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As a sign of the booming gravel times, a new gravel race called Mammoth Tuff has been launched for September 19 in Mammoth Lakes, California. It is being put on by David Sheek and his partner Amanda Nauman.
To build the course, Sheek and Nauman drew on their years of racing gravel events across the country, and years of training and exploring the Eastern Sierra mountains.
“These are the roads I’ve trained on to prepare for some of my biggest goals and I want to share the magic and see who’s ‘tuff’ enough to join me,” said Nauman, a two-time winner of Dirty Kanza 200.
Sheek and Nauman named the event for the volcanic tuff in the Long Valley Caldera that defines gravel in the area. The caldera was formed about 760,000 years ago in a volcanic eruption from which the magma still underlies it, heating underground water and fueling hot springs the event will ride by.
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The short course is around 45 miles with 2,000 feet of climbing and will circle the caldera. The long course is around 100 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain. The route includes portions of an old stagecoach route used by miners and goes past Native American petroglyphs left by ancestors of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe.
Mammoth Tuff is partnering with the annual Oktoberfest Festival in the Village at Mammoth. As Oktoberfest includes a “Bier Mile Run” on Friday, gravel racers can join in to compete for the fastest beer mile and TUFF finisher, known as the BUFF, with the proceeds going to the Mammoth Track Club.
Sheek and Nauman said 10 percent of the race’s entry fees will go back to taking care of the land via the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Registration will open at mammothtuff.com on February 21 at 8am PST and is limited to 850 participants. Entry fees will be $75 and $180 for the respective distances.