Please come celebrate my 32 years on this earth by joining me for the first annual American Mountain Classic stage race by Brian Head, from August 21st - 24th (my birthday is on the 23rd). Unless you've done the TransAlps or the Tour, then this race is going to be more epic than any other race you've done before, because it is the first of it's kind on U.S. soil. Here is a description of the 4 stages of the race that I copied from here:
Day #1 – Prologue: The American Mountain Classic will start with a 6 mile Prologue on the town trail in Brian Head. Elite Men's, Women's and Master 40+ class will be vying for the race leader's jersey. Amateur racers will use the Prologue to establish seeding position in the next day's starting lineup.
Day #2 – The Rim: This 55 mile stage will feature 5,000+ feet of climbing, with 30 miles on the Virgin River Rim Trail. The trail winds along Utah's world famous pink cliffs and offers views of Zion National Park.
Day #3 – The Peak: The first 5 miles takes racers to 11,000 feet, just below the Brian Head Peak. At 55 miles and 4,000+ feet of climbing, this loop takes racers out to Lowder Pond, Red Desert, Tippets Valley and offers riders views of Cedar Breaks National Monument, before returning home.
Day #4 – Dark Hallow: The 2006 National Mountain Bike cross country course will be used for the last day's stage. The 27 mile course received rave reviews from racers of all abilities and riders will be completing two laps on the course. With nearly 3,000+ feet of climbing per lap, it's sure to be one of the toughest stages.
I've predicted your excuses for not coming already, and I've addressed each excuse below:
Excuse #1) "It's too expensive." Let's get this one out of the way right up front. It's true that at first glance, the $400 price tag may seem rather excessive. However, most single day endurance races are around half this price, and from what I've been told, are not nearly as well supported (or as epic) as this race is billed to be. This race is going to cover 170 miles of amazing dirt, so you're price per mile is pretty good. Plus, the cost of admission covers over $20,000 in cash and prizes, fully staffed aid stations (more on this below), breakfast everyday, and a jersey (not a t-shirt).
If you are struggling to come up with the cash, here are a few tips on how to scrape the coin together:
a) Don't do Lotoja. Why were you thinking of doing this race anyway? You're a mountain biker, not a roadie. I just saved you $160 dollars right there. If you weren't planning on doing Lotoja, then you already have an extra $160 to put towards the AMC. You should be going to Fish's luau instead, which I've heard is scheduled for the same day as Lotoja again this year (by the way, Fish, please continue scheduling the luau on the same day as Lotoja, as it gives me a rock-solid excuse to never do that race).
b) Convince your significant other to come and call it a vacation. I just saved you a ton of money in plane tickets. My wife (and maybe kids) will be there, and she'll be hoping to have other wives there while we're racing. In the evenings we'll hit Bryce, Zions, and all sorts of other great spots with the families.
c) I know you were planning on doing at least one other epic mountain bike race this summer anyway. Let's say it was the 3 days of the e-100. That's $450. Leadville? $240. Although these are great races (and you should do them all if you have the time and money), my hope is that the AMC stage race will be more epic than them all. Plus it's on my birthday.
As you can clearly see, you will actually be losing money by not doing this race.
Excuse #2) "I can't convince anyone to come run support for me." This race is fully supported and no support crew is needed. I can't think of any other race where this is true. If there is anything really specific that you need, my wife will be there to hook you up.
Excuse #2b) "I only eat certain foods during a race and will only drink CarboRocket, and I don't trust the organizer's choice of fuel. Well check this out. I personally contacted Tom (the race promoter) to ask him a few questions. Here is a direct quote from Tom: "You get [me] a list of what [you] want at the feed zones and I'll have it there." How cool is that?
Excuse #3) "It's too long/hard, and I'm not up for it." Here are a few quotes from the AMC website: "this is not an adventure survival test! If getting lost in the jungles of South America or 12 hour stages are what you are looking for, the AMC may not be your event." "The course layout will . . . allow the weekend racer a chance to complete the entire stage race." I think if you were able to finish RAWROD, you can finish this too. Plus, this isn't really a race, it's a birthday party.
Excuse #4) "I don't even know you, Aaron, why would I come to your birthday party?" Okay, don't come to my party, but still come and race.
I'll be registering for the SPORTSMEN 30-39 category, although Tom said I could upgrade to the MEN'S OPEN 30-34 category on race day, which I hope to do, depending on how the season goes.
Please RSVP in the comments so we can start planning. If you think your wife will only go for it if you have a personalized birthday invitation sent in the mail, let me know and I'll do it. By the way, the only gift you need to give me for this party is to promise not to beat me on stage 3 (although I fully expect this promise to be broken between now and August 23rd).
Be there or be square.