure a restful retreat. The hotel partner of Sarlacc Attack 50k is Super 8 located downtown, while The Balanced Rock Inn is another option which has recently been remodeled; there are also choices like La Quinta or Comfort Inn. Alternatively, charming bed and breakfasts like the Castle Creek B&B or the Historic Downtown Motel offer a cozy escape with a touch of local hospitality. We also enjoy staying at one of the many great home-like experiences in the area and can personally vouch for Tour de Fruita.

That being said, it’s a great time of year to camp and there are a myriad of options including North Fruita Desert CampgroundFruita CO River SectionHighline State Park, and other unique one of a kind camping locations. However, participants of Sarlacc Attack 50k often opt to reserve on-site camping at 18-road during registration.

Dining in Fruita

Downtown Fruita becomes a hub for post-activity, with local eateries and breweries welcoming tired but satisfied athletes. Fruita, CO, and the surrounding area boast a burgeoning culinary scene, offering a blend of traditional American fare, local delicacies, and eclectic dining options influenced by the region’s rich outdoor and cultural activities. The aroma of gourmet pizza from The Hot Tomato wafts through the air, providing the perfect culinary reward for a day spent conquering Fruita’s trails. Fruita’s burgeoning brewery scene, including spots like Copper Club Brewing Company, serves as a perfect post-adventure gathering point, while Best Slope Coffee is the go to spot for cyclist pre and post rides.

Outdoor Activities around Fruita

While the festival is the focal point of the weekend, Fruita’s allure extends beyond the slickrock and singletrack. Fruita is known for its rugged and beautiful landscape, which offers various outdoor sports activities. In addition to mountain biking, Fruita offers many other outdoor sports activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and river rafting. The Colorado River flows through Fruita, providing whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing opportunities. This small town in the Colorado River’s Grand Valley, surrounded by the Book Cliffs to the north and the Colorado National Monument to the south. The city has an elevation of around 4,500 feet and covers an area of approximately 8 square miles. The Colorado National Monument, with its towering red cliffs and expansive views, beckons for exploration.

Naturally, one of the most popular activities in Fruita is mountain biking, with trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. The Kokopelli Trail System covers over 140 miles of terrain and is a favorite among riders. Other popular mountain biking trails include the Horsethief Bench Trail System, and the North Fruita Desert Trail System. Athletes can extend their adventure by tackling Rim Rock Drive via road bike, a scenic cycling route that winds through the geological marvel of Colorado National Monument.

For those with a penchant for pounding trails on foot, Fruita’s trail running scene is equally captivating. The Kokopelli Loops offer a mesmerizing array of singletrack options with breathtaking vistas of the Colorado River. Whether tackling the challenging Mary’s Loop or opting for the more moderate Rustler’s Loop, trail runners find themselves immersed in a desert symphony of color and solitude.

The surrounding area of The Grand Junction and Palisade area, or “Grand Valley,” also has many activities to enjoy, from local vineyards and breweries & distilleries to outdoor activities within the Colorado National Monument.

Related Events

Gemini Adventures, founded in 2003 by passionate runners, cyclists, and adventurers, curates challenging backcountry racing experiences set against mesmerizing landscapes primarily in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. With events held in remote, scenic trails, participants can anticipate not just a race, but a unique outdoor experience where the journey is as rewarding as the competition. Their primary events include the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival which is part of the UTMB World Series, and Adventure Fest which is a unique multi-sport experience in Fruita, CO and includes Sarlacc Attack 50K MTB, Fruita Trail Half Marathon, and Dirty Edge Gravel one of the Best Gravel Events in Colorado and the Rockies. In July, Enchanted Forest Trail Races, one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Southwest, takes place as well as the multi-day Desert RATS 150 Kokopelli Stage Race take place. And to close out summer, the Mountain RATS Trail Runs and Mountain RATS Firebird 25 MTB event takes place in September.

Multi-sport athletes looking for more premier races and events in Colorado and the broader Rocky Mountains to add to their calendar, should check out our complete guide of Strambecco best-in-class rated events:


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