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  1. #1
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    NUE Series

    I'm thinking about doing enough races of the NUE series for the overall points next year. That means a minimum of 4 races, which shouldn't be too difficult. The series finale is my backyard, and True Grit is a reasonable distance. So the very first and last race is easy for me. The other 2+ race are the question marks.

    Can anyone provide feedback on which of these races are worthy of traveling to from Southern California? The only other one I am strongly considering is the Wilderness 101 since that's a friends home town.

    I am restricted on time off of work, or I would just do them all. So I just want to try and rank them in order of fun.

    1. True Grit Epic March 14 Santa Clara, UT REGISTER HERE 700
    2. Cohutta 100 April 25 Ducktown, TN January 1 500
    3. Mohican MTB 100 May 30 Loudonville, OH REGISTER HERE 600
    4. Lumberjack 100 June 20 Wellston, MI January 11 450
    5. High Cascades 100 July 18 Bend, OR REGISTER HERE 350
    6.Wilderness 101 July 25 State College, PA December 1 350
    7. Pierre’s Hole 100 August 1 Alta, WY February 3 625
    8. Shenandoah 100 September 6 Harrisonburg, VA December 1 650
    9. Marji Gesick 100 September 19 Ishpheming, MI Sold Out 666
    10. Big Bear Grizzly 100 September 26 Big Bear Lake, CA January 1 500

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm thinking about doing enough races of the NUE series for the overall points next year. That means a minimum of 4 races, which shouldn't be too difficult. The series finale is my backyard, and True Grit is a reasonable distance. So the very first and last race is easy for me. The other 2+ race are the question marks.

    Can anyone provide feedback on which of these races are worthy of traveling to from Southern California? The only other one I am strongly considering is the Wilderness 101 since that's a friends home town.

    I am restricted on time off of work, or I would just do them all. So I just want to try and rank them in order of fun.

    1. True Grit Epic March 14 Santa Clara, UT REGISTER HERE 700
    2. Cohutta 100 April 25 Ducktown, TN January 1 500
    3. Mohican MTB 100 May 30 Loudonville, OH REGISTER HERE 600
    4. Lumberjack 100 June 20 Wellston, MI January 11 450
    5. High Cascades 100 July 18 Bend, OR REGISTER HERE 350
    6.Wilderness 101 July 25 State College, PA December 1 350
    7. Pierre’s Hole 100 August 1 Alta, WY February 3 625
    8. Shenandoah 100 September 6 Harrisonburg, VA December 1 650
    9. Marji Gesick 100 September 19 Ishpheming, MI Sold Out 666
    10. Big Bear Grizzly 100 September 26 Big Bear Lake, CA January 1 500
    High Cascades and Pierres Hole are both awesome and very well run.
    Great views and trails.


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  3. #3
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    The only NUE race I've participated in is Lumberjack. I've been there the last three years. I'm not sure what you're looking for in a race, but I cannot imagine an easier 100 mile mtb race. Michigan soil is sandy but packs pretty well. The last two years it has rained on race morning which tightens up the soil and makes for really good conditions. To make things even better, it is not the slightest bit technical. A couple of sections with some roots, but that's it. No rock, no tight switchbacks and only a couple of steep punches. Most of the climbs are longer (1-3 min.) gradual climbs.
    It is a 3 lap race with a manned aid station at the back of the course and your pit at the start/finish which means some form of support every ~17 miles. I can think of more scenic places to ride 100 miles, but if you need a race that is supremely finishable, this is it.

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  4. #4
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    I've done True Grit, High Cascades, and Marji Gesick.

    True Grit is good, I don't care for the 2-lap format, but it's a good race. The terrain is really fun and the topography is pretty cool. It's a fairly rough course.

    High Cascades is amazing. One big loop, and a bunch of fun trails. There's about 7 miles of road at the start and at the finish ...for better or worse. It is well run and expensive, but I felt it was worth it.

    Marji Gesick is totally different, and by far the most difficult of the three. It is the most rewarding but presents the most risk to accumulate series points if that's your goal. It is hard to even finish...but even those who don't usually feel good about their experience.

  5. #5
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    IMO Mohican is the best race in the entire series.

  6. #6
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    I’ve done Lumberjack and Marji Gesick.

