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Gravel Growler set Saturday

Vicky O. Misa
Racers line up along Bell Street at last year's gravel Growler event.

Local bike shop Spokelahoma will be playing host to a large crowd of racers this weekend as the annual Gravel Growler event hits the bricks on Bell Street Saturday. Whether it be cycling or running, short routes or long routes, there is something for most every outdoor enthusiast in this event.

Spokelahoma owner Craig MacIntyre said a registration/vendor expo is set Friday, and the event kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday on the block of his bike shop, at 113 N. Bell in Shawnee.

While the bulk of the race route meanders southwest of Shawnee, entrants will depart and finish at Main and Bell.

On Tuesday MacIntyre said entries for the event were nearly sold out.

“Which is amazing, since last year we had 267 athletes and this year the sell out will be at 500,” he said.

According to the event's Facebook Page, Oklahoma Gravel Growler, entries for both the bike race and the foot race did hit max capacity by Wednesday afternoon.

MacIntyre said the event will have riders and runners coming from three countries — Canada, Iceland, Germany — and 17 states.

“We have several professional racers,” he said.

Local nonprofit Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County — and namely its Friendship House — is the focus of the Gravel Growler's fundraising.

“We will be donating a portion of each entry — plus any other donations received — to Friendship House,” MacIntyre said. “We are hoping to donate over $3500 this year.”

Community Renewal's Communications Coordinator Erica Bass said the event route is set to pass by the Craig Family Friendship House, at 812 W. 7th St.

Donated funds will support the house's programming in the coming year, she said.

For more information, call Spokelahoma at (405) 777-6213. Those interested also can visit www.oklagg.com, facebook.com/OKGravelGrowler.