Thanks for a Great First Season!

Thanks to all of you that made that first Alpine Shop Trail Run Series such a success! We made it out of the park last night before getting soaked – and a huge thanks to all of you that came out despite the threat of some serious storms.

Big River Running will have the results up shortly and we’ll have everything linked up as soon as we can.

A huge thanks goes out to Big River Running for all the timing and assistance throughout the year to help get this series off the ground. Also, our thanks go out to New Belgium Brewing for providing Fat Tire Beer for us all month long. Also, we want to tell all of our trail run sponsors how much we’ve appreciated their help as well: The North Face, Wigwam, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Salomon and Columbia Sportswear.

We’ve had plenty of people ask us if we could continue this into October. We’re still looking into that possibility at this time and we’ll post an update later on this month. For now, thanks again for making this a great month of races on the trails. We’ll be back bigger and better next summer.

Thanks for joining the adventure!

Thursday, 9/2 Races Are Still On

We hope you won’t let a little rain keep you from coming out tonight for the final race of Alpine Shop’s Inaugural Trail Run Series, presented by Big River Running. Tonight’s races are sponsored by The North Face and we’ve got visors and caps to give away all night long along with a number of pairs of TNF trail runners to raffle off, as well.

Tonight’s advanced course is going to be about 3.5 miles. Start time will be the usual 6:30 pm. For beginners, please expect to start your race around 6:45 tonight. With sunlight failing on us quicker and quicker, we need to make sure we have enough daylight to get you through your race AND make sure you’ve got time to enjoy some refreshments following your finish. Start and Finish lines will remain in the same spot – in the meadow past the Ranger station, just before the horse trailer turnaround.

This is the final race of the year, so if you haven’t joined us before now, this is your last chance until next summer! (Unless we do figure out some other way of adding on some events this fall!) Like we’ve said before, we started this series to get people outside having fun in an active setting. The important word being “fun.” We mix a little healthy dose of competition in and then celebrate it all with free food and adult beverages (for the adults, of course). Grab some freebies from the Alpine Shop tent and sign up for raffle prizes all evening long.

Series sponsor Big River Running will have results up at BigRiverRunning.com almost immediately so you can check your times.

5k Trail Run Championships-CANCELED

RACE HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO PARK OVERCROWDING. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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It’s the final race of the Alpine Shop Trail Run Series! All skill and condition levels are invited. Explore the trails of Castlewood State Park for a fun and competitive 5k Race.

Prizes will be given out to top finishers in men’s, women’s and kids’ divisions.

We’ve kept track of the trail running standings and we’ll award the Off-Road Racing League Champion for top point accumulation after this event.

Race Location:
Castlewood State Park – meet near the horse trailer turn-around after the Ranger office.

Trail Run 9/2

Park your bike and lace up your trail running shoes because your Thursday evenings are now booked in August, too. Starting Thursday, August 19, Alpine Shop and Lone Wolf Coffee Company have partnered with Big River Running to offer a series of trail runs.

Starting after the heat of the day with different routes and distances each week, we’ll test your sense of fun and adventure with the chance of a creek crossing or other interesting feature thrown in just for the heck of it. And just like the mountain bike series, we’ll have after-race food along with adult beverages from Fat Tire Brewery. We’ve partnered with our vendors for some more great prizes and give-a-ways. We’ll keep track of the trail running standings, and keep earning those multi-sport league points and see who’s the Off-Road Racing League Champion.

Race Location:
Castlewood State Park – meet near the horse trailer turn-around after the Ranger office.

Race Dates:
Thursday evenings from August 19 through September 2nd. Plus a final race on Saturday, September 5th

Race Times:
6:30 pm each Thursday evening for Advanced and Intermediate Runners. 7:15 pm for Beginners and Kids

Race Distances will vary each week depending on the trails used, but will remain between 2 and 4 miles. The beginner/kids fun run will stay under 2 miles.

