After 30 years, organizers of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen have found an activity for the public that doesn’t involve drinking or eating — running a foot race in the early morning hours of Friday.
And it could be a rough morning for those who choose to imbibe the night before at one or more of the various parties around town that kickoff the weekend’s festivities.
The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen Charity 5K hosted by Bobby Flay will begin at 6:30 a.m., if racers are so inclined to hang out with celebrity chefs before the public race start of 7:15 a.m.
Several notable chefs will be racing, and competition among them is beginning to ramp up with challenges between them being posted on Twitter and other chatter online, said Lori Lefevre, whose public relations firm is handling Food & Wine.
Chefs who have been confirmed to run the race include Tim Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Richard Blais, Bobby Stuckey, Gail Simmons and Jennifer Carroll.
The race is the brainchild of Christine Grdovic, vice president and publisher of Food & Wine magazine, Lefevre said.
“It’s a great way to involve locals,” Lefevre said.
The run will benefit Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The nonprofit reaches over 28 states, working with more than 60 community-based organizations who manage more than 300 farm-to-retail venues, impacting nearly 2,500 farmers.
The organization is under the umbrella of Food & Wine’s charity initiative, Grow for Good, which supports local and sustainable agriculture.
Julie Hardman, special events manager for Aspen Chamber Resort Association, said last week that 200 people had signed up for the race thus far.
“If it’s successful, they’ll do it again,” she said of the potential of a second annual race.
It will cost racers $225 to run with top celebrity chefs. There is a meet-and-greet with the chefs beginning at 6:30 a.m., and runners will take off with them at 7:05 a.m., 10 minutes before the other racers. The cost to run without the chefs’ presence is $30.
Run with the chefs participants will receive a VIP registration bag, a T-shirt, a signed cook book and group photo. Racers only will receive a registration bag and a T-shirt.
The race will follow the traditional Race for the Cure route: Racers begin on Mill Street and Rio Grande Place, and then run west on West Bleeker and wind through the West End neighborhood before reaching the Rio Grande Trail via the Aspen Meadows. Racers will run for about 1 mile back to Rio Grande Park.
Online registration, through active.com, ends Wednesday at noon. On-site registration will be available on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. located at 425 Rio Grande Place. On Friday, registration will occur from 6-7 a.m. at Rio Grande Park. Only credit cards will be accepted.
Colorado Race Timing will be providing all timing chips and posting the official race times. All timing chips should be picked up at registration and returned at the finish line. There will be a $30 charge for any timing chips not returned at the end of the race.
Official results will be posted after the race on the back of the registration tent in Rio Grande Park. Awards will be announced for the top three men and top three women. All other categories will be posted on the results board.
The race sponsor, C9, will provide a stretching area for all racers. After the race, The Aspen Club & Spa will be providing chair massages for racers, and Dr. Dave Jensen of the Win Health Institute, will be on hand for massage and chiropractic needs. Disco Dan will be providing music at the park as part of the post-race activities.