Greg Gibson is a Pro-level mountain bike racer and frequent contributor to MTB Race News and owner of www.truckerco.com. He recently made the long drive from Provo, Utah to compete in the Julian Death March, in Julian, California. The Death March boasts 16,000 feet of climbing in 64 miles. Greg shares his experience with us.
Chuck (my brother) saw the event on the MTBRaceNews calender and emailed it to me last week.
Because it was snowing at our house in Utah we decided to make the trip. The town of Julian is totally cool and was the perfect place for an event of this sort. We started in the very back of the race. The first climb is about 4 kilometrers up and takes at least an hour so it pretty much shook out the race. Positions didn't change much after that.
Chuck and i rode together and worked through the field to the front. At the top of the first climb the three leaders were together a minute or two ahead of our chase group of four. The race got a little technical and we had some singletrack that split our chase group up. I got away and ended up doing the next four hours alone.
Chuck made a wrong turn and I never saw him again. It is impossible to mark the entire course , so, I recommend pre-riding or owning a Garmin if you do this event.
At one point I was in the middle of the desert and I saw an old sign that pointed to Mexico. I thought that was cool. I had no idea where anyone else was or what the time gaps were. I rode strong 'till about 10 miles to go when I blew up, totally bonked and dehydrated, when a very fresh and strong Dezmin Wilder plowed by. Considering the difficulty and amount of climbing, I say "Cheers" to anyone who can even finish this thing.