2012 - Deer Creek Challenge

Event Information
The Deer Creek Challenge is located approximately 20 miles outside Denver, with a scenic start/finish located at the Johns Manville facility on the corner of West Ute Avenue and West Toller Drive.

Defy the canyon and meet the challenge on your choice of 100-mile, 89-mile, 62-mile or 33-mile courses. Courses are non-competitive and are not timed.

- Voted "Colorado's Best Cycling Event"
- Limited vehicle traffic for safer cycling
- Thoroughly stocked aid stations with bike racks every 10 - 14 miles
- High-quality foods, beverages and energy resupply products
- SAG and technical support throughout the course
- Post-ride party with barbecue, free massages and free beer

All courses have limited capacity and will cap out.




Deer Creek Cancelled

Bummer - http://www.deercreekchallenge.com/

Due to lower-than-expected participation we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event. If you have participated in the Deer Creek Challenge during past years, you know that the safety of our cyclists is our highest priority. To that end, we require a minimum number of registered participants to provide the necessary level of course maintenance, law enforcement and emergency response support. Without this critical component, the Deer Creek Challenge is simply not possible.

Thank you again for your interest in the Deer Creek Challenge and wish you a safe and enjoyable end to your 2012 cycling season.


Pat Downing
Race Director, Deer Creek Challenge

Pat/Deer Creek 2012

No one likes to be ripped off, and further, no one likes to have decisions made for then with consent.
Don't assume that E-Rock is for everyone and further don't assume that it it was I want. Here is what I want....

1. Come clean and be honest. If you messed up, don't try to hide the truth with lies. You will just get buried and be so far down there that even the lies are lied about.

2. Refund our money as you said you would in your original email.

By hiding behind lies, you will never again have the support of Denver's cycling community. You put on a great event the first 2 years. Now you will never again have that support and good will.

Because ... They DESERVE it.

OK, we got it, Deer Creek Challenge is bad

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 16:30.

OK, got your point. You are chasing them down and not let them rest. Great. Now can we move on?


Because they DESERVE IT. Businesses are not allowed to act like this ... Steal $ with no excuses. DCC IS BS. I will never again do the Cherry Creek Sneak. I'd rather give my $ to the Boulder Boulder and Triple Bypass. Good luck Downing Events.... Probably time to look for a new fast cash solution.

Class Action

I'm assuming most other entrants have gotten the same email I got today, telling me that I can have two free entries into Elephant Rock, in lieu of an compensation. Frankly, I'm in no mood for the promoter changing in mid-stream. He said a refund was coming, I've already spent the money, and I have no interest in riding Elephant Rock.

Class Action, anyone?

I'm totally down with a class

I'm totally down with a class action.

How is another event any compensation? Oh wow, TWO entries to ELEPHANT ROCK. I can't wait. I'd be losing money if I didn't register!

We want our money back Pat, like you promised. If not, we all should do a Class Action.

I'm totally down with a class

I'm totally down with a class action.

How is another event any compensation? Oh wow, TWO entries to ELEPHANT ROCK. I can't wait. I'd be losing money if I didn't register!

We want our money back Pat, like you promised. If not, we all should do a Class Action.

Class Action

Someone needs to organize this. I have no interest in the Elephant Rock and want my money back. I am shocked that they are not refunding our money. Any lawyers or media professionals in the group that can help? Maybe taking this to 9news will produce results.

Gave up right to Sue.

What did you sign when you registered? Remember the Read Me page with the Check Box at the end?


Pat Downing - Downing Events - thanks for cheating us!

Dowing Events is a premiere event management company in Colorado, with over 20 years experience in staging athletic events which raise significant funds within the community. What makes a Downing Event successful is communication with the client, attention to detail, and follow-through. Our expertise will help your organization with the following objectives:

*Record-Breaking Attendance

What a joke! Deer Creek Challenge was cancelled due to low turn out.


I had a number of friends who were registered for Deer Creek (and I know, this post is rather late coming). They were royally pissed off by the E-Rock "offer." E-Rock is nothing but a ride for beginners, and riders with no clue about typical signals et. al. even endanger more experienced, faster riders. Moreover, where's the challenge of E-Rock? People sign up for Deer Creek because of the challenges it presents to riders who like and WANT to test themselves in an event like that. Some even travel long distances just for the event, because they may not have anything like it near where they live. E-rock is a joke. I HAVE ridden it, but only because I was with a group supporting a charity, the Colorado Neurological Institute. Sans helping out someone else, I'd never do E-Rock.

How dare you slam E Rock Century

Belinda, ( real name?)
You say E Rock is a joke.
If E Rock is such a joke why do 7,000+ people do it for the past 20+ years ?

