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MTB Races & Training
Every year I put together a nice amount races starting with gravel races (see gravel page), followed by Mountain Bike Races, and finishing with Cyclo-cross races. Below I have information on each race that I do with results!
MTB training plans, new revised plans are up to get you in the best race shape for that particular race. Current non endurance race plans make sure you are at least 8 weeks away from your race, preferably 9 or 10 weeks. Check out the Mountain Bike Endurance plans as well, there are also some great tips in the plan to help you crush it!
Check out the News tab to see what I have been up too. It will be like a blog and what I have been doing for training.
The Yankee Springs Time Trial at Yankee Springs State Park in Michigan has become a very fun race for me, I have done it 3 years now. My first and second year doing this race I did so in the Sport category, in 2015 I ran a time of just under 54 minutes and I do not recall my place, last season I was first overall sport and age group with a time of 47:55. This season I have jumped up to Elite/Pro, I had a good race this year 2017 despite getting a flat tire twice on the second lap. I had one CO2 that pumped me up for a bit, but had to roll the last few miles on a flat! I ended up 18th out of 24 in the category. 2018 I was able to race a little better and placed 13th, check out the NEWS page for the write up and video. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Click the link above to check out this great events website for more information!
As one of the largest and longest running time trial races in the Midwest, the Yankee Springs TT event regularly draws over 700 participants who are looking to challenge themselves on some of the most advanced and well maintained single track in the state.
The Fort Custer Stampede at the Fort Custer State Park in Michigan is a fun race, with great scenery, and some different challenges! I competed in 2015 with a time of 1:33:22 and 2016 was 6 minutes faster and was overall sport and age group winner. This year I did decide to do the Fort Custer Stampede the day after MSB to get miles in to better prep for LJ100. I placed 11th in the Pro/Elite field. In 2018 I did not do this race because I was not doing a super endurance race and MSB was the day before. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar and be sure to check out the website for more race information.
2016 was the first year I tried the Mud Sweat and Beers race (part of Fat Tire Festival up near Traverse City, MI) and I was very glad I did. This year, 2017, was my second year racing this event in the Pro/Elite category. I spent 8 weeks of training for this race, putting in the time to do well. I had an epic race here and placed 10th which was outstanding. This is a fun venue and a great course, how can you go wrong on the VASA! Last year I had peaked in my training to win the overall sport and age group in the Stout race with a time of 1:22:45, this year I placed 10th in the pro/elite race with a time of 1:13:55 and averaged 17.86 MPH! 2018 brought on another similar result, with a few more faster guys in the field I was happy to place 14th, once second out of 12th! Check the NEWS tab for the write up and the video. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar and be sure to check out the website above for more info on this race.
This was my first year doing the race, I raced the Pro/Elite category. I had a good time and will probably be back. The toughest part of this race is the climb for 1.5 miles, as you know in Michigan, that is a lot! The singletrack is amazing! I think this race is really around 27 miles, but who’s counting! I did pretty good at this race after losing the lead group in the first section of singletrack, I was able to gain ground on them in the second and third sections of singletrack before catching them on the huge downhill about 3 miles before the finish. I finished 12th, only 12 seconds behind the winner. For me this was a win, I have never come in with the lead group in this level of racing. In 2018 I lost the fron tgroup right away and was never able to pull them back in, I did manage to pull out 12th position again! Check out the NEWS tab for the write up and video. Check out the website for this race at the link above for more information, watch the race footage as well captured on two GoPro’s. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar!
The Hanson Hills MTB race up near Grayling, MI is a ton of fun, up north, challenging, and always a top one on my list! In 2015 this was the first race I won my age group in, and in 2016 I was 1st overall in age group and 1st or 2nd overall in the sport class. I did miss the 2017 race! For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar and be sure to check out the link above for more information on this race.
This race is held at the Hanson Hills Recreation Area, M-93 Grayling Michigan. This race is just over a 10 mile loop, Elite riders do 3 laps, expert riders do 3, sport does 2, and beginners do 1 lap.
Michigan’s original 100-mile mountain bike race! The Lumberjack 100 always takes place on the third Saturday in June. The Lumberjack 100 will once again utilize a 33-mile loop through Michigan’s beautiful Manistee National Forest and the Big-M Ski Area. The Michigan style single track is composed mostly of hard pack trail, occasional sandy sections, and fast rolling terrain offering twists and turns that demand constant power, and total concentration as the trails quickly turn to nothing more than green blurs of forest. (If you’re expecting easy, fire-road coasting, look elsewhere!) Ninety percent of the 33-mile, 3-lap race is comprised of this single track that will eventually push racers over 9,000 feet of total elevation gain.
