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.
The 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.