“Celebrating our first ten years as the premier XXC Race Series”
The 11th Annual National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series www.nuemtb.com announced the 2017 race schedules this week that included several exciting changes.
The NUE Epic Race Series Schedule, comprised of races at or near 100 miles in length, will witness the return of the Breckenridge 100 mile in Colorado, a new race, the Marji Gesick, located in the upper peninsula of Michigan and a new date for the Big Bear Grizzly in California which will also serve as the new Championship race where all ties are broken.
In 2016, NUE introduced the first Marathon Race Series schedule, comprised of races at or near 50 miles to 100k in length. In 2017, the Marathon race series will expand to include three new locations in 2017, the Carrabassett 100k in Maine, the B-68 in Breckenridge, Colorado and the Marji Gesick 50 in Michigan.
“On behalf of The NUE Race Series, I would like to thank all of our sponsors, many who have been with us for up to a decade now, for believing in our vision and supporting NUE. We are proud to promote our NUE sponsors including Kenda Tire, Hammer Nutrition, Sigma Sport of Germany, Darn Tough Socks of Vermont, KMC Chain, Lauf Forks, Voler apparel, Squirt Lube, and Chris Eatough Coaching, for providing training plans for NUE Racers, many tailored to specific NUE race courses based on his success with NUE.
Born in 2006 to fill a need for XXC racers, the NUE Series began with just six races before growing over the last decade to now include twenty four races held within thirteen different states and now internationally in Costa Rica and Spain. In 2016, NUE made the leap to the International stage by introducing the Rincon de La Vieja Challenge, held in Costa Rica, as its first Latin American venue. Race attendance doubled this year to nearly 700, making Rincon, now known as the Volcano 100, one of the largest races in the NUE Race Series.
Rincon Race Director, Juan Carlos, “The Volcano 100 MTB race has gathered momentum being the first 100 miler of Latin America. It is truly a giant step forward to become part of the NUE (National Ultra Endurance) Race Series. We are honored and thankful for the opportunity and look forward to growing with the NUE, helping the NUE grow and promoting this wonderful sport of endurance MTB cycling internationally.”
The NUE Marathon Race Series will be made up of ten well known races plus two new venues. Distances will vary ranging from 50 miles to 100k. Like the NUE Epic 100 Mile Race Series, the NUE MARATHON Race Series will be governed by the same rules and will require the same number of races (BEST 4) to become eligible for series awards and recognition. It is important to note that these are two separate race series. Points will not transfer between the Epic 100 Mile and Marathon Race Series. Marathon Series finishers will receive a national ranking and qualify for series awards, including a share of the minimum $4000 Cash purse, Custom Voler NUE Champion Jersey or discounted NUE finisher jersey plus prize packages for ALL NUE Race Series Finishers.
To claim the NUE Race Series Epic 100 Mile title, racers best four finishes will count. NUE requires a minimum of four races to receive a national ranking. ALL racers who complete four of the NUE 100 Mile distance races will receive a national ranking and qualify for series awards, including a share of a minimum $10,000 cash purse, Custom Voler NUE Champion Jersey or discounted NUE Finisher Jersey plus prize packages for ALL NUE Race Series finishers.
Additional Travel awards for NUE Division leaders or Champions, and randomly drawn NUE Racers, including the Volcano 100 and The LaRuta de los Conquistadores, will be announced publicly soon.
All ties will be broken at the Big Bear Grizzly in California to be held on a new date, September 30. An attractive feature of the NUE Series is that there is NO LICENSE REQUIRED in order to participate. Everyone is welcome to compete on a level playing field alongside top Pro’s. ALL finishing racers receive a score based on their race finishes with a “lowest points wins” formula. The best possible score is 4.
Nearly ALL NUE Race Series events sold out again in 2016, some within mere minutes. The NUE Race Series presents racers with a balanced schedule, east and west, plus Central America. Costa Rica is now served by Southwest Airlines making airfare to the capitol city of San Jose and Liberia, located farther north, as affordable as traveling across the US.
NUE is currently soliciting the support of additional partners to promote products and services that racers can use. Potential sponsors can receive more information by contacting Ryan O’Dell at email@example.com
What is on tap for each event for 2017
The 2017 NUE Series will roll out on March 11 in the southwest at the True Grit Epic and True Grit Epic 50 in sunny St. George, Utah. According to Race Director Cimarron Chacon, “The True Grit Epic is long, tough, and technical. The first twenty miles are along rocky and steep terrain that requires excellent bike handling skills and upper body strength. This course is a roller coaster of desert riding with over 70% of the 89 miles on single track and slightly over 13,000 feet of elevation gain.
