Richmond Park ‘Winter Rush’ will bring extreme sports event to West Side park

Jim Harger – Grand Rapids Press

(Friends Note: this event helps to kick-off WinterWest – January 27-February 13)

NATEPHELPS.jpgWinter Rush organizer Nate Phelps says there will be snow — and perhaps some mud — for participants on Jan. 28.

GRAND RAPIDS – There will be snow – and there may be mud – at the inaugural Richmond Park Winter Rush, says race organizer Nate Phelps.

The Jan. 28 “extreme” race will take advantage of whatever nature and the terrain at the popular West Side park have to offer, said Phelps.

Phelps said he is patterning Winter Rush after “mud runs,” a type of “extreme” sports event that creates an obstacle course that rewards athletes who are willing to get muddy.

“The variation for this one is that it’s being held at the end of January and there will be snow on the ground,” said Phelps.

“There’s a good chance of getting a little dirty,” said Phelps, an entrepreneur who plans to open a bicycle shop at 52 Monroe Center NW next year.

“It’s something you could with a son or a daughter or with friends,” Phelps said. “Or you could compete at an elite level and really have a blast.”

Phelps said he is still designing features of the course. He has completed four of the eight course elements so far. They include:

“Mount Everest,” a climb that will feature a 118-foot elevation gain over a 1/10th mile course. Participants will stake a flag on the “peak” to declare victory, Phelps said.
“Nantucket Sleigh Ride,” a ride down the famous Richmond Park sledding hill. Phelps calls it the “signature event” of Winter Rush.
“Over the River and Through The Woods,” a single track run through woods along the park’s northern edges.
“Field of Snow Angels.” Participants will be required to stop, drop and leave behind five snow angels before moving on to the next course element.

Registration for the event is open at www.WinterRush.com. Cost is $20 per participant.

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