I finally made it to this race. Over the years I have ridden and raced nearly every trail and course in the region. This one has been on the radar since its inception, but is a little late in the season for me to consider a 50 mile mountain bike race. I'm in XC race mode at this time.
The trails here consist of 5 different interconnected loops. Each trail is different in terrain and difficulty. At its easiest it is fast and relatively flat, at its hardest it is steep and quite technical. Its rated as an IMBA Epic.
This race is all about the course. 100% singletrack. You have to be a good bike handler for this one. The track is very technically difficult in places and to ride the stuff fast takes skill. In addition the climbing is significant and technically hard. It takes a true, well rounded mountain biker to win this one. Conditions were not ideal and parts were muddy and the rocks slick, but other sections were dry and very fast. I haven't ridden in the mud in a long time, but didn't have too much of a problem and was actually enjoying it.
The best mountain biker on the day, Drew Medlock. I've been battling the CC boys all spring, all great guys.
Mass start. 250 riders go at once.
Masters' podium. I was 6th overall, 3rd master. 4 of the top 6 were masters. I'm not sure what that says. Old guys are fast or competition is lacking. I'm going with the former.
918 contingent, Tom, Bill, Brook, Me...