Registration: Begins at 5:30 pm each Thursday evening at the start/finish line.

Race Fees: $20 for the first race, $10 for each successive race or $50 for all 5 races!

Prizes Following Each Race:
Give aways, raffles and prizes for the top finishers and all participants.
Awards for series winners.

Trail Run 8/26

Park your bike and lace up your trail running shoes because your Thursday evenings are now booked in August, too. Starting Thursday, August 19, Alpine Shop and Lone Wolf Coffee Company have partnered with Big River Running to offer a series of trail runs.

Starting after the heat of the day with different routes and distances each week, we’ll test your sense of fun and adventure with the chance of a creek crossing or other interesting feature thrown in just for the heck of it. And just like the mountain bike series, we’ll have after-race food along with adult beverages from Fat Tire Brewery. We’ve partnered with our vendors for some more great prizes and give-a-ways. We’ll keep track of the trail running standings, and keep earning those multi-sport league points and see who’s the Off-Road Racing League Champion.

Race Location:
Castlewood State Park – meet near the horse trailer turn-around after the Ranger office.

Race Dates:
Thursday evenings from August 19 through September 2nd. Plus a final race on Saturday, September 5th

Race Times:
6:30 pm each Thursday evening for Advanced and Intermediate Runners. 7:15 pm for Beginners and Kids

Race Distances will vary each week depending on the trails used, but will remain between 2 and 4 miles. The beginner/kids fun run will stay under 2 miles.

Registration: Begins at 5:30 pm each Thursday evening at the start/finish line.

Race Fees: $20 for the first race, $10 for each successive race or $50 for all 5 races!

Prizes Following Each Race:
Give aways, raffles and prizes for the top finishers and all participants.
Awards for series winners.

Rollin’ for Charity! Alpine Shop Employees & Elite Cyclists Race 100 Miles Indoors for Charities


Two of St. Louis’s top cyclists will go head-to-head this weekend in an indoor race for charity. The inaugural Rollin’ for Charity Indoor 100 Bike Race will pit man versus woman and mountain bike versus road bike in a race to raise cash and ride 100 miles on bicycle rollers at Alpine Shop’s Kirkwood store.


Chris Ploch, the reigning and four-time Missouri State NORBA Mountain Bike Champion, and Carrie Cash, the current Missouri State Cyclocross Champion, will be competing for over four hours to raise funds for the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, respectively.


Alpine Shop, employer for both Ploch and Cash, has offered a $500 prize with $350 going to the charity of the first racer to complete the 100 mile race and $150 to the second-place racer’s charity.


The truly unique aspect of this race will be each participant’s bike. While both will ride on rollers – a type of treadmill for bikes known for its difficulty – Ploch will be racing on his Gary Fisher Superfly mountain bike and Cash will be on her Team Vera Bradley Foundation Specialized Amira road bike.


“100 miles on indoor rollers is going to be uncomfortable,” says Ploch. “But nowhere near what my grandmother went through with ALS.”


“Racing 100 miles – especially indoors – is like a puzzle,” says Cash. “You start with a lot of pieces. Eventually, the fewer pieces you have left, the better the picture looks.”


Both riders are aiming to raise $1500 for their respective charities through this competition. Anyone wishing to support Ploch and the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter or to support Cash and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer can visit alpineshop.com for links to the specific charities. Pledge amounts may be made in any amount. All supporters will be entered to win in various drawings throughout the day.


The race will begin at 11 am at Alpine Shop Kirkwood (440 N. Kirkwood Road, 63122) and will run for approximately four hours. To make this fun for both racers, as well as those who come out to support them, mini-competitions will be held each half-hour during the race with prizes given to the winning racers’ supporters.


The Rollin’ for Charity Race is part of the Outdoor Fitness Festival going on Saturday, January 9 at Alpine Shop Kirkwood. Various clinics will be held throughout the day giving tips on using the outdoors to accomplish your 2010 fitness goals.