2017 was my first year attempting this, I went it with not enough endurance training as I had been racing shorter races. I did pretty good the first 2 laps and even into the third lap. With about 10 miles to go, I had a cramp come on in both adductors slowing me down to a crawl as I told a friend to go on without me. This turned into a burning bathroom stop, then light headedness, then unable to consume any fluids, then sick to stomach, walking and not riding. more stopping… I really didn’t think I was going to make it to the finish at one point. I did manage to ride downhills and carry as much speed as a could on the flats, walk the hills, and made it across the finish line on my bike and in under 8 hours which was my goal. This will probably be the last time I do an endurance race like this, the door is pretty much closed. Check out the website if this is your thing, and be sure to check out the race footage below, my buddy Josh is on the top and my buddy Jeff is on the bottom. Was lucky to be able to ride most of the race with them. One thing I would recommend if you are going to do this race as I think it was part of the reason I was unable to eat enough, bring toilet paper with you. They only had a few ports-johns set up for a lot of people. I did manage to get to the bathroom 40 minutes before the race, but with 15 minutes to go, nerves had me ready to go again, but the line was way too long if I was going to make the start. So, if I would have had some TP, I could have run off in the woods and hung out at the bears ports-john if you know what I mean. For a training program to be at your optimal level for an endurance race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar!
I missed the 2015 Sweat Shaker MTB Race at Mid Michigan Community College but was able to ride it in 2016 and was able to pull 1st overall and in age group even with going the wrong way for the finish! In 2017 I was still recovering from the LJ100 but still decided to race because I knew I was going to take some time off and let the body recover and heal up. 2017 was a fun pro/elite race, I did not try to kill myself, we started and I stuck in the back of the pack. The pack pulled away from me and one other guy, we also left one guy as well. In the first lap we passed 2 racers, leaving us in 5th and 6th position. On the second lap towards the finish we noticed another rider gaining on us so we kicked it down, and at the finish I was able to squeeze by the guy in front of me for 5th place. Check out the action in the video above. Another fun course and a race you don’t want to miss, it is in my schedule again for this season. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Make sure you pick your appropriate skill level. See the link above for more information on this race!
I raced the Big M Challenge MTB Race in the Manistee National Forest in Wellston, MI in 2015 in my first year and bonked! I tried to use caffeine during the race and that mixed with the heat absolutely did not work. I missed the race last year, and this year decided to do it because my son wanted to race in the kids race! HA, I signed him up for the beginner race on accident, so he had his first taste of tough singletrack! I was not ready for the race at BigM due to taking time off, but still enjoyed the race and the venue! Check out the footage from the pro/elite race. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar and be sure to pick your skill level. Click the link above for more info on this race!
Ore 2 Shore Mountain Bike Epic Hard Rock race (O2S) starts in Negaunee, MI and finishes in Marguette, MI, is a race I tried for the first time this past year 2016, a longer MTB race of 48 miles, and the largest mass start MTB race in Michigan. This was a fun race, went by faster than I thought, the scenery is amazing, and there is definitely different terrain in the U.P.! I finished as the 49th male with a time of 2:40:20, not sure what I was in age group. I did not race this in 2017 due to time off and not being ready to travel that far for a race. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Make sure you pick your correct skill level. Be sure to click the link above for more info on this great race, there are 6 different race categories which means that there is something for every person in your family, ROAD TRIP!
The Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge XC in Bellaire, MI is a race that I really wanted to do the race in 2016, but I was on the mend from an overuse injury and the amount of rain that fell just prior to the race made me sit it out. This year I did the race in the Pro/Elite Category and took 3rd only because the guy in front of me missed the turn to go to the finish. I put together some cool footage of the race this year, check it out above! This course is a super fun flow course so make sure you check it out! Need a training program to get faster? For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Be sure to click the link above to check out the information this race.
The Addison Oaks Fall XC Race in Leonard, MI is another great event, a must race race! In 2015 I raced this race in the sport category, not sure on results, although I thought I was 2nd in age group. In 2016 it was later in the season, I had achieved my goal to win the MMBA CPS in my age group in the sport category, so this race I did race at the expert level placing 6th overall expert and 3rd in my age group, good enough to podium! In 2017 I raced the pro/elite race and took 7th in a tough field. This is actually a race venue that you could make into a little family weekend camping trip, as they do have camping and kids races! For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Be sure to click the link to learn more about this race!
