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Destination: St. George, Utah

The True Grit 50/100

The True Grit 50, created by Gro-Promotions (also the promoters of 25 Hours in Frog Hollow) combines the best of the trails in the Santa Clara Preserve to create a route with 46 miles of dirt and enough technical challenges to qualify it as one of the most demanding ultra-endurance courses created.

The newly created 100-mile option will traverse the stunning loop twice. With a March 17th date, it’s the perfect early season fitness test and escape from colder climates. The route starts with Barrel Ride, yet another technically challenging trail in the area, does a loop of Zen, and heads south then north on Bear-claw Poppy and Stucki Springs before finishing with Rim Runner and Barrel Roll.

While the race had to be canceled halfway through last year due to unseasonal torrential rains that threatened to destroy the trails, racers raved about the sections of trail that were ridden before the deluge. The technical nature of the course gave locals a distinct home-course advantage and other racers stayed glued to the wheels of those who knew the smoothest lines through the rocks.

Once rain-soaked chamois had been peeled off and bikes put away, participants were treated to a buffet of food ideal for hungry and cold racers. Many were clearly disappointed by the cancellation of the race but most agree that the promoters made the right call with the long-term interest of the trails in mind as well as knowing that many of the final miles would consist of a muddy hike-a-bike and that the rescue of hypothermic racers from the section would be difficult.

By that afternoon, the sun was shining brilliantly, leaving riders scratching their head at the squall that had left so many shivering that morning.

With the addition of the 100-mile option and the word-of-mouth reviews of the race, the True Grit is poised for a year of record growth. Then each person will tell three of their friends about the mountain biking in St. George and all of sudden, there may be an influx of fat tires to this year-round riding Mecca.
Be sure to check out more destinations to go get your tires dirty

Eszter Horanyi lives and mountain bikes in Crested Butte, CO.  She has dabbled in road racing, cyclocross racing, and cross country mountain bike racing, but has gravitated towards ultra endurance and multi day self supported racing in the more recent past.  She firmly believes that nothing tops a good ride with good friends on good trails, thus she spends her life in search of all of the above. All articles by Eszter.

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