On April 29, NUE returns to Ducktown, Tennessee for the Cohutta 100 and Cohutta Big Frog 65 now under the direction of Justin and Amy Mace. In 2016, the Cohutta 100 took on a fresh route, drawing up the southern end of the course that went into Georgia and displacing it west across more of Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest and the Ocoee region. Staging for the race takes place along the banks of the beautiful Ocoee River — site for the 1996 Olympic White Water Events. The 100 miles of race course traverses the mountain terrain by world class single track and fire roads. The single track is fast and flowing, but can get tight and technical in spots. The fire roads are demanding but rewarding with long ascents, fast descents, and spectacular mountain views.
Out of the gate, the race makes about a three mile climb on pavement up highway 64. This warm-up serves as a good field displacer and pole position before entering into the fast and flowy single track for the next twenty miles. Next is an out-and-back trip on beautiful mountain fire-roads. Road texture alternates between hard-pack gravel and smooth moist dirt. Expect tenacious climbs (over 12,000’ of elevation gain overall), hundreds of curves, and peaceful mountain streams. Upon return, racers will re-enter the single track for about nine final miles of the best trails in these mountains.
The weather in Southeastern Tennessee in late April ranges in expression. Expect a chilly morning for sure on race day, but a quick warming up in the early miles. Eight Aid Stations provide supplemental support throughout the course and a delicious meal and coveted “Finisher” mug await at the Finish Line.”
Next up is the 16th Annual Mohican 100 and Mohican 100k on June 3, the largest attended NUE Race where racers compete for a $10,000 cash purse, the highest single day cash award in the NUE Race Series. Like the Leadville 100, Mohican features a downtown start in Loudonville leading racers up a long climb for a $200 prime at the city limits. From there, the course covers several miles of double track before treating racers to Ohio’s top ranked pristine, flowing single track within the 5000 acre Mohican State Forest along a single loop spanning three of the counties that make up what is known as “Mohican Country”. Due to tremendous growth, The Mohican 100 mile and 100k imposed a limit of 700 racers beginning in 2015. This race may sell out quickly so it is recommended to register soon. 100 Mile Race finishers receive a custom Mohican finisher growler to be filled and refilled with a truckload of microbrew provided by Great Lakes Brewing of Cleveland.
From the Buckeye State, racers wither head north toward Michigan or west toward Colorado! The NUE Series will feature two great races, east and west on June 17. Marathon racers will enjoy the Bailey HunDitO 50 in Colorado, a not-for-profit event invented by a Colorado State Senator benefiting youth biking initiatives in Colorado including Trips For Kids Denver/Boulder, which offers mountain biking opportunities to underserved youth, changing lives “two wheels at a time”, the Colorado High School Cycling League, a new resource for high school students around the state to be exposed to the world of mountain bike racing. Bailey also continues to support the advocacy and trail building work of the Colorado Mountain Biking Association as it builds new trails in the Platte Canyon area that both serve the local community’s recreation needs and is developing Bailey into a mountain biking destination.
Starting from the heart of Bailey, the race features over 45 miles of single track as it winds from Bailey through the Buffalo Creek Trail system and along the Colorado Trail to the South Platte then on to Deckers up Stony Creek Pass to Wellington Lake, and, finally, finishing to a fabulous new festival-like finish area in a private meadow by the river.
One the same day, NUE Epic 100 mile racers will be heading into the Great Lakes State of Michigan for the Lumberjack 100, also on June 17. Located deep within the Manistee forest in Wellston, Michigan, The Lumberjack will cap off the spring portion of the series. If you like fast flowing, mostly non-technical single track, and Founders Brewing, this is your race. Perhaps that is why this event always sells out early, sometimes within minutes, so don’t miss your opportunity to register on January 8 at high noon.
As summer arrives, The NUE Race Series returns, to the Black Hills of Sturgis, South Dakota July 8 for the Tatanka 100 and Tatanka 50k. The Tatanka 100 is NUE’s first and only point-to-point race beginning beneath Iconic Mount Rushmore and finishing in Sturgis! From the shrine of democracy to the city of riders, racers will test their mettle as they navigate South Dakotas famous Centennial Trail. The Tatanka 50k will retain many of the same challenges albeit over a shorter distance that offers NUE Marathon Race Series points.
One week later, think Big Foot and Volcano’s as Mudslinger Events hosts The High Cascades 100 in Bend returning for its eighth year to represent the state of Oregon on July 15. The Trails around Mt. Bachelor are truly epic and racers are treated to quality craft brews from Deschutes Brewing. With just 350 spots available, racers are encouraged to register as soon as possible.
Also on July 15, a new race has been added to the NUE Marathon Schedule located in Maine. The Carrabassett 100k located in the Carrabassett Valley adds some northeast flavor to the NUE Series.
On July 29, The Wilderness 101, directed by Chris Scott, is located in the Rothrock and Bald Eagle State Forests just outside of State College, Pennsylvania, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. If you enjoy technical backcountry single track and hair raising downhill thrills, nothing rocks quite like PA! W101 was one of just six races included in the inaugural NUE Race Series.
