This week Spokelahoma owner Craig MacIntyre offered an update on the turnout for the annual Gravel Growler event that took place over the weekend
This week Spokelahoma owner Craig MacIntyre offered an update on the turnout for the annual Gravel Growler event that took place over the weekend.
The bulk of the race route meandered southwest of Shawnee, but entrants departed and finished at Main and Bell, drawing a crowd of out-of-towners into the downtown area.
Though last year's race touted 267 athletes, according to the event's Facebook Page, Oklahoma Gravel Growler, entries for both the bike race and the foot race this year hit max capacity before event day.
“Everybody chipped in to help us make this a world-class event,” he said. “To put it in perspective, we had 500 athletes come in — 50 runners and 450 cyclists.”
MacIntyre said between runners and riders the event had entrants from three countries — Iceland, Canada and Germany — and 20 states, including some professional racers.
Offering his gratitude to the city for its help, he said everybody was amazing in getting the local race going.
MacIntyre lauded several whose efforts he said were integral to putting on the event, specifically recognizing Director of Engineering Mike Ludi, the Shawnee police and fire departments, county sheriffs, tribal police, and the tribes themselves.
The event reportedly funneled many visitors into the area.
“We had over 200 hotel nights reserved and stayed, every airbnb in Shawnee was booked up; we had people camping,” he said.
Several local businesses — completely unprompted — had specials and openings available, MacIntyre said.
“Multiple restaurants opened early and stayed open late,” he said.
People from around the community volunteered and did an immense amount of work to make this happen, he said.
MacIntyre said the biggest part of it was raising money for a local cause.
A portion of each entry — plus any other donations received — was promised to Community Renewal's Friendship House. MacIntyre said this year the event was able to secure $3,683 in donations for the Craig Family Friendship House, at 812 W. 7th St.