• Comparing the difficulty of mountain bike races (Leadville 100, Breck 68, Firecracker 50, Dakota Five-O, Gunnison Half-Growler, Breck 32)

    I will often get the question, “How hard was that race compared to (insert any other race).” I think there are many factors that determine the difficulty of the race:

    1. How fresh it is in my mind
    2. Race distance
    3. Total elevation of the race
    4. Altitude of the race
    5. Course difficulty (mountain biking this includes singletrack climbs and descents)
    6. Weather
    7. How fit I am on race day

    Yesterday I raced the Breckenridge Firecracker 50 for the first time. It is two loops of the same course, with four aid stations per loop. You can literally do the entire race with one bottle on your bike, with no need to carry a hydration system on your back. After doing the race, I was thinking it was one of the toughest races I’ve done. (See #1)

    To give you an idea of how some of the mountain bike races I’ve done compare to each other, I’ve assembled the chart below. I’m pretty sure that after each race I would say, “That was a hard race.” Of course it was. If it wasn’t hard, I didn’t race.

    (Click on the image to enlarge.)

    Next blog – what did my Fat-Burning Machine race breakfast, race nutrition and post-race look like?

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