True Grit Epic mountain bike race, Santa Clara, Utah, March 14, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
SANTA CLARA – Gorgeous weather greeted hardcore mountain bikers Saturday morning as the True Grit Epic bicycle endurance race rolled into motion in Santa Clara and the surrounding hills and desert.
The event, which started and finished in downtown Santa Clara, featured 50-mile and 100-mile courses that wound through the rugged Southern Utah terrain.
The 50-milers, who began at 9 a.m., traveled through three riding areas in St George – Red Bluff, Curly Hollow, and the Boomer Hill area of the Santa Clara River Reserve. The course is actually 46-miles long, with 43 of the miles on dirt and rock trails. Total elevation gain for this course is 7,604 feet.
The 100-milers, who began at 8 a.m., did basically two laps of the 50-mile course with an additional loop added on. Total climbing for the 100-mile race is 15,016 feet.
More than 400 professional and amateur racers participated in the event, with a post-race meal, concert and social event scheduled for Saturday night.
The National Ultra Endurance Series is made up of only 13 mountain bike events across the country, plus one international race in Costa Rica. For 2015, the National Ultra Endurance series will offer a shared $13,000 in cash awards and additional prize packages.