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  1. #1
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    What to expect at the Breck Epic?

    I'm registered for the race this year but have no idea how it's organized other than the fact that it's based out of Breckenridge. The website doesn't have any details up, but after watching some youtube footage from last year I decided to take advantage of the early bird pricing! So the big questions I have are:
    1) Do all the stages start & finish at the same spot?
    2) If so, where exactly is it? Is it riding distance from most area lodging?
    3) Do the races start at regular time each day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    I'm registered for the race this year but have no idea how it's organized other than the fact that it's based out of Breckenridge. The website doesn't have any details up, but after watching some youtube footage from last year I decided to take advantage of the early bird pricing! So the big questions I have are:
    1) Do all the stages start & finish at the same spot?
    The stages start & finish last year started in various locations around town. There were a few days where the starts were in the same location.
    2) If so, where exactly is it? Is it riding distance from most area lodging?
    Yes, you can ride to all of the start/finish locations from town.
    3) Do the races start at regular time each day?
    Yes I think we started around 8:00am.
    The Breck Epic is a great race. I did it last year for the first time. It is very well organized. Be prepared to suffer as there is a lot of climbing in this race but some fun downhill too! I have answered your questions above.

  3. #3
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    Awesome, thanks! I can hardly wait!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    Awesome, thanks! I can hardly wait!
    I am going back this year for some more fun!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    I'm registered for the race this year but have no idea how it's organized other than the fact that it's based out of Breckenridge. The website doesn't have any details up, but after watching some youtube footage from last year I decided to take advantage of the early bird pricing! So the big questions I have are:
    1) Do all the stages start & finish at the same spot?
    2) If so, where exactly is it? Is it riding distance from most area lodging?
    3) Do the races start at regular time each day?

    The stages do not all start and end in the same spot. Most stages start close to the center of downtown (I think Washington Ave), some at the hockey rink (Stephen C West Ice Arena), and one has started up out of town at the bottom of one of the ski hills in the past. Stages that end out of town will allow you to coast back (almost all the way) into town.

    You will be able to depend on your bike for your needs all week long. The grocery stores, laundromat, bike shops, and whatnot are all right on (or near) Main St. If you book lodging on the west side of town, keep in mind that the roads go up... and up... and up. The further out of town and west you go, the more climbing you're going to do.

    I'm stoked to have a condo on Snowberry Lane. Aside from when I stayed in the tents (brrrrrrrrr), it's the closest to to everything I'll have ever stayed.

    If you don't have a car and want to do as little extra riding about as possible, look for lodging nearest main street. Close to the hockey rink side of town (south side) is also a good idea since you'll be riding over there to pick up/drop off your drop bags and attend the daily awards/meeting.

    The stages don't start stupid early like some other stage races, but early enough that it will be dark when you wake up and chilly at the start. They do their best to get us off the high mountains before any possible afternoon storms (that can happen).

    Unless they do things differently than the last three years... year one was different all together.

    Got any more questions, just holler.

    This will be my fifth year, so allow me to share the wisdom I've acquired through my years of doing the wrong things and eventually making them right.
    Last edited by teamdicky; 03-18-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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  6. #6
    zrm
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    Food: Amazing Grace is great for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Fatty's and Gaimpietro's have good pizza. Park and Main is good. The Angles Hollow has ridiculously large and good burritos.

    Great Western lodging is managed by a local racer and will be very helpful in getting you something that works for you.

    If it looks stormy you might want to carry a jacket from the start rather than wait till you get to your drop bag. We don't have nice pleasant showers up here, when it's raining it's nasty. Arm and leg warmers and warm gloves are not a bad idea. The weather has mostly been great for every edition of the race which makes me wonder if we're due for some nastiness.

    The courses have a reputation for being well marked but there are always people who miss turns. You have to pay attention. It hasn't happened much, but there have been a couple instances of course marking sabotage in the past, Mike tries to get pre riders as much as possible to go out a few hours before the start but they're not always available so familiarize yourself with the courses as much as possible.

    There may be some course changes this year. Nothing major, just ways to eliminate some of the using the same trails more than once. Don't quote me on that though, there's bureaucracy to deal with.

    Everyone seems to really like the race and the format. It's hard, but not over the top. Breckenridge doesn't have a lot of big drop super steep technical stuff, but there's a lot of rocks and roots to mix up the fast, flowing single track. There's a not insignificant amount of jeep road, but it's not boring fire road type of double track that people like to diss on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    You will be able to depend on your bike for your needs all week long. The grocery stores, laundromat, bike shops, and whatnot are all right on (or near) Main St. If you book lodging on the west side of town, keep in mind that the roads go up... and up... and up. The further out of town and west you go, the more climbing you're going to do.
    Thanks - just booked a place on Primrose Path since it was close to Main. Hopefully there won't be too much climbing to get to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Food: Amazing Grace is great for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Fatty's and Gaimpietro's have good pizza. Park and Main is good. The Angles Hollow has ridiculously large and good burritos....
    Yummm!

