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Thread: 2018 Butte 100

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    2018 Butte 100

    First timer here. Have a good amount of endurance racing under the belt, never done the Butte hundy.

    Any information on trail type, aid station stocks, things to watch for, etc. would be much appreciated.

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    Itís a fun race. Did it last year and the highlights are: first half is fast, sandy, and loose/deep in places. Second half has more technical climbing but nothing that I would consider HaB. The 8 miles of Ďfuní after the basin creek climb are challenging when you are gassed. The last section carries on a surprisingly long time when you think it is almost overó fun descent though.

    I did it on a plus (2.6) steel hard tail. A little over 12hrs despite an ankle strain that was a constant ache after about mile 40. Definitely finishable if you are in reasonable shape but it wonít be easy. Fueling is exceptionally important. I passed several people towards the end tied up in knots. Do some heat training in case the weather turns brutally hot which is always a possibility.

    The aid stations and support from the locals was fantastic. Honestly that is half the reason Iím headed back this year. Races where you feel a little bit like a rock star are awesome especially when youíre a mid packer at best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    I did it on a plus (2.6) steel hard tail.

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    The point is I was comfy on that bike and very familiar with it. Exceptionally important given how much time I spent on it. Iím riding an Epic this year so perhaps I will look back on riding the hardtail as a compromise but Iím glad i went for it as im firmly in the ĎRide up grades not upgradesí camp because nothing short of a motorcycle will make 100 miles and 16k feet of climbing over 12 hours significantly better. Even the good guys on top shelf gear still take 10-11 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    The point is I was comfy on that bike and very familiar with it. Exceptionally important given how much time I spent on it. Iím riding an Epic this year so perhaps I will look back on riding the hardtail as a compromise but Iím glad i went for it as im firmly in the ĎRide up grades not upgradesí camp because nothing short of a motorcycle will make 100 miles and 16k feet of climbing over 12 hours significantly better. Even the good guys on top shelf gear still take 10-11 hours.
    Probably the right move.

    For the aid stations: good stocks of food and electrolyte drinks? Did they have tools or basic supplies like Stan's?

    For the course: well marked or do you have to rely on GPS?

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    There was a bit of a fiasco with the markings last year in that some drunks moved the tape all over the place in the early am and Tinker was thrown way off course.

    Generally good markings once straightened out from the vandals and no need for GPS. I bet they do something extra this year to try and prevent that from happening again.

    There looked to be lots of food options at the aid stations but I used my own familiar stuff that I trained with for months prior. Plenty of heed or plain water was available. Some tools to but Iím less familiar with that. You can put 1gallon ziplock bags with whatever you want before the racer meeting and they get them to the aid stations. I put lube in a few bags, had some spares at a couple, and premeasured Perpetium too. This coming year I will put new bottles in each drop with the powder ready for water instead of screwing with pouring the mix in. Was awesome that they spotted your number on the way in and had your bags in hand when you got there.

    Plenty of race strategy to be had in which stations you stop at and how much stuff you take on.

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    I did it last year on a SS and I agree with everything flowby2wheels said. In fact, I was probably one of the guys tied up in knots he passed towards the end. I rarely cramp and it was one of those days. I think I did it in about 12 hours (...can't remember exactly) and be prepared to climb. A LOT.

    I didn't hear about the drunks messing with course markings last year but that makes sense. There were a few places in the first 20 miles that I found were confusing or not well-marked. Luckily in those places I just happened to be riding with guys who had done the race before and knew the route. If I were to do the race again I'd load up the route on a GPS to be safe. It's too challenging of a course to get off track, even for a couple miles.

    One thing I'll note is the race has a rule of no outside support. That really hurt me because my wife usually comes out with all kinds of nutrition and hydration options at least one point during the race. You can do drop bags about every 10 miles but I made some poor packing choices and towards the end of the race the aid stations didn't have much I was interested in. I was cooked after about 75 miles and really wanted a couple cold bottles but there wasn't anything but warm water and heed.

    And don't make the mistake I did and forget to pick up all your drop bag gear after the race. About 250 miles outside of Butte on Sunday I realized I left virtually every bottle I owned along with a couple items of clothing.

    Overall, it's a fun race with outstanding volunteers. I also found all the racers to be really friendly and supportive--can't say that happens at all the races!

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    Really helpful advice, thanks to both of you. So for the drop bags, do some people drop musettes or something similar and just grab-and-go? Or do most folks just take a quick break and load up on nutrition/hydration?

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    I typically employ the grab-n-go strategy but towards the end of Butte 100 I was taking a minute or two at the aid stations. Sometimes I just need to take a bit of time to refuel and get off the bike to regain my sanity. And there's no shame in doing that unless you're planning on winning it overall. I even caught up to the SS winner around mile 70 or 80 and he wasn't exactly hustling at the aid station.

