The Bikepacking Triple Crown is terrifying.
Three races that span a combined 4,050 miles should not be taken lightly. These races travel across deserts, mountain passes, and remote wilderness that few people will ever touch. That is the allure. In the spring/summer of 2019, I will be racing the Arizona Trail Race, Tour Divide, and Colorado Trail Race. Currently only 10 people have completed all three races in one year and I plan to set a new record for fastest time. Currently Jay Petervary holds combined record for Triple Crown at 27 days, 18 hours, and 33 minutes; I will do it 27 days flat. This may sound too ambitious and a fool’s errand but I will be throwing myself at these races with everything I have over the next year.
Which is terrifying.
I completed the Tour Divide in June of 2016 in 22 days. This was a decent time but unspectacular compared to the blazing time of 13 days set by the winner Mike Hall. Regardless, that race changed me to the point where I think about the Tour Divide daily. The race was scary, challenging, and extremely risky. Looking back now I pushed myself hard but I could have gone harder. I could have slept less, eaten less, biked at night, pushed well past what I did. Which is terrifying.
Last year I took a summer off adventure racing and I rode around Lake Superior with two friends (one that later became my girlfriend). We recorded the stories of the people who call the lake home. During the days of willing fully loaded bikes up Canadian highways, I frequently found myself daydreaming of the Tour Divide and everything I would have done differently. This is when I made up my mind to pursue the Triple Crown. I found something deep inside of me that needed to find out how hard I could push myself mentally and physically. Which is terrifying.
What exactly makes this experience and these races so terrifying? The personal risk, the financial risk, and of course, the trails themselves. In order for me to break the record, I will be sleeping only a few hours a night and riding nearly 200 miles a day. I will be consuming food at every chance I get while also navigating some of the roughest and most remote trails in North America.
By the time I leave for the first race, I will have graduated with my BS in Outdoor Recreation Leadership Management. Unlike other racers that have been more established before completing the Triple Crown, I will be making some of my first student loan payments from the trail. Sure, the races are free to enter but you need to get to and from the races, pay for food during the race, get proper equipment, and fix that equipment, all this while taking time off from work to train, plan, and race.
It is scary committing myself totally to races that will destroy me both physically and mentally. I do not take this challenge lightly and with less than one year to go until the Arizona Trail Race preparation has begun and I am more driven than ever to finish these races.
This website and blog will be my way to record what I am doing and connect with those who are following me!
I will be updating this blog every week with updates on my training and preparation and every Friday with a gear review of something I am using for the races.
Thanks for following along and supporting me on this crazy mission!