True Grit Epic 100 – 2014

by Josh Tostado on March 19, 2014

true grit epic

My new favorite first race of the season is the True Grit Epic 100 in St. George, Utah. This race has everything that I want in a mountain bike race, challenging and technical riding, fun fast sections of single track and a good amount of climbing, not to mention the incredible views of the surrounding Zion National Park.

The only problem with this race is that it’s in the middle of March, which is really early for me. I skipped a ton of powder skiing to get ready, and managed to get almost a month of riding before the race. But coming in I was treating it as a training race not really expecting a great result. The weather was going to be beautiful, sunny and temps in the mid 70′s. Things started off good and I was in the lead group for the first 4 or 5 miles of the race. Then things went south, when up a quick punchy climb my derailleur hanger snapped in half. I couldn’t believe what just happened and I took a couple seconds to stare in disbelief. After the reality set in I started to walk and coast my way back to an aid station. At the aid one of the workers was nice enough to give me a ride back to the start and my car where I could get a new hanger and at least get a good ride in.

By the time I got everything sorted out it was a little after 9:30, an hour and a half after I had started. I went to work from the start again, but had to work my way through at least 100 50-mile racers, but I just patiently made my way through. The hanger I had put on was a little bent so my bike was not real happy about things and would not ride in the top 4 gears so in the faster sections I was spun out.

On the second lap just when I looking forward to the end of the race, I suffered a broken chain while riding into a crazy head wind, of course I carry a chain tool and fixed it fairly quickly, I began to think my resolve was being tested but there wasn’t anything that was going stop me from finishing. I pulled into the finish over 9 hours after the first start, but the feeling of pushing through and just finishing the race was just as good as ending up on the podium because I defeated that little voice in my head that said “you can’t”.

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Winter Park Epic 50

by Josh Tostado on September 15, 2013

The last couple months have been tough after breaking my collarbone in the middle of my race season back in July. Instead of just sitting on my ass and feeling sorry for myself, I’ve tried to stay as busy as possible and do what I could do to be on a bike no matter what. After starting on the trainer, then moving to road riding and finally a week of mountain biking, I finally felt like I was ready for some racing again!

It feels so good to be back on my mountain bike! Having my passion taken away from me reinforces my appreciation for what a gift it really is to ride and race mountain bikes all summer long. A new race to Colorado this year is The Winter Park Epic 50, which fell exactly 8 weeks out from my injury. I decided to give it a try, 50 miles is shorter than I typically race but at this point in the season I was glad there was something so close to home to get back on the horse. Fittingly, Winter Park is where I broke my collarbone (riding the bike park), so I had to return to the place that took me out for some redemption.

The epic 50 turned out to be a great race, super fun course and very well put on. The markings and aid stations were some of the best that I’ve seen at a bike race. The pace at the start of the race was super fast but I did my best to stay in front and jumped behind eventual winner Kelly Magelky, he kept the pace very fast and I followed for a while, but after about half a lap I couldn’t keep the effort up and was hurting a bit because of it. By the end of the first lap, I felt my strength returning and began to feel really good and enjoy myself. All the talk of taking it easy goes right out the window when you’re in the heat of the race! I was not holding back on the descents, I was having too much fun and relishing the fact that I was able to race again and feel good doing it! By the end I finished in second 3 minutes behind Kelly who is racing really strong right now. The good result was just icing on the cake, the real victory was just doing what I love again and I’m so thankful for that.

winter park epic 2013

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Breckenridge 100 – 2013

July 15, 2013

This was my 9th time racing the Breckenridge 100, for better and worse, I know the course like the back of my hand. The good part is being ready for every twist and turn on a very difficult course. The bad part is that I know the level of pain and suffering that is about […]

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June 2013 Race Reports

July 5, 2013

This year the 24 Hour Nationals were in June, falling earlier then normal in the race season. I gave it my best effort to be in 24 hour race shape by starting my riding season a month early. Unfortunately my plan didn’t work and I had the worst 24 hour race I can remember, six […]

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2013 Syllamo’s Revenge and Gunnison Growler

May 27, 2013

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” My last two races have been plagued with bad luck, but with all the problems I’ve had it’s still just peanuts in the grand scheme of things. I am just happy to even have the opportunity to travel around and race my bike […]

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True Grit Epic – 2013

March 20, 2013

This year I am starting my race season a little earlier in anticipation of 24 Hour Nationals in June, so when the True Grit Epic became the season opener for the NUE series, I jumped on the opportunity. Getting ready for a race by the middle of March is not the easiest thing to do […]

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2013 Race Schedule

March 20, 2013

I finally figured out my race schedule for this season, check it out! March 16th True Grit May 18th Syllamos Revenge May 26th Original Growler 64 June 15-16th 24 Hour Nationals July 20th High Cascade 100 August 3rd Pierre’s Hole 100 August 31st Park City Point to Point September 8th Vapor Trail 125

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24 Hours of Moab – 2012

October 9, 2012

My last race of the year would once again be the 24 hours of Moab. This was the 18th edition of the famed race; unfortunately it was also the final edition. I have enjoyed the 24 Hours of Moab all of the times I have raced it, and was looking forward to being part of […]

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Vapor Trail 125 – 2012

September 12, 2012

When the 24 hour Solo World Championships in Canada were canceled recently, I seized the opportunity to once again race in the Vapor Trail 125. The last time I did this race was 2009 and it had been shortened that year because of weather. I had wanted to do this event again for some time […]

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Park City Point to Point – 2012

September 3, 2012

Waking up to pouring rain and lightning at 5 am is usually not a good thing especially when you are up to race an 80-mile mostly single-track mountain bike race. With the rain poring down, I went through the motions of getting ready for the Park City Point to Point. When we got to the […]

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