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    It's a tough, but beautiful and enjoyable course. Sadly, having once done the Butte 63 instead of the Butte 50, I can confirm that locals messing with course markings is a bit of an ongoing thing at this event. Just don't be in the very front early, and it will all be sorted out once you get to each intersection. Ha!

    For awhile, they had a human stationed at every significant intersection to combat this. Last year they relaxed on this a little, and it bit them. Email the new race director with your support of the "human course markers".

    The outside aid thing is weird. It is really emphasized at the rider's meeting, and I think this is maybe because of the race's association with USA Cycling. But out on the course, I see people getting minor assists a lot. I know that I lubed over 50 chains last year, while chasing my young friend around the course (Loren FTW!) but since I know him well, I made certain never to help him at all.

    Warning: I think the race's motto is something like "The Toughest Bike Race In The Country", but it should be "The Toughest RIDERS' MEETING In The Country". It goes on forever.........
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    ^^^ Ha! I was wondering when you were going to share your Butte 100 expertise and add things we forgot to mention about the race.

    winters.benjamin, if you have any detailed questions kosmo will put you on the right track. His pre-race info helped me survive last year.

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    ^^^ Yup, more than glad to answer any and all questions. I know the course really well, esp the southern loop (Butte is my wife's hometown).

    And dang it, econo, I could have picked up all your stuff. We stayed in town for a few extra days afterwards.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    ^^^ Yup, more than glad to answer any and all questions. I know the course really well, esp the southern loop (Butte is my wife's hometown).

    And dang it, econo, I could have picked up all your stuff. We stayed in town for a few extra days afterwards.
    Awesome. Really helpful folks, many thanks.

    Thinking towards gearing: are the climbs steep and technical, or more long grinders?

    When does the field get properly sorted out, as it were? I'm sure there are a lot of opportunities over a 9-10hr event, but there must be a few spots where the selection is pronounced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winters.benjamin View Post
    Awesome. Really helpful folks, many thanks.

    Thinking towards gearing: are the climbs steep and technical, or more long grinders?

    When does the field get properly sorted out, as it were? I'm sure there are a lot of opportunities over a 9-10hr event, but there must be a few spots where the selection is pronounced.
    Climbs of both styles exist, with the emphasis on steeper and semi-technical (or at least fairly rough). Most run 30 or 32 up front, and 10 x 50 in back (if you're a SS guy, perhaps economatic will chime in). It's nice to have a lower gear for at least part of Basin Creek, and the 3 climbs in the 8 Miles of Fun.

    Selection points vary widely, year to year. Basin Creek climb is a classic spot. My favorite is the climb out of the beaver ponds, around Mile 90. Since it's a switchback climb, you can monitor the progress of your break easily.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winters.benjamin View Post
    Awesome. Really helpful folks, many thanks.

    Thinking towards gearing: are the climbs steep and technical, or more long grinders?

    When does the field get properly sorted out, as it were? I'm sure there are a lot of opportunities over a 9-10hr event, but there must be a few spots where the selection is pronounced.
    I can't say for sure where the field got sorted because I was on SS but there's plenty of double track in the first half of the race. You don't have much worry about things getting too crowded to pass.

    I don't know if you're running SS but I went with 30:21. I went into it thinking that ratio was on the low side but there are some steep climbs towards then end when you're legs aren't fresh anymore. The SS winner was running something a lot taller. I can't remember what it was off the top of my head but on that ratio I would have collected a DNF.

    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    ^^^ Yup, more than glad to answer any and all questions. I know the course really well, esp the southern loop (Butte is my wife's hometown).

    And dang it, econo, I could have picked up all your stuff. We stayed in town for a few extra days afterwards.
    Ah, I didn't even think about asking you. Oh well, it all worked out in the end. I won a few raffle rounds at Creampuff and raided the swag table and Dana from NW Epic Series hooked me up a bunch of bottles. After that I was pretty much back where I started with gear before Butte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    I can't say for sure where the field got sorted because I was on SS but there's plenty of double track in the first half of the race. You don't have much worry about things getting too crowded to pass.

    I don't know if you're running SS but I went with 30:21. I went into it thinking that ratio was on the low side but there are some steep climbs towards then end when you're legs aren't fresh anymore. The SS winner was running something a lot taller. I can't remember what it was off the top of my head but on that ratio I would have collected a DNF.
    I'm not on SS, but good to know that climbing gets a little stiffer toward the end.

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    The first half is just a warm up... burn off a little extra steam on the double track and space things outó when you roll out on the second half the first little descent gives you a nice preview of what you really signed up for.

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