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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone here done this event? I registered for it this year in the open SS class and am curious as to how difficult it is. The info given says 4000 ft of climbing per lap (32 miles) so it doesn't sound too brutal but any input would help.
 

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it's hard

It is a hard race, if you do the whole 64, it will kick your ass. It is almost all singletrack, well not all but alot of trail, and if you don't know some of the newer trails at Hartman's where the race is held, they are in your face, no rest, tough to eat on course type stuff. But it Is some fun stuff as well, be ready to walk a bit if on a single, but if your fit and pace yourself it Will be a Blast. Jefe
 

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Hard race for the numbers. Techy and chunky...plus at that magical elevation of around 8,000 ft....so you have to watch your effort level. Climbs are all punchy.....like a swift kick in the nuts. Definitely respect the course.

Figure if you can turn 3 hr laps, you are flying!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've done the leadville SR50 three times on an ss and finished in under 6 hrs. so I hope to go about 3ish hrs. per lap. Any idea on gearing for a 26"
 

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Jeff K.--to hear a rider of your caliber say the climbs are like a "swift kick in the nuts" is a bit of an eye opener for me...I've done Laramie Enduro a couple of times in ~ 7 hours so I'm just hoping to finish a Full Growler...sounds much harder than Laramie

Read on a couple of pro's blogs about nutrition for this race and they talk about 3 bottles @ start and 3 more bottles @ beginning of 2nd loop...I assume 1 bottle goes in the cage and the other 2 in back pockets?? Is this really easier than a camelbak?...just lookin for beta on how the real racers do it..Thanx
 

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Hydration is key at 8,000 ft. I had 2 bottles on my bike.....1 bottle in my rear pocket.

2 bottles were PowerBar Endurance drink mix.
1 bottle was straight up water with a dash of ELETE.

Water was used to wash down gels and sports nutrition.

I had the same 3 bottles in my drop bag at the beginning of lap 2.

I chose to do bottles....as it works best for me.

The Growler course is either up or down...little recovery. That is what makes it hard. Here is my elevation and HR from last year....

 

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I wouldn't say that any of the Growlers climbs are all that "hard", except the start. The problem I have out at Hartman is the climbs are deceptive, you think you are setting a good pace on the false flats across the mesa, and then the climbs turn up at the top and you push it to top out and the next thing you know you have blown up 'cause you are at 8000ft, and you didn't quite realize it. Then the downhills are so fun and ripping fast you forget your recovery, and blaze down to the next climb. After the first hour I had to make a mental note to take it easy or I would not have finished. Hartman is a hard place to pace yourself, especally in a 6+hour event.
 

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For comparison, on an SS I have

- finished the Silver Rush in ~4:20 having a pretty good race
- finished the Growler in 6:28 having a pretty good race

The Silver Rush front loads all the climbing and lets you 'sprint' to the turn around. The Growler will not reward that approach, at least not for me. Your results may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Would this be Dan? I have ridden with your better half at the SR50. It sounds like the Growler is harder than the SR from the comments here. Will you be doing both this year?
 

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FerrouSS said:
Would this be Dan?
Yep

FerrouSS said:
Will you be doing both this year?
Nope. I originally thought they had priced themselves out of the market ($90) but it seems that the competing events are now on the same page. Given that we may return next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I suppose I will see you at some other CO xc events or maybe the LT100 if either of us get in. Joel
 

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I'm in the Growler and have never ridden in the area. Most of my mountain bike racing has been in the Winter Park Series. I've done the Firecracker 50, Breck 68, and Leadville 100. How does the Growler compare to those course? I would say most of the Winter Park courses are a lot of up-and-down with punchy hills. Anyone with experience in Gunnison able to compare to any of the races listed above?
 

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MultiRider said:
I'm in the Growler and have never ridden in the area. Most of my mountain bike racing has been in the Winter Park Series. I've done the Firecracker 50, Breck 68, and Leadville 100. How does the Growler compare to those course? I would say most of the Winter Park courses are a lot of up-and-down with punchy hills. Anyone with experience in Gunnison able to compare to any of the races listed above?
I've never raced Winter Park or Leadville but I've raced the other two Breck races and ridden in all of those areas. The Growler course at Hartman Rocks is nothing like any of them.

There are no long sustained climbs or descents but there are lots of them and they are steep. It is much more technical than the races you listed - lots of short tough rock problems that demand smooth handling skills. Then there are some sections of smooth flowy singletrack where you can just crank. But nothing lasts for too long in the Growler - the terrain is constantly changing and you need to transition between the sections well to succeed. Whereas the races you listed can be approached by cranking along at a steady rhythm, the Growler is more like a insane 64 mile interval workout.

EDIT: also the biggest difference is that the Growler is all sagebrush desert while the others are high mountains.

EDIT2: Some good photos of the course here: http://www.prerace.com/photos/index/7
 

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Yup, its hard.

Just for comparison, I have also done the leadville silver rush 4 times and my fastest time was 4:20ish. My fastest Growler time was 6:15 I think.
 

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Well...just got my email Monday night that I'm off the wait list and now on the starting line. Haven't done any sort of XC race since 1998 and am already anxious about this one. Likely going to do it on my Maverick ML8 or maybe my wife's Maverick Durance but sounds like over the long haul either would be better than my 29er hardtail. This thread has been helpfull. Sounds like a fun but tough course.
 

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I'm doing the Silver Rush this year, but haven't ever done it before. I did Leadville in 9:16 last year and am in similar shape now. Any guess what kind of Growler time to expect? Would a 9:16 in the LT100 translate to 6 hours at the Growler? or 7? or ?? I understand it is impossilbe to know, but a reasonable guess would be appreciated.
 

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I have raced Leadville at 8:58 and done the Growler in 6:40. If that helps at all. The race changes directions each year which keeps things interesting. Lets hope the weather settles down by then.
 
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