Lutsen 99er 2024

Run the 34, that said, all three of us finished pretty close last year…

So… about a month and a half out from Lutsen. How are we all feeling? I see the snowmobile slog south of Barker Lake is still near the end of the race. I’m nearly throwing up just thinking about it. Praying it’ll be drier and a bit more firm than when I last did it in 2022.

I’m good from a fitness perspective, but haven’t spent enough time on the MTB. All my winter build work is pretty much done, one extended FTP test next week, so trying to make that switch now. Need to get suspension dialed in, and tires mounted up on my race wheels.

Looking at the course, some idiotic race planning decisions for drop bags. 78 miles in to a 100 mile race for drop bags? Seriously? I’m either carrying what I need or relying on neutral aid for this one.

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Hopefully smoke from the Canadian wildfires won’t be an issue.

Yep, not the greatest plan. Why not drop bags at Aid 2 (56 miles in) Gotta be an access issue, but I’m with you @BCM I’ll stuff extra gels & hydration mix in my pack. Hopefully only have to top off water at Aid 2 and keep turning cranks. Gotta keep moving while the clock is ticking.

Hopefully Ray/Ralph 2.35 will suffice for race tires, because that’s what I’ve got. I run an airliner light in the back no matter where I’m riding, for this one I might run a front as well.

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I even called out the LT folks on the drop bag issue (very politely I might add) on their Facebook Post on the course, and they subsequently hid or deleted my comment. Won’t even take constructive criticism…

Lutsen is not a hard course on tires IMO, with the exception being if you cruise through water and hit something you can’t see. Last year was VERY wet, and you were going through deep puddles all day where you couldn’t see the bottom. I took it easy in those scenarios, but after every one early in the race there were people with flats. Either follow someone else’s wheel, or sit back and get your weight back and consider easing off some.

I personally run Airliner Light Front and Back. The weight difference is so negligible it’s worth it IMO to have both.


Fitness feels good. Like @BCM I’m starting to dial in gear decisions. @webdev511 I’ll be racing the same tire combo, feeling great about it (assuming new course terrain isn’t drastically different from the old course). Should be fun!

Has anyone ridden any of the new sections?


I’m in this year. I did it singlespeed in 2018 and found the podium, quite by surprise and went to Leadville the year after. I recall the course being pretty fast and bing spun out a lot. Looking forward to gears and :crossed_fingers:t2: for dry conditions.

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Anyone confirm that the 99er course is mostly new except for the start and end segments?

Sure looks like a lot of gravel roads. Super tempted to bring my hard tail…

It’s a vast majority new roads aside from some parts at the start and finish.

That said, a lot of those sections that look like gravel roads on the map are actually snowmobile/atv/ski trail. The quality of those can vary drastically, all the way from nice gravel like conditions to sandy hellscapes filled with babyhead rocks to grassy bumpy slow trails. Unless someone has eyes on the course, it’s tough to say what a lot of those sections are.

This is what Lifetime says the course is. 6% single track, 9% pavement, 51% snowmobile/ski trail, 34% Forest Service Road. I’m just praying for dry conditions.

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I remember riding up in that area when my folks would rent a place up on Devil Track Lake. The snowmobile trails varied from very nice to “how in the heck am I supposed to ride this?” with the latter slowing me down so much that I became a buffet for the deer flies and mosquitos.

I did a side by side with RwGPS route and a mapping program. There are a lot of named gravel roads, but it’s also pretty easy to pick out the sections where, yeah, that’s not a road, and it isn’t on the map, nor does it show up on the satellite photos.

My temptation to bring the HT is tempered.

The 2024 athlete guide wasn’t out yesterday but today I see it.

I skimmed and nothing really jumping out at me as worth calling out though. There is a brown Leadville corral now behind white for 7:30+ finishers.

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While they often do, I don’t have any faith that the corrals stay the same for Lutsen this year. With this being almost an entirely new course, and longer, they’ll wait to see the results and decide if they need to adjust.


What was the parking like at the new start down at Superior National? Was it impossible to get into the regular lot (driving range)? Or was there a decent amount of space? Trying to decide if I should just opt for the overflow on Ski Hill road from the start. I’m coming from the north anyways.

There’s a lot of parking on site, but it was a little bit of a disaster getting out and I was stuck in a completely stopped jam for a while to even get off the property.

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Looking for a few opinions. Deadline for changing length is a week from now and I am stressed I am not ready for the full race and thing about dropping to 69. Up until this spring I had never rode more than 30 miles in my life, but at the age of 47 and just got back into mountain biking last July I had the bright idea of signing up for full race to motivate myself to train. I lost the entire month of March to an OTB resulting in a broken rib followed up by a nasty case of the flu so I am WAY behind. I have been building up miles and going for 60 this weekend, but keeping intensity low in zone 2 so only averaging 12.5-13 mph currently for long rides. I have lots of time to train so hoping to get in 100+ each week and I still have a month to go. I know riding paved trails and gravel is much different from the race so I am worried I am biting off more than I can chew. I don’t mind taking 10+ hours to complete, but I don’t want to get booted at a time cut off. Am I nuts to think I can complete this thing? Should I drop to 69?

With that pace, as long as you can keep eating and drinking, you should be just fine.

Thanks, just wasn’t sure how much slower riding the terrain is. I just hope to have some gas left in the tank for the end and enjoy the single track….mountain biker first🤙. The eating and drinking isn’t a problem, riding weight will be around 220, I know how to push food into my mouth🤣

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WTF is up w this decision for drop bags so late in the race AND outside support is not allowed except the designated spectator area which is just as late in the race. Seems a bunch of bollocks to me.

Yep, it’s pretty universally looked upon as a really poor choice without any context.

the ONLY reason folks have come up with is just accessibility, for outside support, but If they can get an aid station to mile 56, why not drop bags?

I wrote them essentially said “Well if you’re objective is to minimize drop bags, this is a great way to do it, because mile 78 is going to be too late for a vast majority of 99er racers.”

They can’t even make up their minds…