A more geographically balanced series for next season
The eighth annual Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series www.nuemtb.com announced its 2014 schedule, including stops at two new venues in California and Colorado. This follows the addition of the True Grit 100 in Utah and the Tatanka 100 in South Dakota this past season.
To claim the series title in any of the four divisions next season will again require a minimum of four races. All racers who complete four races will receive a national ranking and series awards based on their best four races. All ties will be broken at the Fool's Gold 100 in Georgia on a new later date, September 20, the final race of the season. The NUE Series will continue to be run with unsanctioned events, meaning no license is required to participate in any race.
The series has grown from just a few races in 2005 to 13 races held in 13 different states in 2014. Next year's series is the most balanced yet, with six races in the east and six in the west.
The 2014 series will roll out on March 15 in the southwest at the True Grit Epic in St. George, Utah. "The race is long, tough, and technical. The first 20 miles are along rocky and steep terrain that requires excellent bike handling skills and upper body strength," said Race Director Cimarron Chacon. "This course is a roller coaster of desert riding with over 70% of the 89 miles on singletrack and slightly over 13,000 feet of elevation gain. We will drop our 23-mile format this year so we can focus on our 100- and 50-mile riders."
Next up is the Cohutta 100 on April 26 in Ducktown, Tennessee. "The Cohutta 100 makes its home in the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest. Our 100 miles of race course traverses the mountain terrain by world class singletrack and fireroads. Our singletrack is fast and flowing, tight and technical. Our fireroads are demanding but rewarding with long ascents, fast descents, and beautiful mountain views," said race director Charles Nelson.
From there, it's onto Ohio for the 13th Annual Mohican 100, the race with the largest payout in the series. Mohican features a downtown start in Loudonville leading racers up a long climb for a $200 prime. The course covers several miles of doubletrack before treating racers to Ohio's best pristine, flowing singletrack within the 5,000-acre Mohican State Forest along a single loop spanning four counties known as "Mohican Country".
The NUE Series will make its first-ever stop at the Bailey Hundo in Colorado. The Bailey HUNDO, is a not-for-profit event benefiting youth biking initiatives in Colorado including Trips For Kids Denver/Boulder, which offers mountain biking opportunities to underserved youth, changing lives "two wheels at a time", the Colorado High School Cycling League. The race features over 45 miles of singletrack as it winds from Bailey through the Buffalo Creek Trail system and along the Colorado Trail to the South Platte then on to Deckers up Stony Creek Pass to Wellington Lake, and, finally, finishing to a fabulous new festival-like finish area in a private meadow by the river.
Michigan will host the Lumberjack 100 on June 21. Located deep within the Manistee forest in Wellston, Michigan, The Lumberjack will cap off the spring portion of the series. It features fast flowing, mostly non-technical singletrack, this is your race.
As summer arrives, the series heads to the Black Hills of Sturgis, South Dakota. The Tatanka 100 on June 28 will showcase miles of amazing trails. The race will start in Sturgis and proceed clockwise around a single grand loop. The course will use the three biggest official Black Hills trails, the Centennial Trail #89, and a portion of, both, the Deerfield Trail#40, and the Mickelson Trail #104 before finishing along some scenic Black Hills railroad grade/two track.
One week later, Mudslinger Events will host The High Cascades 100 in Bend for a sixth year to represent the state of Oregon on July 19. The race includes epic trails are around Mt. Bachelor.
The Wilderness 101 will follow on July 26 in the Rothrock and Bald Eagle State Forests just outside of State College, Pennsylvania. Technical backcountry singletrack and hair-raising downhill thrills will challenge racers along with the Pennsylvania rocks. It is one of the original NUE Series events.
Also on July 26, on the west coast, NUE will make its first-ever stop at the Big Bear Grizzly 100 in Big Bear, California. Hosted by Bear Valley Bikes and directed by Derek Hermon, racers familiar with the 100k Grand Fondo course will be treated to an extended portion of trail along a ridgeline with amazing views. The course is less than the full 100 miles, making it much more likely that racers can complete in the High Cascades 100 and at Big Bear even though they are scheduled on back-to-back weekends.
The final four races will occur within a month-long period, which could yet again, create chaos in the standings before the final tie breaking event.
First up is the Pierre's Hole 100 near Alta, Wyoming, to be held on a new weekend, August 16. "The sixth Annual Pierre's Hole 100 at Grand Targhee Resort, will offer up even more amazing singletrack for 2014," said race director Andy Williams. "The new course layout adds more new singletrack and takes out the nasty climb down to the ranch. The 2014 course will take racers through fields of wild flowers, aspen trees and old growth forest right in the shadows of the Tetons."
The series then heads due east the very next day to New England for the eighth Annual Hampshire 100 in Greenfield, New Hampshire. The technical race benefits the Crotched Rehabilitation Center.
The Shenandoah Mountain 100, the NUE Series' largest 100-miler in terms of participation, will happen in Harrisonburg, Virginia on August 31.
Finally, the Fool's Gold will serve as the series finale on September 20 in Dahlonega, Georgia. The 2014 Fool's Gold 50- and 100-mile mountain bike Races will be produced by Mountain Goat Adventures, owned and operated by Chris and Lisa Randall. Mountain Goat Adventures took over the event from the previous owners.
"The course for the 2014 Fool's Gold races will remain largely unchanged, highlighting the newly reconstructed, and vastly improved, Bull and Jake Mountain Trails," said Lisa Randall. "The race date has been moved back a couple of weeks to September 20th to allow for a break between the Shenandoah 100 and the NUE Series Finale, as well as to avoid overlapping with other local endurance MTB events."
Division winners in 2014 will earn a share of a prize purse of at least $12,000, winner's jerseys, all entries to the 2015 race series and an all expenses paid trip to La Ruta de los Conquistadores.
NUE Series organizers noted that the 2014 schedule is tentative and subject to change as race organizers are still in the usual process of procuring forest service permits and other logistical race planning details. .
2014 NUE Series
March 15 - True Grit Epic, St. George, Utah
April 26 - Cohutta 100, Ducktown, Tennessee
May 31 - Mohican MTB100, Loudonville, Ohio
June 14 - Bailey Hundo, Bailey, Colorado
June 21 - Lumberjack 100, Wellston, Michigan
June 28 - Tatanka 100, Sturgis, South Dakota
July 19 - High Cascades 100, Bend, Oregon
July 26 - Wilderness 101, State College, Pennsylvania
July 26 - Big Bear Grizzly 100, Big Bear, California
August 16 - Pierre’s Hole 100, Alta, Wyoming
August 17 - Hampshire 100, Greenfield, New Hampshire
August 31 - Shenandoah 100, Harrisonburg, Virginia
September 20 - Fool's Gold 100, Dahlonega, Georgia