PRESS RELEASE: MTB Missoula / Iron Daisy Enduro
Registration is open now for the Iron Daisy Enduro, 2 days of partner-format, blind, backcountry enduro racing in Thompson Falls, Montana.
Over the July 21-22 weekend, pairs of riders will traverse 50 miles of remote singletrack, racing along ridgelines, through old burns, and under the canopy of dense forests on trails rarely ridden. With a diverse mix of technical sections, fall-line descending, and miles of pristine singletrack, these trails showcase raw Montana riding at its finest.
Miners following the Couer d’Alene gold rush left their mark on the Thompson Falls area in the names of nearby landmarks like Prospect Creek, Gold Rush Gulch, and the Iron Daisy Mine. 130-odd years later, a vast network of historical trails allow mountain bikers to make a pilgrimage of their own.
In the spirit of blind racing, the exact race courses won’t be released until the night before the event. Each day, shuttles will drop riders at the ridgetop, setting up 8,000-10,000 feet of descending and 5,000-7,000 ft climbing. Racers are timed both individually and as a team. With the dust and drama of a day’s racing behind them, riders will relax to backwoods hospitality over drinks and camping at the Wild Coyote Saloon.
The Iron Daisy is an event from MTB Missoula, a non-profit trail advocacy group in nearby Missoula, MT dedicated to stewarding public trails and advocating for mountain biking. For 10 years, MTBM’s sawyers have been logging out the winter blowdown on classic local backcountry rides. The organization is also deeply engaged in trailbuilding and recreation planning efforts near Missoula. Thompson Falls is home to a large network of rugged, remote singletrack open to bikes, and this event highlights their work to re-open these high-quality but neglected trails. 100% of race proceeds go directly toward this mission. MTB Missoula's other national-caliber events have included the Missoula Pro XCT and the 2017 Collegiate MTB National Championships.
Freehub Magazine followed along on their 2017 prep work in Thompson Falls:
Included in the entry fee are shuttles, camping, lunches on the trail, and happy hour cocktails at the finish line. Riders will breakfast and dine on their own or at the Wild Coyote, regrouping for an evening bonfire. Spirit of the Backcountry
This is a remote, backcountry race. EMS support is limited. The team format, in addition to building on the sense of camaraderie, is intended as a safety measure. Like all Montana backcountry riding, self-sufficiency is the ethos: teams are required to carry a baseline kit of emergency gear. The format is that of a standard enduro stage race but with the partner twist: each rider is timed on the special downhill stages and scored separately, but may not begin a timed segment before their partner checks into the start area, or begin the untimed transfer stages before their partner finishes their timed run. The partners' combined time will determine their placement in the team competitions.
For more information, check out the Iron Daisy website.