E100 bike race approaches
Just like the race itself, getting in applications on time to compete is a race against the clock.
Early registration for the third annual Endurance 100 Solo ends today. For applications or more information about the Aug. 26 race, visit http://www.thee100.com. Registration is $185.
The Endurance 100 Solo, the last leg of a three-race series, is a 100-mile individual mountain bike race. For those wanting something less difficult, there is also a 50-mile race and a 100k.
"People can also do a 50-mile or 100k if they don’t want to do the full 100 miles," said promoter and coordinator Boris Lyubner. "Some people want to challenge themselves to beat the time they got last year in the 50-mile. For some people it’s just an accomplishment to finish the race. It’s a challenge and that’s what people come for."
The race has been growing in size and popularity over its three-year existence. Lyubner said all three of the events are expanding. Last year, the first event, called the 12-hour Solo, had about 120 racers, while this year there were 160 racers. The second race, the Endurance 100 Team Relay, went from 140 riders to 185, up about 32 percent in attendance.
"This last race is going to be really, really big and will attract some nationally known racers," Lyubner said. "The top finisher last year was a guy who was a three-time Olympian and four-time national champion." His name is David "Tinker" Juarez and he finished the 100-mile race in 10:13.32."
All races in the Endurance 100 series are a part of the NORBA Rocky Mountain Series, while the final stage is a part of the National Ultra Endurance 100 series.
Although it is possible to win the series by racing only two of the three stages, in practice, riders need to be in all three races to win.
David Harris, from Durango, Colo., is currently in first in the men’s category, but Rich Mularski, who flies in from his Florida home for the races, is on Harris’ back tire in second.
Cyndi Schwandt, 55, won the women’s 2005 overall points total and the 12-hour Solo. Lyubner said it’s not odd to see people at Schwandt’s age performing well in endurance races. Rriders in the Endurance 100 series, Lyubner added, are generally between 35 and 50 years old.
"First of all, this event requires endurance and the older you get, to a point, the more endurance you have," he said. "But it’s also about mental strength patience. That’s why the slogan is ‘Mind Over Mountain.’ It’s not enough to just be physically fit."
In order to attract riders, Lyubner placed ads in Bicycling and Mountain Bike Magazines, two of the most highly read publications about mountain biking.
"It brings huge publicity to Park City and shows that Park City is a great place for the summer," he said.
It was the summers that helped influence Lyubner decide to launch the race.
"I’m an endurance racer myself and I was going all over the place for races and I would find the trails weren’t that good," he said. "I wondered why we didn’t do it here in Park City. I love Park City’s trails and I love it here in the summer. It was also just a personal challenge to myself."
Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Lyubner came to America in search of freedom 17 years ago. He lived in San Francisco for the first four years, where he made a nationwide name for himself as an illustrator. Wanting to move to a quieter community, he later arrived in Park City.
"I don’t need to be in the city to have clients worldwide, so I moved to Park City to enjoy life," he said. "I’ve been here now for 13 years and still illustrate for companies across the world."
When he moved to Park City, Lyubner said, he was 40 pounds heavier and a smoker. He skied in the winter, but he said it wasn’t until he picked up a bike that he fell in love with summers in the mountains.
"Mountain biking changed me. I like to ski in the winter and one summer I just decided to try biking," he said. "I started to ride and push myself every day and eventually got into racing. It’s really inspiring to do this kind of stuff."
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The Park City Ice Arena is expected to temporarily close later in 2021 to allow crews to replace the ice surface and perform other maintenance work, one of a series of projects City Hall plans to outline at an upcoming open house. It will be an in-person event.