Telluride Locals have strong showing in inaugural Telluride 100 trail race…
TELLURIDE – Three days after the Telluride 100 mountain bike race and 7th overall finisher Telluride local Jason Gordon is walking tall.
“I feel surprisingly good,” he said in a recent interview. “My body is tired, but I am not too incredibly sore.”
A 7th overall finish in Gordon’s first-ever 100 mile mountain bike race also snagged him a 2nd place finish in the Men’s 40+, far surpassing his goal “to just survive and finish.”
With a time of 9:10:50, 40-year-old Gordon finished the race less than an hour behind another Telluride local, endurance athlete and Leadville 100 veteran Ricky Willis, who came in at a blazing 8:17:18, placing 3rd overall.
Willis was a mere 24 minutes off the leader, Yuki Ikeda, who won with a time of 7:53:20.
Other notable Telluride finishers included John Haggerty, coming in 14th overall with a time of 10:22:06; Jake McTigue, placing 11th overall at 9:39:27 and Jesse Johnson rolling in at 9th in the 40+ Men’s category with a time of 11:25:12.
Gordon described the race as “a really friendly race,” which he signed up for after being contacted by Telluride high school friends who wanted to do the race together.
Gordon also emphasized the importance of the support he received from locals and bike enthusiasts at points throughout the race.
Of the bacon station setup by Bootdoctor employees in the wee hours of the morning at the top of Ophir Pass, Gordon said that while bacon isn’t his number one choice in race-fuel, “it was really inspiring to have people cheering us on at the top of that climb, really encouraging.”
“It is that kind of support that keeps you motivated when you feel like you’re going to die,” he said.
Gordon commended race organizers for designing a great course and for placing stations for hydration and electrolytes at key points throughout the course.
When asked what the hardest part of the race was, Gordon neglected to pinpoint any one particular segment.
“Black Bear Pass was hard because there are sections that are not rideable, so you have to hike your bike over scree and rocks and around cliffs,” he said. “But that part of the race was early, when you have all your strength.
“The road to Hastings, a dirt road just after Sawpit, was only 2.5 miles, but it is straight up in intense sunlight after riding 75 miles. At that point it felt like a brick wall.”
Despite the difficulties, Gordon counts himself fortunate for having some good old-fashioned luck, in addition to a sound race-day strategy that emphasized hydration and nutrition.
“I was continually trying to drink and eat,” he says, “and I had zero mechanical issues. I am really grateful that I was able to have a smooth ride without flatting, crashing or any mechanical problems.”
Would he do it again?
“I did so well this time I thought about giving my bike away at the finish line” he said with a laugh. But, he joked, “Maybe I’ll forget what it felt like and sign up again next year.”
Joking aside, Gordon would consider doing the race again if he can make time. “It’s a huge time commitment, just with the training and getting in shape enough to do a 100 mile ride,” he said.
Overall, though, he believes the massive effort was well worth it.
“If you’re able to finish that race, it’s a huge accomplishment, regardless of the time,” he said. “Even after all the pain, I was smiling when I was coming up Last Dollar Road towards the finish.”
Who wouldn’t want to do that again?