Tatanka marathon stop #5 on the 2018 NUE Race Series On July 8, 2018, NUE racers headed to Sturgis, SD for the NUE Epic and Marathon races. Previously a point-to-point race, the new 2018 course consisted of a loop format that started and finished in downtown Sturgis. The start, finish and neutral aid station. Photo credit: Randy Ericksen The new course was made up of loops A, B, and C. Epic riders started at 7AM and completed all three loops, 90 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing. Marathon racers completed B and C loops, 40 miles and around 5,000 ft of climbing. There was also a Sprint loop that only completed the C loop. The neutral aid station on Main Street also served as the start and finish for all races. The volunteers helped make sure racers were safe and directed traffic at all intersections. Photo credit: Randy Ericksen Sturgis is located in western South Dakota and is home of the world’s largest motorcycle rally. This area is also quickly becoming popular with mountain bikers. Racers rode on parts of the Centennial trail, which is located in the Black Hills mountain range. Photo credit: Randy Ericksen Trails winded through both prairies, cow pastures, and rocky forest single-track. Race day conditions had temperatures nearing 100 degrees, exposed sunny climbs, fast flowy downhills, sand pits, steep switchbacks, and stunning mountainous views. Racers were also challenged with dodging the occasional fresh cow patty. Photo credit: Randy Ericksen Photo credit: Randy Ericksen