It takes a lot of grit to commit to riding a mountain bike for 6 hours. Endurance races like the Wasatch 360 can be a true test of a rider’s mettle. This past memorial day weekend, riders came together to push themselves, get out on the dirt, and have fun. This year’s top solo finisher, James Driscoll, turned out 8 laps, which adds up to over 84 miles and 7200 feet of climbing in just over 6 hours. At these distances, the game becomes more mental than physical.
The Wasatch 360 course, located just north of Heber City, uses parts of the gorgeous Coyote Trail System. The sweeping scenic views and rolling singletrack make the ride more bearable as each lap gets tougher.
The race begins with a running start for all teams and riders, and the climbing begins right away. Up a dirt road then on to singletrack.
The toughest part of the course is probably the steep, rocky Sheepbones climb that follows. Once at the top, the racers flow through several smaller descents and climbs among the hills above Heber Valley, ending with a quick, switchback-y descent that slingshots you into another lap.
Perfect spring weather and beautiful views accompanied the riders and spectators throughout race day, with clouds rolling in to cool off the afternoon awards.
Riders each go at their own pace, some just there to have fun, churning out lap after lap at a leisurely spin, stopping for a breather and a laugh each time they come to the feed zone. Other teams and riders push themselves to the limits, hoping to beat others or their own best times from previous years. Some ended the day exhausted, others proud, but there were smiles on everyone’s faces at the awards ceremony. While it is never easy, Mountain Biking is always exhilarating, and that’s why we love it!
The atmosphere was relaxed, with families, friends, and racers waiting for their teammates to tag them in chatted and enjoyed the sunny memorial day weather. The race, which celebrated its 5th anniversary this year, is a fun, unique event, with a local flair that is definitely worth checking out. It was a weekend to remember!
To learn more about the Wasatch 360 and to see results from this year’s race, visit the event page!