True Grit – 2015

by Josh Tostado on March 23, 2015

The True Grit 100 has become one of my favorite races of the season. Even though it’s still the middle of winter at home and I usually only have a month of riding in at this point in the season. I really enjoy the location vibe and terrain of this race and it’s a great way to start things off.

josh in town true grit 2015The race is out of St George, UT where the riding is spectacular and the views are outstanding. You can even see into Zion National Park from several spots on the course. The course itself consists of really technical slick rock sections, fast as hell pump track sections and medium technical single track …all around great riding, it’s really a mountain biker’s course.

This year the course was two identical laps of about 45 miles, this allowed for more single track and less road. The start wasn’t super fast but fast enough for me. As we made our way to the first set of climbs I was just in behind the leaders and they were setting a good pace that was a bit faster than I wanted to go so I let them get away a bit and would catch them on the downhills. This worked great for the first 90 minutes then when we hit the really technical section of trail called “Zen” I picked everyone off through the tough riding. Out of Zen I was in second just behind Cary Smith and rolled into the fast flowy section of Bear Claw. I was set on setting a pace that I would be able to keep up for the remainder of the race. I knew if I went too hard with minimal training under my belt that I was going to blow and I just wanted to finish strong.

By the end of the first lap I was sitting in third and feeling good. It was getting hot and I kept the fluid intake high. As we rode through the second lap I kept a good pace and left a little reserve in the tank in case I had to turn it on at the end.

I finished up in third place and was very happy with the result for this time of year. For me this race has become more of fun, hard training and a great way to reconnect with friends from the race scene. This is now my season opener and it’s a great place to visit with Hurricane, UT just 30 minutes down the road the riding possibilities are endless.

true grit 2015 podium

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Vapor Trail – 2014

by Josh Tostado on September 15, 2014

The Vapor Trail 125, what a great race, 125 miles of some of the best riding in Colorado, 20,000 feet of climbing and all at night! What’s not to love? The weather in Colorado this year has been pretty iffy so I was a little nervous about getting worked over by rain and or snow in the middle of the night at 12,000 feet. I definitely packed for the worst: I had 2 jackets rain nickers extra warm gloves and a hat, along with the warm clothing I started the race in. I started the race with enough water to last me the 8 hours it would take to get to the top of monarch pass where I could get another full pack.

The start of the race at 10 pm on Main Street, Salida is so cool; lots of people come out of the bars to send us off into the night. The competition this year was very high with Jesse Jakomait, Cary Smith, Zack Guy, Jeff Kerkove, and Kyle Taylor (who you have probably never heard of but you will be hearing much more about this kid in the future). When we finally hit the dirt after a long neutral roll out of town a group of 5 quickly formed with Jesse, Cary, Kyle, Zack and myself. Jesse, Zack and Kyle jumped to the front and made a move to quicken the pace, Cary went with for a second and I was off the back. I was having some stomach issues and wasn’t really sure what was wrong but I was extremely bloated and it felt like an alien was going to pop out of my stomach at any moment. I have been in plenty of races where I’ve felt like crap, so I wanted to try and wait it out.

When we hit the Colorado Trail I was still not feeling well and after a couple of people passed me I was in 7th place. About halfway through the Colorado Trail section the bloating started to go away and I was feeling normal again. By the first aid station I was back with Cary and Kyle. Then Kyle decided to put the hammer down and left Cary and me alone on the long climb up to the alpine tunnel. About halfway up we caught and passed Kyle, another 15 minutes went by and Cary dropped off and I was by myself in 3rd. I was feeling good at this point so I tried to push hard to catch the leaders who were now in sight. Halfway up the hike-a-bike to granite peak I overtook Zack for second place and just had Jesse in front of me. The decent down from granite peak is one of the longest and best downhills that I know of, it’s about an hour of berms, rollers and rocks to deal with, I definitely had the right tools for the job my Santa Cruz TallBoy was smashing everything in sight and with the new Niterider Enduro 2200 lighting the way, I could go as fast as I wanted.

About 15 minutes from the next aid I noticed that my dropper post was sagging about an inch or more, this would’ve really sucked for the big climbs to come, I was hoping that it was just low air pressure in the post so I decided to stop at the Snow Blind aid station to try and pump it up. Luckily they had a shock pump and I got it pumped up and it was good to go. It took about 5 minutes to get it done though and any time I had just gained on the downhill was thrown out the window.

After about an hour and 20 minute climb, I was at the top of Monarch Pass. This is always my favorite section of the race! The sun is just coming up and I can’t imagine a better place to watch the sunrise than the Monarch Crest Trail. At each aid station, I was pretty consistently 15 minutes behind Jesse, I knew he had been strong all night and was probably not going to crack now. I went as hard as I could anyway because you never know and I had no idea who was behind me or how far back they were. I ended up coming in just under 13 hours, not my best time, but not bad for this race, Jesse ended up beating my course record by 4 minutes, congrats to him, he was flying! I do tons of riding in and around Salida and I really love that this helps with the trail work that goes on in the area and I will be back again for this race, it’s one of the great ones.

Park City Point 2 Point – 2014

September 2, 2014

I was really excited to get back to Park City this year for the Point 2 Point, I missed last years race because of a broken collarbone. For anyone that hasn’t had a chance to ride in Park City, do yourself a favor and check it out! They have a very extensive trail network and […]

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Pierre’s Hole – 2014

August 25, 2014

After racing Pierre’s Hole several years ago I’ve been wanting to make the trip back to Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Wyoming to try this race again. If you’ve never been to Grand Targhee you should just come for the mellow vibe and the insane views. I knew that they added miles of single track […]

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Laramie Enduro – 2014

July 30, 2014

This was my first time making the trip to Wyoming to race the Laramie Enduro. I’ve heard so many good things about this race that I was excited to go and check it out. I knew that the 111K race was a fast one with lots of roads and trail riding mixed in through the […]

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Breckenridge 100 – 2014

July 16, 2014

For the 10th time I toed the start line at the Breckenridge 100, you would think that it would get easier after doing a race so many times but it only engrains the suffering that is to come in my mind. I decided a couple of years ago that I would do this race 10 […]

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24 Hour National Championships – 2014

June 17, 2014

I made the trip back to Gallup NM again this year for 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest which served as the 24 Hour National Championships for the second year. After having a horrible race at this event last year, I was ready to come back for redemption! The weekend weather was looking good with daytime […]

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The Gunnison Growler – 2014

June 1, 2014

It is my third time doing The Growler and I look forward to this really great mountain bike race. The trails out at Hartman’s rock in Gunnison are a good mix of fast, flowy, bermed-out, rollercoaster riding with plenty off technical riding to keep you in check. There’s not much for long climbs, but there […]

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12 Hours of Mesa Verde – 2014

May 13, 2014

This year I decided to go back to Cortez and Phil’s World for the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. I have done this race before and was excited to go back. The course is super fun with lots of twists and turns, a pump track style trail with technical sections that make for a very […]

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Whiskey Off Road – 2014

May 3, 2014

I have heard a lot off good things about the Whiskey Off Road for a long time, it’s not the best distance for me at 50 miles but I wanted to check the event out, so I made the trip this year to Prescott, AZ for a weekend of racing. The race consisted of a […]

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