by Katherine A. Roccasecca
Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra: Short Course
150 Mile Gravel Bike Race
St. Charles, Iowa
Saturday, October 29, 2016
The Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra is Sarah Cooper's creation. Successful as a road and gravel ultracyclist, she wanted to step into the role of race director as well. The headline race was 200 miles, and she offered a 150-mile version for those who couldn't fathom riding 200 miles of gravel and dirt roads but still wanted to push themselves to their own version of epic. For both courses she promised, "the best big hills, small towns, old barns, rickety bridges, and B roads that I can find."
I am primarily a mountain biker and had only ever done two 100-mile rides (one paved, one flat gravel, both last year) but bunches of 100K gravel rides. The 150-mile Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra felt epic yet possible, if I trained. I was the first to sign up when registration opened in May.