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Rough and Tumble evokes low-key, old-style ultra racing

Nestled in the Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming, an old school trail race will hold its fifth annual event this June. Gabe Joyes, his wife, Jenny, and friend Emily Tilden serve as co-race directors for the Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble, which features a 50K, 18K and 6K.

I ran the 18K two years ago and loved the race. It’s an absolutely beautiful course with helpful volunteers and gluten-free options that worked well for my Celiac Disease (something I have in common with Gabe). The race also offers me an opportunity to get in some specificity training as I rev back for up for some epic fall challenges.

There is still time to sign up and join me at this fun race, which is only 10 miles from downtown Lander.

The website has a lot of good information about the race and local area. But I wanted to learn more so I chatted with Gabe about the race’s history, what’s new and more.

Question: The Rough and Tumble is going into its fifth year. Tell me about some of the changes you have made since the inaugural event.

Answer: The course has changed a lot since the first year (when it was directed by Evan and Amber Reimondo, who are friends with the Joyeses) but the soul of the race has stayed the same. We are definitely an old-school style mountain trail run with local coffee at the start and local beer at the finish! This year we were able to take the road section out of the 50K and replace it with brand spankin’ new single track!

Question: Why should runners consider running one of the distances at the R&T?

Answer: We try really hard to have a distance for almost everyone. Rough and Tumble is designed to be a race that lets people try out trail running and see what the scene is all about, but we’ve also got the goods for anyone who is a seasoned mountain runner. These courses simply don’t disappoint.

Question: You are a family man, balancing a full-time job and your own racing. What is your "why" for race directing?

Answer: Great question. The trail running community has given so much to me — particularly through racing. I want to give back from the other side of things and create a memorable mountain running experience for other people as well. I also think that Sinks Canyon and the Wind River Mountains are just a spectacular playground and trail running scene that is really under the radar. I’m happy to share that with other people!

Question: Let's talk about Speedgoat Coffee Roasting Co., which is a race sponsor and has some unique flavors with quality ingredients. I purchased the Peru version online and really like it. Tell me about the coffee company and whether you have a particular favorite roast.

Answer: Speedgoat Coffee is new to Lander and was started last year by Greg Skidmore. Greg is, of course, bonkers passionate about coffee, but he is also really active in the Lander outdoors community. I’m always super psyched about high quality local goods, so it seemed almost inevitable that Greg and I would find ways to work together. My favorite roast … that changes from week to week. But I have really been enjoying the Red Deserts Blend lately!

Question: La Sportiva is another one of your sponsors. That's a pretty big name for such a small race. What's La Sportiva's role and what should runners know about the company?

Answer: La Sportiva has been simply amazing to work with. They are so dedicated to all things mountain running — from athletes, to races, the environment, and of course creating the best mountain running products available in the world. Their presence will definitely be felt at Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble!

One last thing to note about the race — and another reason why I really love it — is how it is committed to keeping the local area free from trash. The Rough and Tumble is a cupless, plateless and forkless race. So don’t forget to register and bring your utensils — and coffee cup — to this fun race in scenic Wyoming.

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