Where is the challenge of E Rock ?
Try riding it at threshold for 5-6 hours. The loop ha 5,000 + feet of climbing. Perhaps if you skipped a few aid stations ? Or ride a 100 miler the next day and tell me E Rock is for beginners

no refund

I just got an email saying I would get 2 tickets to elephant Rock in lieu of any refund. I have no desire to ride elephant rock but I would like to make sure I get in with whomever sues these guys first. I don't care about the money as much as I hate to be lied to. I assume that if you use the registration code they sent you for the elephant rock tickets then you are agreeing to their refund so I do not plan on using my code.

Downing Events - Deer Creek Challenge RIPOFF artists

This is a link to their website. They won't answer any inquiries about DCC. http://downingevents.com/contact_us.html

This is what they say about themselves:

Founded in 1993, Downing Events is a premier event management company in Colorado. Our reputation for conducting events of the highest standard has been recognized by clients nationwide who seek safe, well planned, managed and executed events. We have successfully managed events ranging in size from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand.

Downing Events has managed hundreds of athletic events including the Race for the Cure, Littleton Stride, Home Run for the Homeless, Run to the Shrine and many more. Downing Events has managed many holiday ice rinks, permanent ice systems, and constructed several temporary ice systems. During the summer we manage numerous outdoor film series. Downing Events is one of the pioneers in developing film series to help shopping centers drive customer traffic and assist clients with branding initiatives.

An Open Letter to Pat Downing and The Downing Group, Inc.

An Open Letter to Pat Downing and The Downing Group, Inc. d/b/a Downing Events, Inc.

To: informationDCC@deercreekchallenge.com, info@deercreekchallenge.com, scot@elephantrockride.com, 303Cycling

Dear Pat,

I was disappointed when you informed us that the 2012 Deer Creek Challenge was cancelled via email on August 9. In your email, you stated unequivocally that refunds would be issued to registered paying riders within 45 days. I paid for 2 registrations - one for myself and one for another rider participating with me. I was surprised then to receive the email below from you yesterday.

In it, you state that you have decided not to conduct a 2013 Deer Creek Challenge, "Therefore" you are "providing" 2012 registrants with 2 entries to another event (2013 Elephant Rock). You further state that "These entries are in lieu of any cash refund or other compensation." Neither registration in a 2013 Deer Creek Challenge, nor in the '13 Elephant Rock is what any of the registrants expects or was promised. Frankly, I find this communication both baffling and disingenuous.

Many in the local cycling community understand the difficulties faced by event promoters, and can be forgiving when those difficulties are explained transparently. Events, whether charity rides, endurance challenges or races face difficulties and some have to be cancelled. We get it. What is not acceptable is to take money for an event, cancel the event promising refunds, then follow up with a statement that refunds will not be issued and instead registrants should accept 2(?) transferable(?) registrations for an event 7 1/2 months away, without any explanation whatsoever. I can't conceive of a worse communication to send. The reaction at places like the 303Cycling site has been predictable.

I have a few questions.

1. Your August email stated that the event required a certain number of registrants to properly and safely put on the event. What was that number and how many paid registrants were there?

2. If you knew in August that financial and contractual commitments had to be honored which would impact the ability to give refunds, why promise full refunds?

3. If something has changed since August - perhaps you hoped that vendors would release you from contracts but that didn't happen - why not provide an explanation of those changes? What happened?

4. Some riders might be interested in the Elephant Rock offer. Why not offer other choices to those who are not?

5. Elephant Rock registration for 2013 is not yet available and is typically handled through Active.com. What is the connection between Deer Creek and Elephant Rock that makes the promise of entries any more credible than the prior promise of a refund?

6. While it is nice that these Elephant Rock entries are purportedly fully transferable, that sounds rather inconvenient for the Deer Creek registrant forced to sell off one or both and like a bit of a logistical nightmare for the organizers Elephant Rock. How is that to be handled?

7. Who did you work with at Elephant Rock to come up with the "2013 Subaru Elephant Rock Participant Waiver" at the linked simpleracereg.com site?

8. Why does the "2013 Subaru Elephant Rock Participant Waiver" now contain releases and covenants not to sue in favor of Downing Events Inc, Deer Creek Challenge - two parties not included in last year's waiver?

I urge you to reconsider your approach, both with respect to making registrants whole and increasing the transparency surrounding cancelling the event, subsequent developments, and this offer regarding Elephant Rock. The Deer Creek Challenge was one of the more expensive one-day events, and I suspect that without more thoughtful handling of a resolution, you will find yourself and your company beset with a swarm of small claims cases. A little transparency can often go a long way.

I look forward to your reply.