    And thanks for the weather & jacket advise! How cold could it get if you're caught out in the rain there that time of year? I regularly ride in the rain into the 30s during the winter (I hate trainers!) so I have a pretty good cold tolerance. I wasn't even planning on packing any rain or cold weather gear, but I'm a flat lander and have no idea how things can be in the mountains!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    And thanks for the weather & jacket advise! How cold could it get if you're caught out in the rain there that time of year? I regularly ride in the rain into the 30s during the winter (I hate trainers!) so I have a pretty good cold tolerance. I wasn't even planning on packing any rain or cold weather gear, but I'm a flat lander and have no idea how things can be in the mountains!
    I don't usually carry a jacket, but I always leave a light windbreaker in drop bag #one and a light raincoat in drop bag #two. Last year we had an all day rain (which never happens) and although temps probably stayed in the mid-high 40's, there were some cases of hypothermia.

    Be prepared for anything.
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  9. #9
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    Thanks - just booked a place on Primrose Path since it was close to Main. Hopefully there won't be too much climbing to get to it!



    Yummm!

    And thanks for the weather & jacket advise! How cold could it get if you're caught out in the rain there that time of year? I regularly ride in the rain into the 30s during the winter (I hate trainers!) so I have a pretty good cold tolerance. I wasn't even planning on packing any rain or cold weather gear, but I'm a flat lander and have no idea how things can be in the mountains!
    If it rains it will be cold. It usually only happens in relatively short thunderstorms but at higher altitudes it could even be snow. That's not common that time of year, but you never know.

  10. #10
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    Thanks - Thanks, I'll definitely put a jacket in my drop bag. How reliable are the forecasts from online services like weather.com for mountain weather in the upcoming ~6 hours (race duration)?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    ... How reliable are the forecasts from online services like weather.com for mountain weather in the upcoming ~6 hours (race duration)?
    Not very, usually. The high mountains have microclimates, and in the monsoon (summer rains) season there's quite a bit of climate chaos going.

    That said, some years the rain patterns set up VERY reliably. You can almost set your watch by the time when it will start at a given elevation. Some years they are more intermittent. Sometimes it will be dry and fair for weeks at a time, then there will be storm days 2-6 days in a row and then back to fair. Some years they tend to start earlier, some later.

    The norm is that mornings start out clear. At some point little puffy white clouds will form. They grow bigger and darker. Thunderstorm. At any one place they might last less than an hour then move off to rain on somebody else. They tend to start earlier the higher you are, then go sweeping across the lower country and valleys. Up high, figure a normal day would be 1-3pm start. But sometimes they can start earlier and/or last longer.

    Here where I am, 90 or so miles south of Breckenridge, I can remember the summer of 2007. It was very wet in the high country. The storms started early. Very difficult to get a four hour ride in up high even if you started right at dawn. And they tended to just sit there and rain, thunder and lightning, pea-sized hail sometimes until or after sundown. Buckets of moisture.

    And I remember the summer of 2002, when I don't think it rained one single time.

    When you get to town, locals will be able to tell you what the pattern has been. WeatherBug, weather.com, weather.gov should be interviewing them. What happened yesterday is normally as good a predictor as anything, unless there is a known front moving in.

    My $.02
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  12. #12
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    What everyone has said above is spot on.

    - Race is laid back. Mike, the organizer, keeps the focus on why you are there; a rad singletrack experience. Just so happens there is a race happening to Everyone is on the same page; ride, have fun, repeat.

    - Stay in Breck and book through Great Western Lodging. Once in town you will not need a vehicle, as everything is within a short walk or ride. Stage starts are a 5-10 minute spin from your lodging front door regardless of where you stay.

    - Bring a reliable rain jacket. Weather moves in fast! I tend to put my rain jacket in the drop bag that falls about mid-race, so I have the option to carry or not carry it for the later miles when the storm tend to move in. As for a rain jacket I choose a lightweight breathable hooded outdoor rain jacket. Personally grab either MontBell or Marrmot. Outdoor rain jackets tend to be better and warmer.....where as cycling rain jackets are too light.

    - Weather will/can be everything from 70F to 40F. If it rains, chances are the temps will drop a lot. The rain jacket will be your lifeline. Always have available in your drop bag or at the condo: wool socks, arm warmers, leg warmers, warm gloves, vest, etc, etc.

    - Don't skimp on tires. Go tubeless and run tires with sidewall protection. Personally I opt for Continental Race King 2.2 Protection.

  13. #13
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    I'm signed up for Breck this year. I've done BCBR and TR, so I know a lot of what to expect at a stage race, but just how much of an effect does the altitude have? Is it that tough, especially for someone who lives at a lower altitude? I guess there's not much I can do; like to arrive a number of days early, but don't think I'll be able to swing it. Looking forward to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkylover53 View Post
    I'm signed up for Breck this year. I've done BCBR and TR, so I know a lot of what to expect at a stage race, but just how much of an effect does the altitude have? Is it that tough, especially for someone who lives at a lower altitude? I guess there's not much I can do; like to arrive a number of days early, but don't think I'll be able to swing it. Looking forward to it.

