Big Sugar - Oct 2023

I’m going bigger just for the comfort aspect. I think cardio I will be fine, it’s the upper body muscles I’m most concerned about.

There are two fully stocked aid stations for the 100 mile and it was easy to get stuff. Plain water available too. Chamois Butter had a pop up station along the way and Garmin had something too but I think they just had candy, no water. It was on the last stretch after Aid 2.

There is a bar at Aid 2 and you can get a beer there too if you want with your drink ticket. Pete Stetina did that in year one after getting flats and falling off the pace.

The gravel is chunkier than most of Unbound, but it wasn’t as bad as it had been hyped up. I ran 42 Pathfinders last year without issues but could see 45 or 47s also being very good. I love DJ’s forward thinking, but I’m not convinced a drop bar mountain bike is needed for this course We’ll see if he brings it back this year but last year it was his worst race in the GP.

They definitely had Coke there…thank god. It saved me. :grinning:

Does anyone plan on having a support person meet them at the aid stations? I did for Unbound, but not sure if it’s necessary for Big Sugar.

It is definitely not necessary for Big Sugar….there is ample on course support with nutrition from Untapped, plus the usual assortment of aid station goodies (bananas, chips, etc)

That said, my daughter provided support last year for me and it was great knowing she was ahead and there was a cold Coke waiting. :sunglasses:

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Anyone on the waiting list get in recently?

Doing Lil Sugar and hanging out that following week, figured I’d try to get into Big Sugar but not sure how long that wait list is and the chances of squeaking in.

I’ve been on the list for at least a month and no word about entry. Was hoping to also sneak in and make a long weekend with the Big Sugar and finally checking the hype on the trails in Betontville and Bella Vista area. I may hit up this event in Pueblo Saturday for my final gravel kick this year.

Would be cool to see fellow trainerroaders at Grassroots Gravel! I’m signed up for the whole route.

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I’m on the verge of switching from the 100 to the 50. It’s such a long day at the end of the season!

I didn’t have great form last year, started off too fast and then struggled the last ~30 miles….but I’m glad I did the whole thing. Great course, lots of fun.

I would advise to just adjust your expectations and enjoy the day for the full distance.


Thank you. Just what I needed to hear.


I’ll be traveling out Thursday. Hope to see some of you out there.

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I agree with @Power13. I did it last year, started out way too hard, and fizzled out towards then end. I could have fizzled out also because of the 25mph headwind at the end of the race too, but I digress. If I were you, I would just go and enjoy it. I was just there last weekend for the Little Sugar MTB and believe the leaves are going to be close to peak this weekend. It is an awesome course with awesome spectators.

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The last stretch is not as hilly if that helps sway your decision… Last year it was a slog because of the strong headwind but don’t think that is typical.

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Yup…there was a storm system in the Gulf and it was whipping up strong winds all across the Mid-South and Texas. My drive home to Chicago the next day had a ridiculous cross / tail wind most of the day.

Not the usual conditions…but definitely check the forecast, too!

Seeing that someone drove from Chicago, I’ll have to respect the race and do it since I’m much closer!

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Just confirming more details re: on-course support……


Keegan running a suspension fork today….like it or hate it, you are likely gonna see more and more suspension for gravel.

Hoping to see some mid travel (30-60mm) gravel forks with more clearance coming (60mm max tire clearance), would be ideal for a drop bar MTB build in my mind, 2.2 RKs and a gravel fork on a carbon XC HT with drop bars… At the moment doesn’t seem possible, its either rigid fork or XC fork but hopefully thats coming.

Kasia rocking the rainbow stripes….love it. Hopefully she races today instead of just participating.

ETA - Sofia ounce like she is not really gonna race today…said she had a,ways planned to start the 100 miler to lock up the the overall and then downgrade to the 50 miler. When they announced a separate start for women, she decided to stick with the 100 miler, but seems like she is just gonna complete it. Also riding the Diverge STR….not exactly the weapon of choice for racing Big Sugar.

Kinda bummed as I wanted to see her go up against Kasia.

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