Mark A. Donald
Attorney at Law

Deer Creek Challenge participants

Sorry for the confusion regarding Downing Events offer to transfer your registration to the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock. It was our understanding that Downing Events was offering participants the option of receiving a refund or choosing to receive two registrations for the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock. Of course, our intention was only to offer an option to the participants, not get caught in the middle of this controversy. Yikes!!

Subaru Elephant Rock

Well said, Mark!

As a Deer Creek Challenge registrant, thank you Mark for giving us a voice. I had variously felt confused, frustrated, and manipulated by retracted promises and clever language that made it seem that I couldn't ask for what we rightfully deserve. These kinds of contradictory communications are intended to confuse the recipients out of their own moral read on situations. I appreciate the clarity that you bestowed on what exactly felt unjust in this matter and am pleased to see that Downing Events has reconsidered and now seemingly intends to issue refunds.

DCC scam

I have been following these events on this site and others. No one has received a refund that I know of, w/2 days remaining in the month of Oct. I never even received the link to register for E-rock, even if I had, would never ride that! I completed the prior 2 yrs. century ride (DCC) and would frankly be insulted if you thought the E-rock was fare compensation! If anyone wants to follow more check out their FB page where a lot more angry cyclist are postiong. Many of us have complained to 9 news (no response) but more importantly, I have urged many to file an on-line complaint w/CO AG's office. There is an on-line form to fill out.

UPDATE: I just received a letter back from the AG's office stating that they actually need more complaints submitted to justify an investigation!



To 2012 Deer Creek Challenge Registrants:

We understand there is frustration, and we wanted to share some more information about your Deer Creek Challenge registration.

Following the difficult decision to cancel the 2012 event, we believed we would be able to issue refund checks to all of our registrants. Due to unforeseen events, we are unable provide the refunds we promised. We made a mistake when we communicated you would receive cash refunds, and for that we are truly sorry. 

We feel a great responsibility to our registrants.  To that end, we have worked very hard to find another way to provide a value that is equal to or greater than your Deer Creek Challenge registration. Our solution is to offer you two registrations to the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock. We have made the registrations as flexible as possible, and they can be used for any course distance and are 100% transferable to someone else.

We encourage you to participate in the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock or to share your registrations with others. Elephant Rock is a great Colorado tradition, is one of the first rides of the season, has multiple distances to choose from, and offers a fun atmosphere with tasty post-race food.   We have entered into an agreement with them to accept 2012 Deer Creek Challenge registrants. Aside from this relationship, Elephant Rock has no other affiliation with the Deer Creek Challenge. It is simply a well run event that happens early in the season, allowing us return value to our registrants as early as possible.

We recognize many recipients would have preferred a cash refund, but it is simply not possible at this time. Please know that we have done everything possible to compensate you for your registration. 

Deer Creek Challenge


If you registered for the 2012 Deer Creek Challenge, you received an email providing you with a registration code and link to register in the for the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock.  This code can be redeemed for two free registrations in any road course at this event, scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2013.  These registrations are 100% transferable, so you may share with whomever you like.
Here is some additional information about your Deer Creek Challenge registration and the opportunity to register for the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock.
1.  Why did you cancel the Deer Creek Challenge?
The Deer Creek Challenge was widely regarded as one of the most difficult cycling events in the United States. Producing an event of this caliber, combined with the complexity and length of the course requires immense resources including fire and police personnel, sweeping over 100 miles of roadway, as well as intense coordination with emergency responders. During the year-long event planning process, the Deer Creek Challenge also incurred unrecoverable expenses for planning and operations. This event requires a minimum number of participants to meet these expenses. The first two years of the Deer Creek Challenge operated at a significant loss, and registration trends for the 2013 event were significantly below previous years.
2.  Why did the refund offer change from August to present?
Following the difficult decision to cancel the 2012 event, we believed we would be able to issue refund checks to all of our registrants. Due to unforeseen events, we were unable to provide the refunds we promised. We made a mistake when we communicated you would receive cash refunds, and for that we are truly sorry.

3.  Why Elephant Rock, and what if I do not want to participate?
We chose Elephant Rock because it is a well organized event with a long history and favorable reputation in the cycling community.  Recognizing that some participants would choose not to participate in Elephant Rock, we made the registrations as flexible as possible.  They can be used for any course distance and are 100% transferrable, so they can be shared with or sold to someone else.
Ultimately, the recipient of the code may pass it along to anyone of their choosing.  The person who completes the online registration form will be officially registered for the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock.
4.  What is Deer Creek Challenge’s relationship to the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock?
The Deer Creek Challenge and 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock have contractually agreed that the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock will honor event registrations from Deer Creek Challenge registrants.  Because the 2013 Subaru Elephant Rock is not presently open for registration, it agreed to honor registration forms collected by the Deer Creek Challenge at the link provided in the email to Deer Creek Challenge registrants. This registration site has been approved by Elephant Rock and is compatible with Elephant Rock's registration procedures.
5. How do I redeem the Elephant Rock Registrations?
Please refer to your email for a registration link and unique offer code.  You must register online using the link and registration code provided.  If you did not receive an email, please contact information@deercreekchallenge.com.