    Stay hydrated and watch your tachometer. It's a lot easier to redline yourself and much harder to recover.

    You can still have a good time, but it's probably gonna knock you down a couple pegs.

    BTW: I'm from Charlotte, NC. 748ft above sea level. Breck Epic hasn't killed me yet.
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  15. #15
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    I, too, have entered Breck Epic this year but am becoming frustrated by the lack of available information about the race. Lots of questions answered here, so thank you! I'm pondering camping vs. condo rental vs. hotel. Suggestions from previous racers?

    Are any meals included in the entry fee or are all on your own?
    Is anyone interested in sharing a condo? I'm looking at 1-BR; all have sleeper sofas, but we could go 2 BR.

    Thanks for the help!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by missingwyoming View Post
    I, too, have entered Breck Epic this year but am becoming frustrated by the lack of available information about the race. Lots of questions answered here, so thank you! I'm pondering camping vs. condo rental vs. hotel. Suggestions from previous racers?

    Are any meals included in the entry fee or are all on your own?
    Is anyone interested in sharing a condo? I'm looking at 1-BR; all have sleeper sofas, but we could go 2 BR.

    Thanks for the help!
    The meals are an add-on option. I can't remember if it was there on the original registration "form" or not. I would contact the promoter if you're thinking about a meal plan. There are plenty of places to eat all over town and two grocery stores that are just as, if not more, convenient than the meal plan. Get a hotel room or condo with a kitchen and it makes things ten times easier.

    Keep in mind, the closer you get a room/condo to the hockey rink, the better. Staying up on the ski hill can be a real PITA.
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    Thanks so much for the info! I don't think meals were an option in registration and I don't see a link to contact the promoter. Assuming info will be forthcoming soon. Meanwhile I reserved a condo and still welcome a fellow rider to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by missingwyoming View Post
    Thanks so much for the info! I don't think meals were an option in registration and I don't see a link to contact the promoter. Assuming info will be forthcoming soon. Meanwhile I reserved a condo and still welcome a fellow rider to share.
    If you are going to camp the meal option is definitely worth the cost. You need to be off your feet as much as possible and getting your equipment ready for the next day. The food was outstanding and plentiful. I would also agree about running tires that have side wall protection and are heavy duty. The gentlemen who sells tires at the camp ground just laughed all day as people replaced Racing Ralph's.

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    Lots of good info in the comments, condo is a good idea, lots of them near main street and a lot at pretty good deals. The evening meal package is a good idea, awards and next day info is at 5pm followed by the dinner, which has been awesome for the last 4 years, lots of good hearty food. Usually there are 2 aid/feed stations each day and you can put a drop bag at each one, we had extra clothing and accessories at each one. I almost froze on day 2 last year when it rained all day, not enough body fat.
    The altitude affects everyone a little different, as Dicky said you do feel it, I live at 3800 feet and when you feel like you are going 100%, your output is about 70%. One of our teammates who is a firefighter and does a lot of riding and crossfit, had a heck of a time the first day and had to drop out, but could sort of ride after a few days.
    The whole race is a great experience from Mike the organiser, to the trails to the town, racers, volunteers etc.

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    Anyone know if the Enduro will follow the same route as the Solo open XC?? I am trying to decide which to register for and the Enduro sounds like it would be fun but I want to make sure I won't miss out on anything. Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBGnarnia View Post
    Anyone know if the Enduro will follow the same route as the Solo open XC?? I am trying to decide which to register for and the Enduro sounds like it would be fun but I want to make sure I won't miss out on anything. Thanks in advance!
    From what I've been told... yes. You just don't have to be in a hurry with (most of) the climbing parts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    From what I've been told... yes. You just don't have to be in a hurry with (most of) the climbing parts.
    Thanks man! Enduro it is.

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    Getting closer, starting to try to nail down some details. Wondering about hydration: from what I've read, it seems a lot of folks go with bottles rather than a camelback. Are there usually 2 aid stations each day? Any reason not to go with bottles? I'm thinking maybe start day 1 with pack to see how things progress, how altitude affects me etc. Excited to get down there.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkylover53 View Post
    Getting closer, starting to try to nail down some details. Wondering about hydration: from what I've read, it seems a lot of folks go with bottles rather than a camelback. Are there usually 2 aid stations each day? Any reason not to go with bottles? I'm thinking maybe start day 1 with pack to see how things progress, how altitude affects me etc. Excited to get down there.
    Yeah, two aid stations per loop. Spaced 10-15 miles apart depending on the stage. I think most people go with just bottles and carry anything else in pockets or however they can strap things on the bike. That said, if you feel comfortable with a pack I wouldn't worry too much about what everyone else is doing and go with what you like.

    You can also have drop bags at the aid stations.

  25. #25
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    When I did BEpic, we were given bags for the drop stations with race numbers on them. Each aid station had a row of bags in order with what you need at hand. Often the aid workers got my bag for me and handed it up like a TDF feed station. Pro all the way.

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