    As poolboy stated, Lumberjack is the friendliest MTB 100 for the reasons he listed. It was my first ever 100 miler and the course allows it to be somewhat enjoyable. Top finishers are around 6:30 and Cat 1/Experts can expect to be in the 8 hour range +/-. This race favors the fit as bike handling and technical riding skills are not needed. I will be doing this race again in 2020.

    The Marji Gesick is BRUTAL! This is not a race but survival. Do this if you want a personal challenge with your only goal being to finish. The best of the best (about 10 guys) finish this sub 12 hours. I finished it this year and I was 1 of only 37% who did. I do not recommend this “race”!
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  7. #7
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    I’ve only done a handful of NUE’s but I can tell you that the W101 is one of my favorite weekends of the year. The majority of the racers camp together in a field right at the start and finish area and the course is truly a backcounty experience with classic East Coast Tech mixed with forest fire roads. Recommend!!!
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  8. #8
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    Love True Grit mostly because it's a good kick in the _____ (fill in the blank) that early in the season. I rarely travel East these days but Shenandoah and W101 were my faves (along w/ Syllamo's but that's not on apparently).

    They keep adding more/new singletrack and making Pierre's Hole better and better (IMO) but it's a 3-lapper for better or worse.

  9. #9
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    With the caveat that it's the only NUE event I've done (and I have also been thinking of doing as you are, the year I turn 50), the High Cascades 100 is a good event. I would say IMO, Bend is a good but not great place for mountain biking, as it lacks the mountain views and alpine environments of the true epic destinations. It does have very fun trails, through forest that all kind of looks the same. The late July date of the event is about as bad of conditions as Bend typically gets, but unless one has been there at the best times of year, you'll be perfectly happy with it, and the dust is really only a problem for the first 10-20 miles of trail before the racers are completely spread out. The town is overrun with tourists and has been thoroughly californicated at this point. Mike Ripley does a good job with logistics and the event is very well supported. I am a huge fan of the single loop format.

    While not a NUE event, the Fritter 50 (one lap of the Creampuff) in Oakridge is IMO the best MTB race course in the northwest.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    While not a NUE event, the Fritter 50 (one lap of the Creampuff) in Oakridge is IMO the best MTB race course in the northwest.
    Right?!

    In the Western USA 50s, the Fritter 50 and Butte 50 are without peer.

    Sadly, neither are NUE events. Butte really should be, but they seem to sell out every year in a nanosecond or two, so..........
    Whining is not a strategy.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the input so far. More is welcome. Narrowing down the ones I want, and the ones I might avoid (sound like Lumberjack is out ). Probably have to choose between W101 and Ohio, won't have the time to travel to both. I'm not going to even bother with Marji, pretty much any race that sells out that fast doesn't interest me. High Cascades is high on my list, but difficult to plan with W101 a week away. Would have to be one big road trip away from work, and eat ALL my vacation time.

    Grizzly 100 is a 100k race with 8000' of climbing, mix of conditions. One of those climbs is a steady 4 mile, 2000' climb which is a part of a 9 mile, 3000' climb.

    These are just for the coming season. I'll probably hit a lot of other events in coming years.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Thanks for the input so far. More is welcome. Narrowing down the ones I want, and the ones I might avoid (sound like Lumberjack is out ). Probably have to choose between W101 and Ohio, won't have the time to travel to both. I'm not going to even bother with Marji, pretty much any race that sells out that fast doesn't interest me. High Cascades is high on my list, but difficult to plan with W101 a week away. Would have to be one big road trip away from work, and eat ALL my vacation time.

    Grizzly 100 is a 100k race with 8000' of climbing, mix of conditions. One of those climbs is a steady 4 mile, 2000' climb which is a part of a 9 mile, 3000' climb.

    These are just for the coming season. I'll probably hit a lot of other events in coming years.
    I've done Mohican. I don't think you'd be disappointed with it as a race choice. Though out here towards the east coast, it still gains 11K feet of climbing and some excellent singletrack. Support is fantastic as well, and it's held in a wonderful small town.
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  13. #13
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    In order of what I've done in the past:

    Cohutta 100: Fun course with flowy single track but loads and loads of gravel. Used to not be able to have beer at the venue. No idea if that's still the case. If beer's not your thing, it doesn't matter.

