Monday, October 7, 2013
If You Fund it, They Will Come: Flat and Fast at the Epic Mountain Challenge
A big prize purse attracted an epic field at the first edition of the Epic Mountain Challenge in Pogosa Springs, Colorado, and domestic and international pros were treated to fast, relatively flat racing. Coming off the Leadman series, the leg turnover and cycling power on the flats were a challenge for me, and I finished just out of the money behind a number of top XTERRA, mountain biking, and duathlon specialists.
Josiah Middaugh remained strong as ever, besting young phenom Howard Grotts and Brian "Smithy" Smith. From what I can tell, everyone who lives in Gunnison has a nickname, and the always-hammering Mr. Smith is no exception. Team competition was also incredible, with very talented runners and mountain bikers putting on a show.
Over two days, we completed a half marathon run, 19-mile cross country mountain bike, 10k road running criterium of seven flat laps, and a short, 3k uphill mountain bike time trial. The half marathon and xc mtb involved some fun, twisty trails and short climbs combined with fast flats.
The organizers from GECKO did an excellent job with the event, and I look forward to seeing it grow!
Thanks, as always, to my sponsors. Vitargo S2 was huge in allowing me to race hard for four events in two days, and the Hoka One One Bondi B shoes kept my legs feeling, well, as fresh as they could, given all of the fast miles.