Gravel
Amy Charity (DNA Pro Cycling) crushing the climb....

Life Time buys Crusher in the Tushar a year after acquiring Dirty Kanza

Life Time has acquired the Crusher in the Tushar, adding another marquee gravel event to its lineup of off-road cycling races.

Life Time has acquired the Crusher in the Tushar, adding another marquee gravel race to its growing portfolio of off-road endurance cycling races.

The news was announced by Crusher in the Tushar founder Burke Swindlehurst in a letter to riders. Swindlehurst said he will remain in a management role with the race.

“I want you all to know that the heart and soul of Crusher is here to stay,” Swindlehurst wrote. “I’m not going anywhere. I will remain at the helm as Crusher’s Event Director.”

Swindlehurst founded the Crusher in the Tushar in 2011 after he retired from his own professional road career. The race begins in the town of Beaver and takes riders on a 69-mile tour of the Tushar mountains in Southwest Utah. The race includes nearly 11,000 feet of climbing.

In recent years the Crusher in the Tushar evolved into one of the marquee gravel races dotting the U.S schedule, alongside Dirty Kanza 200 and other events.

Swindlehurst said he decided to sell the event to Life Time Inc. after attending the 2019 edition of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, where he met the company’s executives.

“What really cemented the experience for me was seeing firsthand the amount of philanthropic and community enrichment that Life Time initiates within its host communities,” Swindlehurst wrote. “The upshot is that I left Leadville knowing that a partnership with Life Time will not only enrich the event for our riders, but it will also enrich the greater community.”

Swindlehurst’s sentiment echoed that of Dirty Kanza founder Jim Cummins, who sold the Dirty Kanza to Life Time in the fall of 2018. Cummins told VeloNews he decided to sell after attending the Leadville race and examining the company’s philanthropic efforts within the host community.

The acquisition of Crusher in the Tushar means the Minnesota-based Life Time Inc. now owns five of the country’s marquee mass-participant off-road cycling events: Dirty Kanza 200, Leadville Trail 100, Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, and the new-for 2020 Big Sugar Gravel race in Bentonville, Arkansas.