The staggered start allows everyone to get settled in with riders of similar abilities. There won't be any mind-numbing downhilling here. After 12 miles of climbing, the athletes are spread out and aside from the occasional game of leap-frog, passing becomes minimal and riders are more at ease.
As I ascended up loose, punnishing trails, I wished I'd put on a fresh set of tires. The traction I remember having 2 months prior was all but gone and being tired after an hour's climb, I lacked finesse. Nearing the top, the trails flatten out a bit, but large embedded rock is everywhere. Then the sweet relief of a seven mile downhill (which today, doesn't feel like it's down enough) arrives! While fighting the onset of cramps in my quads, I was keenly aware of the sections which required pedaling.
A new development of the Mt Ogden 100k is the 25k option. This circles the green pond and lower needles trail in a 5 mile loop, heads to Maples, down to Art Nord, up East Fork, Down Middle Fork then up the road back to Snowbasin. The great thing about this route, is it allows more participants into the event who are beginners, youth, or otherwise not inclined to suffer all day. My son, Adam age 13, loved this race. This would be his longest race yet (2 hrs), but he was familiar with each trail from previous rides. If I have learned one thing about taking my kids biking, or making them do challenging things (i.e. we got up early 4 times a week all summer to make it to swim team in North Ogden) is that at first I have to coerce or force them, and in time they are begging me for more. Adam was so excited to do this race and I was certainly surprised and excited for him. So, now with our finishing times in hand, we can set our sights for next year and make big goals for our improvement. I already can't wait.