2019 MTB Marathon USAC Nationals

who here has got the inside scoop on date/location or what the delay is?

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It’s kind of alarming being that it’s usually around May

Well, they just posted some info for 2019 and 2020.
Going to Texas, April 27 this year.


Awesome, thanks for posting that! Been checking their site on and off for weeks now lol.

Now if anybody knows anything about that trail, that would be cool to chime in! I think I’m going to go.

Total crap show. Look at the USA Cycling Facebook page for more detail. Short version is this is the same weekend as Whiskey Off Road forcing people and pros to choose between the two. USAC is a joke.

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Yeah I saw that, I guess they just don’t care, kind of not surprised though.

USAC has posted that they are going to change the date due to the conflict! But we won’t know the new date until next week.

Where did you see the post?

May 11th is the new date

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On the USA Cycling facebook page

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USAC did change the date after multiple people pointed out the fact that it conflicted with a race with a major pro payout (33K) May 11th is the new date and WELCOME TO TEXAS for the next 2 years.

Palo Duro Canyon is a great place to race/ride and being its the 2nd largest canyon system in the Nation is has its own microclimate. I raced there in June 2018 and it was insanely HOT at the top of the canyon it was right at 102 in the canyon base it was 116, typically in May the average temps are in the low 90’s there. The course depending on what loops they use will be a mix of fast and flat with flow to technical punchy climbs with matching drops and drop in the occasional rattle bug that wants to lay across the trail my add some excitement to any race.


is there any humidity to that heat? I’ve only raced in Austin before and just experienced dry heat there.

Its dry heat with little wind in the canyon.

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Chapstick will be your friend…the dry air will kill your lips…

Ride with GPS Course Map

Hey Guys! With 2019/2020 MTB Marathon Nationals in my backyard, I thought I would start a thread for those of you that may have questions about Palo Duro Canyon. So hit me up here if you are coming and have a question. I will do my best to answer based upon experience riding PDC.

Off the top of my head - the terrain is hard packed or loose over hard packed with the occasional sand trap/spots. So fast rolling tires like, Ikons/Racing Ralphs are pretty popular with some liking a more bitey tire in front. Personally run Ikons front and rear, but thinking of trying some Aspens since Jonathan loves them so much. Will keep you posted if I try them.

For weather - plan for it to be in the upper 80s/low 90s that time of year with a very dry heat. We are talking 0% humidity. Plan to hydrate a lot and often. Dehydration is very easy here.

Let me know if you have any other questions and let me know if you are coming! Be fun to do a TR meetup of some sort. Speaking of which - Is anyone from TR coming? I can tell you that it would be good from a marketing standpoint. Based on Strava, I am the only TR user at this time in at least a 3 hours radius. Be nice to get some other converts.



I am coming down from Missoula Montana. already registered. Questions in my head are ,
1.Hardtail or 100mm dual sus. Xc race bike. 19 vs 22 lbs. no droppers on either.
2.Schwalbe-Racing Ralph/Racing Ray combo or Thunderburts
3. Get there We’d night - pre ride Thursday/Friday. Staying in a hotel 30 min north.
4. Looking at the race map, only 2 water stations? The start finish area and then on the back loop of the course. How do we pre stage food/hydration at the 2 points?

None of this is anywhere in the USAC website on the event page.

Thanks for any input.

@Hoverp - Sorry for the delayed response. Just got back from racing the Austin Rattler and been absorbed preparing and packing for the past couple weeks. I will do my best to answer your questions.

  1. Hardtail or 100mm dual sus. Xc race bike. 19 vs 22 lbs. no droppers on either.

    • Honestly, either will be great and I really think it depends on the rider. Personally I am much faster on DS. I run a Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 1 29er if that helps. Really depends on your handling skills. The 2nd lap is much harder due to being more technical and more elevation. So keep that in mind fatigue wise. IMO the DS would be better suited to stay fresh, but don’t hesitate to run the hard tail if you that is your preference. If you have time, ride all of Comanche (upper&lower) a couple times. That is the most technical area for the 2nd lap and will give you a good idea what bike to use if you bring both. I will say that some of the downhills can be sketchy, so another vote for DS. Sorry about not being more concrete. I know most of the pros ride DS here in the past if that helps.
  2. Schwalbe-Racing Ralph/Racing Ray combo or Thunderburts

    • RR/RR is going to be more forgiving on the sketchy loose switchbacks for the 2nd lap, but if you got skills you can make the thunderburt work I suppose. I wouldn’t run the TB personally because I prefer a more locked in controlled feel in the rear. I’m running 2.35 ikons F/R if that helps. So your RR combo would be similar. The TB in rear would probably be faster, but the problem is that the loose parts tend to happen in some sketchy cornes/switchbacks where margin of error in sliding is critical. Personally, I have never seen anyone run a TB here.
  3. Get there We’d night - pre ride Thursday/Friday. Staying in a hotel 30 min north.

    • Sounds like you are staying in Amarillo (where I live). Really easy to get around. All the roads either go N/S or E/W since it is so flat. No trees, and I mean no trees - so you can literally see for miles. You might factor in 10 minutes more once you are in gate. It can take a little while to drive into the canyon from there. As said above - get familiar with Comanche and keep in mind you will be hitting Lower Comanche the 2nd lap when you are most fatigued.
  4. Looking at the race map, only 2 water stations? The start finish area and then on the back loop of the course. How do we pre stage food/hydration at the 2 points?

    • I will have to ask my buddy that is Race Director to see what the plan is for sure. In both areas, there should be plenty of room to setup what you need. Let me get back to with a better answer here.

I hope this helps and I apologize if the answers are not more concrete. It’s hard to answer questions that can be subjective in nature.

Good Luck!

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Jeramy, thanks for the insight ! I appreciate you taking the time to answer ! Good tip on lower Comanche, I’ll try and ride that Thursday hopefully it will be dry for the race!

Thanks again for the response and tips


Hi Jeramy, any insight as to the food water aid station plans from your buddy yet?

I’m looking for info on how when we can /should pre stage drop bags etc , or if they do that. I’ve never raced down there so I have nothing to go on.



Hi Jeramy,
Looks like they are forecasting rain this Friday night and Saturday morning. How does the course handle rain? Dose it get very muddy or ? Would you still have the same tire recommendations if the course is wet?