Also on July 29, NUE heads west for the return of the Breck 100 and B-68 in Colorado. Breckenridge can take your breath away, literally, as it begins at an altitude of 9000 feet before crossing the continental divide three times, eliciting jaw dropping views throughout in a three loop Clover shaped race originating from Carter Park in downtown Breckenridge.
The final four races will occur within two month period, as usual, has a tendency to create some chaos in the series standings before the final tie breaking event.
First up is the 9th Annual Pierre’s Hole 100 and Pierre’s Hole 100k located near Alta, Wyoming on August 5. “Pierre’s Hole, a mountain valley tucked up to the Wyoming border on the western side of the Tetons, was once known as the strategic center for fur trade in the Northern Rockies. Today it is known as the strategic gathering place to ski unfathomable deep powder and ride some of the best unknown single track in the nation.
According to race director Andy Williams, “The Pierre’s Hole 100 and Pierre’s Hole 100k at Grand Targhee Resort newest course layout adds even more new single track without the nasty climb down to the ranch from the early years of the race that many old timers may recall. The 2017 course will take racers through fields of wild flowers, aspen trees and old growth forest right in the shadows of the Tetons.” The “Grand Loop” which is all a part of the Pierre’s race course was recently named as an IMBA Epic trail!”
On Saturday, August 19, The Hampshire 100 mile and 50 mile races return as the Crotched Mtn. Hundred. According to race director, Andy Gendron, “Crotched Mountain Ski and Ride, a ski area located in Bennington, New Hampshire is continuing the tradition of the Hampshire 100 race hosted in Greenfield at Oak Park. The race has been a huge success over the last decade and Crotched Mountain is looking to build on that success for the future. The ski area will now host the staging area, on-site camping and event venue at their location in Bennington, which has been a part of the race course in the past. In addition, an outdoor BBQ and beer garden are planned for 2017 and the event date will be moved to a Saturday, Aug 19. The new event organizers are excited for this shift in the Hampshire 100 event and look forward to hosting in August.”
On September 2, The NUE Race Series goes Latin to beautiful Liberia, Costa Rica for the Fifth Annual Volcano 100, formerly known as the Rincon Challenge and Rincon Challenge 100k, a 100 mile and 100k loop around a volcano that features both jungle and desert conditions. Now served by Southwest Airlines, racers should note that travel to Costa Rica has become much more affordable with airline pricing about the same as a ticket from the east to the west coast in the US. Enjoy Costa Rican cuisine and hospitality competing alongside local Tico’s and fellow mountain bike racers from all over the world.
The next day, on September 3 over Labor Day Weekend in the USA, The Shenandoah Mountain 100 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will send up to 650 racers into the George Washington National Forest. Shenandoah is the grand-daddy of them all, and the largest strictly 100 mile race in the NUE Race Series! Shenandoah not only has a great reputation for amazing trails but is also well known for the outstanding support of volunteers and aid stations that many racers would agree sets the bar for excellence.
One September 23, NUE shifts north to the upper peninsula of Michigan to Ishpeming for the Marji Gesick 100 and 50 mile races. 100 miles and 13,000 vertical feet armored with rocks, roots, drops, jump lines, flow trails, grueling climbs, dangerous technical descents and a final fifteen miles designed to push riders to their mental and physical limits.
Over its ten year history, the NUE Race Series has alternated the Championship race from east to west several times in an effort to keep the playing field level for racers. In 2017, the final NUE race will break all ties and determine the new NUE Champions on a new date and location returning to the west coast of California for the Big Bear Grizzly 100 and Grizzly 75k in Big Bear Lake. Big Bear has attracted racers from nine countries and eighteen states!
Directed by Derek Hermon, racers familiar with the 100k Grand Fondo course will be treated to an extended portion of trail along a ridgeline with amazing views with the altitude beginning at 7000′ and reaching 8500′ with enough single track racers will beg for a fire road.
The NUE series schedule is tentative and subject to change as race organizers are still in the usual process of procuring forest service permits and other logistical race planning details. Stay tuned here for upcoming information about NUE Series Sponsors, Prize Money, and other race details. www.nuemtb.com
2017 NUE Epic 100 Mile Race Series
|True Grit Epic
|St. George, UT
|High Cascades 100
|State College, PA
|Pierre’s Hole 100
|Crotched Mountain 100
|Liberia, Costa Rica
|Marji Gesick 100
|Big Bear Grizzly 100
|Big Bear Lake, CA
2017 NUE Marathon Race Series
|True Grit 50
|St. George, UT
|Cohutta Big Frog 65
|Carrabassett Valley, ME
|Pierre’s Hole 100k
|Crotched Mountain 50
|Liberia, Costa Rica
|Marji Gesick 50
|Big Bear Lake, CA