The Pando Fall Classic MTB Race in Rockford, MI is a great one to add to the end of your season. Who doesn’t like climbing ski hills? My first year in 2015 I raced Sport and pulled 2nd in my age group, in 2016 I had just tried some expert races and someone pushed me to try the Elite/Pro race here. I gave it a try, did pretty good, didn’t get last! In 2017 I had a pretty good race as training was coming along and actually had a great group of riders to pace with. The video is really fun to watch above, check it out! For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Be sure to click the link for this race above for more info!
Last year in 2016 I was going to do Peak to Peak in Thompsonville, MI, but my schedule was pretty full, so this year I have put this race on my schedule and had to drop out due to a tight back. This was from digging holes, raking leaves, and shoveling leaves over the fence. Still have a decent video below before I had to call it. After hearing everyone rave about this race last year, I knew this is going to be a great event! For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar and click the link above for more information.
The Iceman Cometh Challenge MTB Race starts in Kalkaska, MI and finishes near Traverse City, MI is the ultimate mountain bike race in Michigan. You never know what the weather will be like, you never know how the last few miles at the finish line will be, and you will not know the conditions. My first year in this race was 2014 (watch it here), this was the first MTB race I ever was in. My brother and I started riding MTB’s for fun about a month before this race. I started in wave 27, it had rained all day for a couple days before the race, It had snowed the night before, it was in the low to mid 30’s for the start, and it was raining/sleeting! You can say muddy ass mess, I finished 1402 out of around 4000, 32nd in age group out of 82 in a time of 3 hours 7 minutes and 44 seconds. I almost never wanted to race again…in 2015 (see race) I started in wave 11 which was a bump from wave 13 because of stava results. The weather was better, still cold but dry for the most part. I came in 520 out of around 4000, first in my wave, and 15th in my group with a time of 2 hours 1 minute and 57 seconds. In 2016 (see race video) I had overdone it with pasta, too much red sauce gave me heart burn, I grabbed some antacid pills in the morning on the way to the start to try and calm the indigestion. Long story short, weather couldn’t have been better, and I did good considering the stomach issues and lack of sleep, I came in 2nd in my age group by a few seconds in a time of 1 hour 38 minutes and 16 seconds. 2017 I decided to run the Pro race in the afternoon and test my abilities. Coming off the back from peak 2 peak made for a lot of massages and physical therapy, but managed to feel pretty good by race day. I only had to slow down a few times in the race to let my back relax, I was very happy in the end to be able to finish this race in a decent time of 1 hour and 51 minutes. The course in 2017 was longer than previous years, the conditions were good at the start, and deteriorated as the race went on due to rain. Check the video out above for race footage! This is one of my favorite races now on the calendar, it is also one of the few races during the year that I try and peak for, For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar! Be sure to click the link above for more info on this race.
The Singletrack Showdown in Ludington, MI is a great way to end the MTB season. I tried this for the first time in 2016, and I am glad I did. The guys that put the race on, and that race are really fun and excited to race. I was able to feel better about my last MTB race of the 2016 season and left it all out on the table racing against great competition by finishing 3rd overall in a time of 1 hour 8 minutes and 9 seconds (video here), only a little ways behind two guys that were 5-8 minutes faster than me at Iceman! This race was also a blast this season in 2017, was almost feeling 100% and ready to go, the weather was good, so I had a green light. Last years winner was not there so I thought that I may be able to win my first overall race ever. Started out fast as always, hit the singleltrack, and a little way into the race there were only three of us. With the strong wind going out and back to the finish I decided to stick with the group instead of try and drop them. Two people working together in the wind would more than likely catch back up. So we came out and endured the wind together, made the last turn toward the finish, had a little mishap that made the win for me pretty easy. See the race above, put this on your schedule for next season, and check out the link above for more info. For a training program to be at your optimal level for this race just check out the MTB training programs that can be found by clicking on the left sidebar!
Through out the year I do tend to skip racing in the winter on fat bikes and stick to putting in mileage. I also do some other MTB races like Island Lake MTB (watch race), Maybury MTB, and the Michigan USAC State Championship races (see race). Toward the end of MTB season I throw in some CX (cyclocross-cross) races through Kiss Cross promotions (see race here), the USA Cycling State Series (view Race here), and usually do the State Championship race with that as well (start of that race).