MOAB, Utah — Utah mountain bike racer Hannah Otto set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Moab’s Whole Enchilada Loop. The loop isn’t just the well known and epic 26 mile descent, it’s also the 29 mile fire road climb to the top with no shuttling involved. Otto’s time of 5:50:38 posted on October 11, 2022 beat the previous FKT of 6:46:05 set in 2017 by Slash! (on Strava).
Hannah, sponsored by Pivot and DT, worked with Competitive Cyclist to document the ride in this video that shows her preparation and the ride itself:
We caught up with Hannah and asked her some questions about the ride:
Cycling West: What made you decide to tackle the Whole Enchilada Loop?
Hannah Otto: When I first rode the Whole Enchilada trail several years ago, I absolutely fell in love. In my opinion, the trail is everything that mountain biking should be. The trail covers a wide variety of terrain from high-alpine aspen groves to desolate desert terrain. It forces a rider to constantly adapt and overcome. It takes every rider on an adventure that is sure to highlight both strengths and weaknesses. Add the climb to the top, and you add the fitness component as well. I had been dreaming of doing this FKT for a couple of years, and finally everything aligned to make it happen. My hope is that it will inspire others to go out and experience all this trail has to offer as well.
Cycling West: Have you attempted any other FKT’s?
Hannah Otto: I’ve never attempted another FKT of this magnitude before because most of my performance goals are generally set around racing. I’ve always enjoyed challenging myself on the occasional Strava QOM/KOM as a part of my training, but this was my first experience attempting an “official” FKT. I had a blast and I hope to tackle some more FKTs in the future!
Cycling West: Did you do any special preparation for the Whole Enchilada FKT?
Hannah Otto: Since I had been racing all season, I relied on all of my race experiences and training for my fitness to be high enough to tackle this challenge. My primary preparations that were specific for this FKT were planning and research oriented. I practiced the descent several times in order to dial in both my line choices and my equipment choices for this attempt.
Cycling West: Any tips for others attempting the Whole Enchilada Loop?
Hannah Otto: I think one of the most exciting things about this route is how many different variables there are to account for and consider. It seems like the planning and advice for a route like this could truly be endless. If I had to pick just one piece of advice then I would tell people that “smooth is fast.” On this type of terrain there is a tendency to want to take risks to gain a couple seconds here or there, but mistakes, crashes, and mechanics will be the slowest way to tackle this challenge. Minimizing mistakes will be the fastest way to ride.
Cycling West: What are your racing plans and goals for 2023?
Hannah Otto: In 2023 I plan to tackle the World Cup XCO Calendar with a big overarching goal of being on the Olympic team in Paris in 2024. I also plan to apply to race the Lifetime Grand Prix Series here in the United States.
8,011 feet of elevation gain
Lowest Elevation: 4,004 feet
Highest Elevation: 11,146 feet
Finishing Time: 5 hours 50 minutes and 38 seconds
Previous Fastest Known Time on this route (Male or Female): 6 hours and 47 minutes
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