This weekend marks the 33rd Annual Alley Loop Nordic Marathon. Definitely not your average Nordic Race, the Alley Loop starts and finishes in the heart of downtown Crested Butte. While spectators cheer them on, racers meander their way through town. The course follows narrow alleys, and snow covered streets before hitting the pristine tracks of the surrounding Crested Butte Nordic trails.

The Alley Loop kicks off tonight with a Pub Ski. Elk Avenue has been transformed into a snowy, groomed Nordic track. Competitors participating in this unique Pub Crawl on skis will ski from bar to bar starting at 5:00 PM this evening. While at each venue, they will attempt to earn points on their score cards by answering silly trivia questions, undertaking wacky challenges or anything crazy the officials come up with. Those in costume will earn extra bonus points. The Pub Ski starts at the Talk of the Town and criss crosses through town winding up back at the Talk at 7:30 for the awards presentation.

Alley Loop registration is open to walk-ups tonight at the Queen of All Saints, Parish Hall, from 3:00-7:00 PM. Late registration is available at the same location Saturday morning from 7:00-10:00 AM. Races start at various times on Saturday, with the first of the awards ceremonies starting around 1:00 PM. Probably one of the most interesting Nordic Races you’ll come across, the Alley Loop is a Crested Butte favorite. Whether you live here or are just visiting, this is a race not to miss. For additional race information, road closures and event schedules, click here.

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Photo credit: Crested Butte Nordic