True Grit 100 is one of the best 100 mile mountain bikes races in the country. It serves as the season opener for the NUE series and a great way for me to get an early season hard training ride and have a hell of a good time along the way. Getting back on the bike only 5 weeks before the race I always take the True Grit as training and not so much emphasis on placement but as any highly competitive athlete knows once the race starts you give it everything you’ve got and I’m always going for the win.
All of the three years I’ve done this race its been great as far as the weather is concerned but this year was looking a little iffy. I was up a good part of the night listening to it rain rather hard right up to about an hour and a half before the start of the race, and just like magic the rain cleared out and it looked like things were good to go. The dirt ended up being perfect with all of the rain and it really made for a super fun day of bike racing.
A group of 6 quickly jumped out to an early lead consisting of Cary Smith, Taylor Lideen, Two very fast Costa Ricans, and myself. We all stayed together just about all the way through the first lap, when the Costa Ricans pulled away from the rest of us. At the end of lap one Taylor and Cary dropped me as I was hitting a little low point and couldn’t keep pace, into the second lap I gradually started to feel better and was able to push progressively harder all the way to the end. I end up in 5th place just making on to the podium and finished almost 9 minutes faster than last year. This gives me a great feeling for the season, as last year was one of the best I’ve ever had. Taylor caught the Costa Ricans who had flatted and gotten lost putting him on the top step for the win, huge congrats to Taylor for that because I know he has been putting in lots of hard work and he’s a hell of a great guy!
All in all great start to the season in a beautiful place got to race and rally mountain bikes with some fast folks see all of my cycling family that I haven’t seen all winter and got to soak in the wonderful desert climate that St.George UT has to offer, you really couldn’t ask for a better time than that.