The hardest 50 Mile Race in the USA?
El Paso Puzzler 50 Mile Champion – Course Record and 1st Win of 2019
“Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, there is a race January 20….” El Paso Mountain Biking at its finest! This was my second time racing the El Paso Puzzler. I actually changed all the words to the Marty Robbins song and posted a recording of me playing guitar and singing in 2017 the last time I did the race. LISTEN HERE!
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My first race of 2017 will be a 50 miler in El Paso, TX called the @elpasopuzzler. I took the Marty Robins “El Paso” song and made it my own with some lyrics. This song makes me smile. My dad and grandma ALWAYS used to sing this as loud as they could by the fire on camping trips. I heard it randomly at an aide station racing the @joberg2c in South Africa this year when I was so blown but still fighting, and was basically in tears from happiness and nostalgia. Guitar: @ellyguitars Here are the lyrics: Out in the West Texas town of El Paso There is a race January fifteenth 50 long miles alone in the desert El Paso Puzzler, the suffer machine Dodging the big rocks and the razor sharp cactus I will ride it just as fast as I can I hope you come join me at El Paso Puzzler Down at the finish, we will drink some beer
My favorite thing about the event is that it’s ROUGH and technical – a true mountain bike course AND the community in El Paso is very special and welcoming. I love the people there!
I broke my foot back at the end of October and this was my first hard effort outside. I have been mostly on the trainer (except for some desert blizzard rides over the holidays!) since the end of October. I’m so fortunate with my Wahoo set up (KICKR, KICKR Climb, and Trainer Desk). The good thing about indoor training is that your time is super efficient and it get you FIT! My goal was to win and set a course record- mission accomplished! I did so in 5:09. This 50 miler is slow going- there aren’t dirt roads or any smooth trails so you have to earn every mile.
The first start line of the year is always a little nerve-wracking. For me, the nerves are from the anticipation of the pain! Intervals are one thing, but pushing yourself at interval pace for 5 hours straight is another! I’ve been working on acceptance of pain during workouts and the acceptance of it (versus wishing it wasn’t there) has been helpful!
My goal was to win and set a course record- mission accomplished! I did so in 5:09. This 50 miler is slow going- there aren’t dirt roads or any smooth trails so you have to earn every mile.
I also hosted an event at Podium Finish Sport Boutique. It was a super cool bike shop and we had about 50 people show up! I did a talk on how to live a high performance life. We also did an instagram live of the talk!
I’m back in my garage training for the next few weeks, and then a big one! I’m racing coed duo with Gordon Wadsworth at 24 Hours of Old Pueblo in Tucson! The last time I did that race was as a 5 person team in 2009. Duo is the hardest format because you trade off every lap! The last time I raced duo was at National Champs with Jon Davis and we took the jersey! I’m looking forward to more desert riding and the community at this race!