After moving to Grand Junction, doing the entire Triple Crown of Moab made perfect sense. Drive 5 hours total, I race, Nick gets to ride his bike and it's a fast, fun weekend trip - unlike from Colorado Springs. It's three of Mad Moose Events' Moab races - Dead Horse Ultras, Arches Ultra, Red Hot and finally the Behind the Rock Ultras. For the ultra series it's two 50ks and one 50 miler - doesn't matter which of the races you chose for the different distances. You can do two of the first three, but everyone has to finish with Behind the Rocks. Of course, I had to go and make things difficult with my version of the Triple Crown. Instead of being smart about it and picking the fastest race for the 50 mile, I went off "which race will have trails I don't want to ride?" as my criteria for picking my longest race. Makes perfect sense to me! But maybe not the smartest for the racing aspect of the series.
Dead Horse - this would be one of the 50ks. Why? Because I can ride my bike on everything. I've actually ridden the 50k course a few times. I also know I could ride the out and back on 7-up for the 50 mile. This is also the shortest of the 50ks, coming in a few miles off pending on how your GPS works. Unfortunately, it's also the fastest of the 50 miles, with very easy and runnable terrain if your legs can handle the slick rock. There's the least amount of elevation gain in this one as well. The smart racers would pick this as their 50 mile. What did I say about smart though?
Arches Ultra - I opted for my second 50k here. Same reasoning applied. There was nothing in the 50 mile that I haven't ridden already with the exception of the dirt jeep roads separating the single track sections. In terms of difficulty, it's challenging with a little more climbing then Dead Horse and slightly more technical terrain and trail following in places. There's some amazing views for sure, but all easily pedal-able for me. There's also the potential for sandy stretches on the jeep roads. Nick and I have experienced that sand first hand... not fun at all! Hard riding and slow running.
Red Hot is just the 55k for the ultra series and is a new option after Dead Horse sold out. Since I was committed to my races already, I didn't pay much attention to this one. It's got some similar characteristics to Dead Horse though - starting and finishing with the same 4 miles, but exploring some other areas up in the Mag 7 trails. Given that it's a 55k, there's definitely some time given up for the series as compared to Arches or Dead Horse.
|One of the views I hope to see at Behind the Rocks! We've been out to the Amasa back area many times|
Regardless of the outcome - it's going to be a fun winter with some new adventures!