True Grit Epic

               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.

Tushars Mountain Runs

The Tushars Mountain Run, now under the renowned Aravaipa Running group boats itself as one of “the toughest most spectacular mountain races in all of North America.” Set for August 1st (tentatively given the current global state) this event is staged out of the Eagle Point Resort in Beaver, Utah, with a 100k, 70k, Marathon, and Half – Marathon course options.

This is a high elevation technical mountain course with each race starting at an elevation of 10,000 feet and reaching elevation climbs to 12,174 feet. With heavy elevation climbs in each of the events, this epic race will have you suffering but upon finishing, addicted and back the next year only to question why you would ever subject yourself to the pain again.

Now under Aravaipa Running, a highly regarded race-directing service with superior event quality and attention to detail, this event is a must do. What separates Aravaipa Running events from others is their incredible event organization, spectacular courses and event atmosphere. With aid stations at every 3 – 8 miles, chip timed race results, scenic yet challenging courses, and post race celebrations, their attention to detail sets the bar high and although you’ll be hurting you’ll most likely be back the next year for more.

Moab Trail Marathon and Half Marathon

The Moab Trail Marathon, Half, And Adventure 5k checks the boxes of everything you want in a race: challenging terrain, epic views, fabulous event organization, and race variety. The event spans over a full weekend with the Marathon, Half, and Adventure 5k taking place Saturday, November 7th, and the option of a second Half that Sunday. The setting of the event speaks for itself, set in Moab, racers will be taken through gorgeous canyons, single track trails, slick-rock, and Rugged Jeep Trails.

Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Cedar City

Brought to you by Monuments of Cycling, the same organizers as the iconic Belgium Waffle Ride San Diego, BWR Cedar City (Utah) debuts on October 17 at elevation (5,800 feet) in the beautiful and rugged West desert of Southern Utah.

If you aren’t familiar with the BWR format, it is modeled after the great one-day European classics, and offers professionals and amateurs very challenging routes on the most coveted gravel and off-road sectors throughout the expansive region. The signature Waffle route is 137 Miles with 5,000 feet of elevation gain that features the famous Red Hills, Parowan Gap, “Little Salt Lake”, Coal and Whitney Canyons – all framed by the Cedar Mountains and the Dixie National Forest.

For those looking for the same experience but fewer miles, the “Wafer” route is another option at 87 Miles and 3,000 feet of elevation gain. There is also a separate E-Bike event over the Wafer course.

BWR Cedar City is part of a series which kicks off with BWR San Diego in July, followed by BWR Asheville (North Carolina) in August, BWR Cedar City (Utah) in September, and culminating with the inaugural BWR Kansas in October.

Individual entry Fee’s run $200 for the Waffle and $175 for the Wafer. College students can ride for $87. There is also a VIP Dinner Experience ($160) which includes VIP packet pick up, dinner, drinks, the exclusive course reveal, and co-mingling with pros, sponsors, and other cycling dignitaries.

The route will start and finish on the grounds of Policy Kings Brewery. In true BWR fashion, expect lot’s of Waffles, Belgium Beer, and a great festival vibe.

LOTOJA Classic (Logan UT to Jackson WY)

The LoToJa was started in 1983 by two Logan cyclists, David Bern, a student at Utah State University, and Jeff Keller,the owner of Sunrise Cyclery. The two men wanted a race that resembled the difficulty of a one-day European classic like Paris-Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders. LoToJa’s first year featured seven cyclists racing 192 miles from Logan Utah to the finish line in Jackson Wyoming’s town square.

Since then, LoToJa has grown into one of the nation’s premier amateur cycling races and continues to be a grueling test of one’s physical and mental stamina. Many compete to win their respective category, while others just ride to cross the finish line. You can also compete as a relay team with 2-rider or 3-5 rider options. At 200+ miles and +8800 elevation gain, LoToJa is the longest one-day USAC-sanctioned bicycle race in the country. Cyclists must conquer three mountain passes as they pedal through the scenic terrain of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming en route to a finish line below the rugged Tetons at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Over the course of 200 miles, none of which dips below an altitude of 4,500 feet, racers crest three mountain peaks and gain nearly 10,000 feet of elevation.

Take special note of the registration details for this event. It is limited field and there is a lottery.