About Carrie Cash

The current Missouri State Cyclocross Champion, Cash is the co-founder of Team Revolution – a cycling education and advocacy non-profit organization for women. Following three years of racing for her own organization, Cash is heading into her first year as a professional cyclist racing for Team Vera Bradley Foundation. In 2009, Cash had 14 top 20 finishes in major competitions including five top 10 placings.


About Chris Ploch

Chris Ploch is a four-time Missouri State NORBA Champion and currently races for both Team DRJ-Racing and the Gary Fisher 29er Crew Racing Team. He was also the 2009 champion of the Alpine Shop Short Track Dirt Crit Series and has made the move to the Semi-Pro status heading into 2010. Last year, he also participated in the Missouri River 340 River Race and competed with the Alpine Shop Adventure Racing Team at the Goomna 6 Hour Duathlon.


About The Alpine Shop

The Alpine Shop began life in 1973 as a small climbing shop. Today, through its three locations in Kirkwood, Chesterfield and Columbia, Mo., it serves almost every type of outdoor enthusiast—be they backpackers, campers, cyclists, hikers, paddlers, skiers, snowboarders or climbers—with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, cutting edge products and a wide variety of how-to clinics for all activity levels.

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Alpine Shop Swap Festival Helps Customers and Charities


During the fall of 1992, Alpine Shop owner Russell Hollenbeck created an event to help area families sell the outdoor gear and clothing they no longer used. Sixteen years later, Alpine Shop’s Swap Festivals continue to give area families that same opportunity while also helping the store provide tens of thousands of dollars to worthwhile organizations.

The Winter Swap Festival is a consignment-based sale the Alpine Shop hosts each October. Anyone is invited to bring in used winter clothing, skis and snowboards to sell for two and a half days in a 10,000 square foot tent Alpine Shop pitches on the South parking lot of its Kirkwood location.

“Everyone is looking for the least expensive way to keep their families warm this winter. Especially for their kids,” says Hollenbeck. ”With as quickly as they grow out of everything, chances are the jacket they wore last year won’t fit them today. At least with the Swap, they can sell that old coat and find a different one for this year.”

Sixteen years ago, the first Swap was held in a 20’ by 20’ tent in the small parking lot of Alpine Shop’s old Webster Groves location. The tent has grown to more than five times that size now and the line has grown as long as up to 1000 people for the first Friday night of Swap.

The first night of the Swap festival is also the main fundraising effort of the weekend. Everyone 13 years or older pays $5 to get into the tent. Every penny of that money goes to a particular charity. This year that organization is the Gateway Disabled Ski Program – a not-for-profit recreational ski program for children and adults with disabilities. Not only do they work with the physically disabled, visually and hearing impaired, mentally challenged, developmentally disabled and behaviorally challenged athletes, they also work with such worthy programs as the Special Olympics and with wounded veterans and recovering active duty soldiers. Alpine Shop is proud to assist them in their efforts through the Swap.

Customers continue to bring in their used outdoor winter clothing and gear each year. Alpine Shop accepts an average of over 2,500 items into the Swap tent for each Winter Swap. It takes a full-time staff just to keep track of it all, especially making sure every item is correctly accounted for at the cash registers and then getting the consignment payment into the seller’s hands.

The items that find new homes during Swap are not only a few extra dollars for the seller, but also a few pounds of gear that are saved from filling up our junkyards. Even gear that doesn’t sell has a chance to make a difference instead of just being pitched. Participants can mark on their consignment contracts that they would like Alpine Shop to donate the gear to the charity of Alpine Shop’s choosing if the item doesn’t sell.

Alpine Shop’s 16th Annual Winter Swap begins Friday, October 23 at 7 pm at Alpine Shop’s Kirkwood location and continues through Sunday, October 25. Customers can begin bringing their used gear to sell on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the Kirkwood Alpine Shop only.

For more information visit alpineshop.com/swap.htm.