    Mohican 100: Great mix of trail, double track, gravel, pavement... what have you. More fun than you would think when you hear the word "Ohio." Great way to take advantage of a three day weekend.

    Lumberjack 100: Just a hard sell for me. Three laps of mostly flat trail and dodging trees at pedaling speeds. Not my cup o' tea, but it still sells out. Somebody must like it.

    High Cascades 100: I've only ridden/raced SSWC in Bend, OR. Dust can be a thing. Most of trails I rode were fun yet somewhat homogeneous (except for the SSWC '18 stuff that went off the normal maps). I did love the town of Bend tho.



    Harsh example but I do remember more than once over the course of the 40+ mile SSWC race where I had to back off from a rider's wheel or just ride blind.

    W101: Raced it twice. Hate/love relationship with it. A lot of gravel BUT a lot of technical PA riding. I like camping there (free w/beer), but if you're coming all the way out on a plane and wanna do well? That's a lotta gear to sleep outside. There are places to stay nearby'ish.

    Pierre's Hole 100: Once again, never raced it but I've been to the area. The views are incredible. The trails are incredible. The altitude... is painful. Not Breckenridge painful, but still ouchy. Soooooooo pretty.

    SM 100: My all-time favorite. I've done it 10.5 times. Camping, beer, meals, long climbs, long bonkers descents, great vibe. I miss it a lot and might have to go back soon. Another great way to take advantage of a three day weekend.
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  14. #14
    I am Walt
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    Following...been doing 12/24-hour solo events for years, and want to do some of these. In particular, I am interested in the Mari Gesick and the Maah Daah Hey 100 through the Badlands of North Dakota.

    @teamdicky - What’s the SM100? Shenandoah?


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Following...been doing 12/24-hour solo events for years, and want to do some of these. In particular, I am interested in the Mari Gesick and the Maah Daah Hey 100 through the Badlands of North Dakota.

    @teamdicky - What’s the SM100? Shenandoah?


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    Yeah, the Shenandoah Mountain 100.
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  16. #16
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    I did SM100 for the first time this year -it's fantastic! Pretty much 6 climbs, 6 descents. Volunteers are great & the venue is super cool. Start/finish is in a campground not too far outside of Harrisonburg, VA (technically in Mount Solon, I think). Don't believe the hype about the "Death Climb" -it's cake compared to the full Hanky, Lynn or Bridge Hollow. And the "Killing Fields" just after aid 5 can get in your head a bit but they're not too bad either -you just want a descent at that point after climbing for the better part of 25 miles.

    This past year the weather had been dry & was forecast to be dry. Preriding Friday & Saturday the trail conditions were kind of marbly in spots & a bit of rain would've been nice. Saturday night a couple of bad T'storms rolled through & dumped something like 4" of rain between 7pm & 3am. My tent flooded pretty bad, inches of standing water in spots. Ended up trying to sleep in the back of my Honda Element with my girlfriend, probably got about an hour or so which really sucked when I got to mile 80 in the race. the course was a little muddy in spots but not too bad as I was thinking I'd need an ark for a couple of water crossings. But yeah, most definitely worth the trip! I drove down from Massachusetts & will definitely be back next year. If you're going to travel east for one of them, this is the one.

  17. #17
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    Shen is by far the best trails and mix of awesomeness but it doesn’t favor big guys at all and you need a lot of fitness. A lot of gravel, a decent amount of gnar and a LOT of long and grindy climbing. Mohican is my favorite. It’s fast, flowy and not super technocal(I ru. A rigid SS there). Wilderness is awesome as well. Lots of gravel, a good amount of gnar, 50mph decents etc.Everything is rideable except fisherman’s trail.

  18. #18
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    *Sigh*

    My race bike was stolen. I have to decide before True Grit if I am going to buy another bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    *Sigh*

    My race bike was stolen. I have to decide before True Grit if I am going to buy another bike.
    Dude!

    So bummed for you.

    I'm sure "the group" can help you with endless advice on how to spend the insurance check.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Dude!

    So bummed for you.

    I'm sure "the group" can help you with endless advice on how to spend the insurance check.
    Unfortunately, the insurance check won't cover a replacement, I was underinsured. I can get another bike for cheap, but I have a big expense already coming up and need to decide if racing XC is priority to me or not. I have a VERY nice enduro bike (that needs a lot of maintenance) and am enjoying that bike a lot.

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