Call your bluff Pat. What

Call your bluff Pat. What really happened was you operated at a significant loss the previous two years then decided (in a Ponzi scheme way) to get your money back to at least break even this year with absolutely no intention of ever refunding anyone. We paid for a service we did not receive. Do the right thing and give back the money to those you promised.

Pat, why are you ripping cyclists off?


You rip people off of their hard earned money. You promote events that clearly show a tendency towards cost cutting. You rip off your sponsors. I now see that you removed any mention of the Cherry Creek Sneak or the Tri for the Cure on the Downing Events website. What are you trying to do, hide the fact that you personally make hundreds of thousands of dollars off of these events.

Admittedly, this is a rumor but I've been hearing for years that these so-called charity events are nothing more than fronts for you to make profit. My wife was involved in the Tri two years ago and she was under the impression that this was a benefit for Susan G Komen and breast cancer. After helping with the event she had the impression that you give less than 4% of your income for the event to breast cancer research. She was even told to make sure she directs people to the merchandise area so that you could pay your bills. Shame on you.

You list a charity for this event, how much did you donate? We want to know. Where did our money go? We want to know. How much money did you take from your sponsors. Let's face we all know that promoters get money from sponsors to pay expenses. Did they get refunded?

How many people are you ripping off


We know that Downing Events runs not only the Deer Creek Challenge but the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Tri for the Cure as well. You make a lot of money off of those two events. You promised us a refund and then refused and instead offered us a registration into an event next year. It turns out that event didn't realize you intended to not honor your commitments.

Here are some questions:

a) how much profit did Downing Events make this year?

b) how much did you actually donate to charity. I have it on some pretty good authority that you don't actually donate much to the charities you claim to support. I've heard that your Tri for the Cure scam donates less than 4% off proceeds to breast cancer research.

c)did you also rip off your sponsors?

d)do you expect us to just allow you to rip us off and then continue to support the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Tri for the Cure even though we now know that you are a liar and a thief.

We all need to actively support a boycott of all Downing Events activities. That means that even though a lot of us run, we skip the Cherry Creek Sneak. A lot of people support the Tri for the Cure. Now we need to boycott it. Why give the Downings any more of our money when the lie to us about our money, they lie about supporting charities, and they are proven thieves...


Earlier this week, we emailed registrants for the 2012 Deer Creek Challenge offering them two entries to the 2013 Elephant Rock. Our goal was to provide registrants with the most immediate available compensation in the form of a great ride with distances and support that are comparable to the Deer Creek Challenge. In addition to expediency, we believed that most of the 2012 Deer Creek Challenge registrants would want to take advantage of the offer.

Aside from this relationship, Elephant Rock has no other affiliation with the Deer Creek Challenge. It is simply a well run event that happens early in the season. More importantly, we believed our offer would allow us to return value to our registrants as early as possible. Our offer was never intended to embroil Elephant Rock in any controversy. 

Since issuing that offer, it has become clear that many registrants can't participate in the 2013 Elephant Rock as compensation for their 2012 Deer Creek Challenge registration. Our desire is and has always been to maintain our commitment to compensate registrants in the fastest and most appropriate way possible.

Over the last several days we have been working diligently to find a solution that better meets registrants' needs for more immediate compensation. After many hours and cooperation from many of our partners, we have found that solution. We will begin issuing refund checks to all 2012 Deer Creek Challenge registrants immediately and we'll complete the process no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

In the interest of streamlining the refund process, anyone who registered for the 2013 Elephant Rock using the link and unique offer code provided in our previous email will receive a refund check instead. If you would still like to participate in the 2013 Elephant Rock, we encourage you to do so. The Elephant Rock continues to be a well run Colorado tradition and a great way to kick off the cycling season.

We appreciate your patience as we have worked though this difficult time.


Deer Creek Challenge

thanks so much Pat Downing you Schiester Mesiter

"We will begin issuing refund checks to all 2012 Deer Creek Challenge registrants immediately and we'll complete the process no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2012."

Since the above was posted on the 18th of October, it sounds like some folks should have already gotten refund checks. You have had my money for 10 months so I resent the 'whining' comment Scheister Meister. Like I said, I will believe it when I have the cash in hand.

I posted that earlier

I posted that earlier response, I'm not Pat. I just think you should wait till it's clear you aren't getting a check as promised before you start complaining. As weasly as he is, I don't think he come on the forum and call you out for whining. I would, though.