SingleTracks: 16-year-old competes with the top dogs

The 50-mile-long True Grit Epic 50, and its companion race, the True Grit Epic 100, are two of the most difficult mountain bike races held in Utah each year. For many, racing 50 miles is difficult by itself, but True Grit takes things to another level entirely. Most of the course consists of rugged singletrack, which can tire riders out very quick if they are not prepared. The True Grit Epic has continued to grow as more mountain bikers step up to the challenge to see if they can complete such a hard race. This year the event sold out with 600 racers toeing the line.

Brennon Peterson: Last year was my first time racing the True Grit Epic 50, at age 15. I entered the race in the 14-29 men’s class just hoping to finish. (The 2018 race included a separate Juniors division for riders ages 14-18.) I was excited to compete since not many juniors had completed the True Grit Epic. To my surprise, I ended up taking first in my category, and it was one of the most fun, yet most difficult, races I had ever completed. Of course immediately after the race I told myself it “sucked.” But looking back at how well my race went, I realized how much fun I had, and begain looked forward to racing it again.

For 2018, I raced as a part of the Pivot-Competitive Cyclist team, and entered the 75-strong, Open Men’s category with all the top dogs, at just 16 years of age. It was very intimidating knowing that I was going into a race with legitimate pros! I wasn’t sure where I stood compared to a lot of the people there. To make matters even worse, I was sick a couple weeks before the race.

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