On August 20 this the year the X100 will be running its 4th edition through some iconic and some lesser known ‘unmarked trails’ through the mountain bike mecca that is the Traverse City region in the state of Michigan, USA. The area has been made famous in MTB circles through the ‘largest MTB race in North America’- the annual Iceman Cometh which has attracted some of the world’s finest XC racers over the years. The X100 uses much of the more famous trails utilised in the iceman and adds another whopping 70 miles of trails the area has to offer.
Race distances to choose from at the X100 are a 100 mile individual, 100 mile relay style 3 person team, 50 mile, and 25 mile race consisting of mostly twisting technical singletrack that winds in and out of county gravel roads, double track and fire roads. Mountain bikers roll through the most beautiful terrain Michigan has to offer: deep woods and steep hills dotted with pristine lakes, streams and ponds. The X100 has some the most challenging sections of raw organic terrain and killer cross-country riding built by mountain bikers who have a passion for adventure, and – until now – known only by die-hard locals.
The call of 100 miles in Michigan
Having lived in Traverse City for 2 years training and racing on these roads and trails is something I always miss whilst battling traffic and rocks in Sydney. A scheduled trip back to T.C this August has opened up the possibility of racing the X100 this year. Having been off from racing since the Golden Triangle Epic whilst recovering from multiple breaks in my pelvis and ribs the time has come to dust off a number plate and focus on a new challenge.
I am excited to be starting the X100 for the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com Team this year. The last time I raced 100 miles on an MTB would have been a stage of the Crocodile Trophy in 2011, which brings with it main memories of suffering.
However, a 1 day race brings with it a different array of challenges and am confident my undertrained and still partially broken body will make it through even if it does bring with it the same pain felt during those 200+km stages of The Crocodile Trophy. The allure of racing a mountain bike still burns strong with me and the ability to be able to do it in one of my favourite corners of the world again is too good to miss.
Having ridden and raced over 5 continents now, I can honestly say the roads and trails where the X100 is held is some of the finest, flowiest and FUNNEST riding going around.
The X100 will be putting on a festival like atmosphere at the start/finish line on race weekend with food trucks, cold beer on tap, an after race party and plenty of activities for the family and spectators at the RV resort that doubles as the start/finish area. You can still sign up at http://x100race.com.