Absolutely amazing race!
This race is billed as 75 miles, 12,000 feet or so of climbing, and more than 90% singletrack. That singletrack description is what should catch your eye! Been there, done that, it is a completely true! Man does it make a difference when you are racing ultra marathon distance.
The race is set in Park City / Deer Valley, Utah. This was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. This valley is completely brimming with athleticism and beauty.
7am Wave Start! Bright and early, the race organizer Jay Burke had 350 athletes stage themselves on what each of us thought our finish time would be. Sub 7 hours, 7-8 hours, 8-9 hours, and greater than 9 hours. This worked really well. As our group took off, we had approximately one mile of paved bike path that really stretched out our field. This led us to the singletrack in perfect order.
A word about trail use, and sharing. All the trails in this race are open to the public as well as holding a race course. Any time an athlete came in contact with an hiker, equine, or motorized user, everyone simply was nice and got along. Heck, most of the public cheered as the athletes rolled by.
Mountain bike race strategy:
- A lot of stuff is going to happen.
Getting to step 3 is no easy task in a 75 mile race. In a word, SUPPORT! We can’t say enough about the support that was available. I even saw a few bike shops at feed stations offering up help. There were 4 organized Feed stations well staffed with water, gel, food, and most of all smiling volunteers that made everyone feel like a superhero. We had our support team (Kristy) at 3 locations, P2P Start, P2P-Kristy, and P2P Feed 3. The P2P-Kristy was a feed station we added. There is no way we could do this race without her support! Here were my top tube notes for the race:
04.00 Climb 1 448′
11.12 Climb 2 638′
18.00 Feed 1 Kristy
19.39 Climb 3 1054′
22.96 Climb 4 468′
28.00 Feed 2 Bag
32.89 Climb 5 2238′
35.00 Feed 3 Water
40.20 Climb 6 448′
47.08 Climb 7 1512′
53.00 Feed 4 Bag
58.23 Climb 8 1262′
60.84 Climb 9 264′
62.00 Feed 5 Water
67.11 Climb10 669′
72.99 Climb11 415′
75 miles, 12,000 feet of climbing, 90% singletrack. That formula adds up to a race course that will challenge the toughest athletes from start to finish. The race course is comprised of several trails that are individually a great ride. Technical sections? Check! Super smooth fast sections? Check! Long Climbs? Check! Long descents to give your forearms that “Coke Bottle Pump”? Check!
We finished in 8th place (age class). Could we do better? Sure, always. Did we have fun? Ha, the stories and experiences we came away with will last a long time….
OK, here’s one… As we rolled down the longest descent into the aid station at mile 53, the rider behind me yelled up, “Hey, is this the last descent to the base area and finish?” I glanced down at my Garmin, checked the distance, and yelled back, “Garmin shows we are 51 miles in, only 24 miles to go!” I heard a few awesome expletives, then silence.
And another, personal demons to overcome. Racing long races like this, my Garmin scrolls between the Engine Performance (me), a map, and a profile. At 7.5 hours the Garmin ran out of juice, nothing but a dark screen. Not having the feedback that you are used to, can be kind of un-settling. You simply go deeper into your cave, and follow the course markers. The finish line will come soon enough!
Park City Point to Point is a great race. We came away planning for next years edition!