Southwest - Utah
Gravel Mixed Surface, Mountain Biking




Date: Mar 10, 2023

Location: Santa Clara, Utah

Region: Southwest - Utah


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True Grit Epic

March 10, 2023 @ 5:00 am - March 12, 2023 @ 9:30 pm

The famous True Grit Epic race weekend is a world-class mountain bike and gravel expo taking place yearly over a three-day course in Santa Clara Utah. The True Grit is a top-of-the-line and beyond-fun festival-style mountain bike event which will see the likes of many traveling from outside Utah to race, eat, and drink the many, many options that the race organizers of GRO Races bring. 

There are now multiple options for racing transcending mountain biking to now include gravel racing as well. The options are: The Extreme Grit Stage Race (gravel and mountain), the Grit Gravel Epic, The Grit Mountain Epic, and The Grit 15 Mountain Challenge

Starting with the pure gravel event, the True Grit Gravel Grinder is a seriously fun challenge with 84 miles of riding and a leg throbbing 9000 feet of climbing. Some gravel races can lack a fully off-road experience with large sections diverted to Tarmac. The True Grit Grinder is a heartwarming 80 percent offroad making the route profile not only a beautiful but physically demanding endeavor. There are fully stocked feed bag zones at miles 20, 34, 46, 57, and 71 respectively. Looking at the course profile, climbing legs are a necessity in the Grit Grinder; after an easy 10-mile roll in riders will be met with a challenging 2000 foot climb with some rolling, non-rest type of riding at the top, which is then followed with a long-needed descent into the first rest stop. Luckily the hardest climb is out of the way, but you will still be met with a challenging mile 35-40 with one medium and two additional punchy climbs into the second rest stop. There is then a nice descent and one hard push into the final rest stop at the top of the final climb. The course organization, especially when looking at the climbing profile is very nice towards the end of the race as the final 20 miles are a well-deserved downhill which is better than stacking the climbing in the end in my opinion. The True Grit Gravel grinder is an excellent race that is a wonderful addition and member of the race weekend.

               The True Grit Mountain Epic is the pinnacle mountain bike race and course for this Utah, bike heaven of a weekend. Riders can select either the base race which is a straight 50 miles which is simply the TG 50. OR you can take it up a serious notch and enter the True Grit 100 which is two laps of the 50 course, totaling an obvious 100 miles. The course is just under 50 miles and 5,150 feet of climbing which is the total for the 50 race but brings the elevation gain of the 100 to 10,300 feet if climbing. Compared to some other endurance mountain bike races, the True Grit 50/100 course is incredibly punchy with the climbing being depressed into 400-800 foot climbs respectively which you can see the sharpness very well in the course profile below. With 4 feed zones for the 50 course at the 13.7, 19.6, 36.5, and 41 respectively, the stations remain for the 100 if you are doing a second lap so the mile markers are 55.5, 62, 79, and 85 miles. The True Grit Mountain 100 is part of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE MTB) (Strambecco NUE listings)which is a calendar of 9 of the best 100 miles mountain bike racers from around the country where you can compete to score the most overall points in the series. Other 100 miles in the series are all excellent events in their own right to the likes of The High Cascades 100, and the Big Bear Grizzly 100. The True Grit Mountain Epics are both top-of-the-line single-track desert experiences that mix mid-winter riding, with the incredible desert scenery; a bucket list event by all means.

The True Grit 15 Mountain Challenge is a much more tame rider compared to the ladder over the weekend. While shorter it is still a physical challenge, riding over Southwest Utah single track with plenty of climbing. There will be two aid stations and for every rider who either wants to take their time, is lacking the fitness, riding with kids, or just is out to have fun there is no time cut-off the ride; so take your time!


For all of you absolutely fit and crazy people: I have finally arrived at the point in this event listing where I will now lead you into the gates of hell and describe the Extreme Grit Stage race. Stage one is a gravel/road/mountain hybrid with solid climbs but definitely some loose descents so please be careful. Stage Two is simply the True Grit Gravel Grinder, and stage three is True Grit Epic 50. If you are beast enough to enter the race, some important information is that you will not start with the other racers in the Stage two grinder nor the stage three epic 50; you will start at different times with the Stage Racers only making it a unique competitive environment. A memorable and legendary endeavor in my opinion, all riders who are serious about challenge and adventure should consider this stage race before they die: a world-class event is an understatement. The First Stage’s interactive map is just below.

The Grit Expo weekend is an excellent three-day Jamboree bringing the Gravel and Mountain Bike clubs together for their own tough races, and a world-leading stage race combining the two disciplines in fashion. The option of two laps of the Grit 50 course to complete the 100 cumulative miles is an excellent addition especially when it is combined to be a National Ultra Endurance Series event. Other than the super-fit and extreme riders out there, it is great to see a 15-mile mountain bike route in which the same amount of effort is put into its creation as well as a great 2-mile kids race. With top logistics, food trucks, drinking options, fair-style expo, and of course riding your bike, the True Grit Epic is one of the best mountain bike festivals in the world.


March 10, 2023 @ 5:00 am
March 12, 2023 @ 9:30 pm
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Santa Clara, Utah
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