At 206 miles, LoToJa is the longest one-day sanctioned bicycle race in America from Logan, UT to Jackson, Wyo
Layton, Utah — Over 1,000 bicyclists from across the U.S. and two countries will depart Logan, UT at dawn on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 to compete in the 29th Annual LoToJa Classic. Before sunset and over 200 miles later, they’ll cross the finish line in Wyoming at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with the magnificent Grand Teton in view.
The popular race again features 206 grueling, yet scenic miles across northeastern Utah, southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming—all of which are ridden in one day. In addition there are three mountain passes with over 10,000 vertical feet of climbing. The cyclists include racers who are competing for fame and prizes, to riders who just want to cross the finish line and live to tell the tale. The age of participants range from 13 to 74. They burn up to 15,000 calories on race day.
The current course record is 9:01:44 set in 2010 by Al Thresher of Las Vegas, NV. His average speed was nearly 23 mph. The current women’s course record of 9:44:57 is held by Jenn Halladay of Kuna, ID. She also set that record last year, and her average speed was approximately 21 mph.
“The excitement level is high and we’re looking forward to another great year for the race,” said LoToJa Race Director Brent Chambers of Epic Events. “We have cyclists coming from 36 states, some as far away as Hawaii and Massachusetts. From outside the U.S., we have riders coming from Canada and the United Kingdom.”
The LoToJa began in 1983 by two cyclists in Logan who wanted to create a bicycle race that resembled the difficulty of a one-day European spring classic like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. In that first year, nine cyclists competed and finished. Since then, LoToJa has grown into one of the nation’s premier amateur cycling races. It has also become a major fund-raiser for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections, and other medical research foundations. To date, LoToJa sponsors and participants have raised over $600,000 for these causes. In addition, the LoToJa also sponsors local fund-raising groups that assist the event.
This year’s LoToJa will feature 34 different categorized races and a non-competitive, fun ride or Gran Fondo class. Most LoToJa finishers are on their bike 10 to 12 hours—more than twice as long as a typical amateur bike race in the U.S. The LoToJa is the longest one-day bicycle race in America that is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the sport’s governing body.
The LoToJa’s 206-mile course passes through three states, plus dozens of counties, cities and towns, the largest being Logan, UT., Preston, ID., Montpelier, ID., Afton, Wyo., Alpine Junction, Wyo., and Jackson, Wyo. The event would not be possible without the cooperation and assistance it receives from businesses, civic leaders, public safety officials and community volunteers. This year’s race expects to have over 450 volunteers. Due to the mountainous and remote terrain, volunteer ham radio operators from the Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club provide race communication.
The LoToJa’s top goal is to provide a safe and competitive race for all participants, support crews and volunteers. All motorists traveling LoToJa’s route on Saturday, Sept. 10 are asked to use caution when approaching cyclists. Groups consisting of up to dozens of riders may be encountered. Motorists are asked to pass carefully and to leave a safe distance between their vehicle, cyclists and other traffic.
The 1,000-plus cyclists who compete in the event, plus their support crews, well wishers, event staff and volunteers, result in an entourage of approximately 5,000 people. Several of the communities through which the LoToJa passes organize roadside fund-raisers to capitalize on the influx of visitors. The host cities of Logan and Jackson, primarily restaurants and lodging, also enjoy a welcomed economic boost from the race.
The route of this year’s LoToJa, plus additional information about the race, are available at www.lotojaclassic.com.