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Great Divide Race kicks off

The Great Divide race started Friday at high noon at the Port of Roosville, Montana. The 2,490 mile (4007km) self supported event runs through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico along a north to south route. It has over 200,000 feet (60,960m) of climbing.

Racers have to carry all their own gear, and navigate backcountry terrain. They restock on food and other supplies at small towns en route. 21 riders, making up the largest field ever, were signed up to start. This year's roster includes Ashley Mckenzie, Jon Hurly, Josh Ficke, Scott Hodge, John Nobile, Steve McGuire, Steve Wilkinson, Bruce Dinsmore, Andy Buchanan, Dave Nice, Rick Hunter, Matthew Lee, Matt McFee, Jay Petervay, Matt Kemp, Pete Basinger, Kevin Montgomery, Nathan Bay, Jeff Kerby, Alex Field, and Noah Dimit according to the race's blog

Racers can call a toll-free number at any time 24 hours a day to leave voice messages with their whereabouts and descriptions of their experiences.

Mike Curiak currently holds the fastest male record (from 2004) of 16 days, 0 hours, and 57 minutes. Trish Stevenson set the women's record in 2005 at 21 days, 23 days, and 47 minutes.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.