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210 Mile Race Details

The Coast to Coast gravel grinder, presented by Salsa Cycles, will not be known for its gravel, ironically, but for everything that’s NOT gravel – the forest roads, the two-tracks, the snowmobile trails. We’re not in Kansas anymore. Much of the second half of the course is heavily forested, closed in, constantly changing. It’s a 100% rideable, challenging, roller coaster ride. Set your eyes on the glorious sunset over Lake Michigan or ride into the night to get to the finish line on time.

  • Date: May 12, 2018
  • Start: Saginaw Bay, between Standish and Au Gres
  • Finish: Stearns Park, Ludington (21 hour cut-off)
  • Distance: Currently 209 miles but subject to small change
  • Cap: likely 700 male riders (no cap for female riders)

Course Design
Matt Acker, co-course designer, who knows Michigan’s gravel roads and gravel racing better than anyone, and I have teamed up to create a course you will be sure to love, With his gravel experience and our experience putting on 40 races since 2011, this is sure to be a memorable, dialed-in adventure.

The course is highlighted by blistering fast gravel and challenging, scenic two-tracks, seasonal roads and snowmobile trails. See the Route page and this blog post for details and check out the amazing scouting photos.

You’ll never forget racing westward toward the amazing sunset over Lake Michigan. Lots of great gravel races out there but none has a Lake Michigan sunset as the goal. Finish your race in one of the great outdoor towns in the country, Ludington, touching the waters of Lake Michigan and completing your amazing adventure.

I arrive at the finish a better person. – Rebecca Rusch, world champion mountain biker (and gravel road lover)

Ludington provides an ideal finish town for venues, lodging, breweries and love for the outdoors. If you aren’t too far away, your support team can get you home for Mother’s Day celebrations without even needing lodging, although staying at the Holiday Inn next to our HQ/awards center would be a well-deserved reward!

What Do I Get?
In addition to a first-ever 90+% gravel crossing of the State of Michigan, all 209-mile registrants will receive your choice of the race shirt or socks. Shirt is men’s fit/crew or women’s fit/scoop, 65% poly/35% cotton. The first 400 registrants (either race) will receive a Salsa/C2C water bottle (high quality Specialized brand).

Check out the finisher awards and top finisher prizes here.

Support Crew

  • You must have a support crew in your general vicinity throughout the race. They do NOT need to be present when you arrive at the three checkpoints. Why a support crew? Let’s say there’s unexpected severe weather and 50-100 bikers need to quickly be removed from a dangerous situation. Or it’s a day of record heat and 30 bikers need to drop out. How do they get to Ludington? That’s the job of the support crews.
  • We will have a sweeper vehicle to close down checkpoints as all racers get through them but that vehicle will not be picking up racers unless a major emergency where the support crew is not present.
  • A support crew can support up to three racers, provided they have room for those racers and their bikes. Our recommendation is that racers be of performance levels at least somewhat similar with each other so the crew can stay in close proximity to all.
  • We are open to other arrangements for teams that have vans and trailers and can support additional riders.
  • You’ll likely drive together to the check-in and start so that no vehicles will be left at the start, but it’s not required.
  • Support crew must be with you at the pre-race meeting Friday evening. Exceptions may be allowed as long as the support crew connects with race organizers in advance regarding logistics, rules, etc.
  • Your crew must use different routes than the official race course. If they reach you in between checkpoints for any reason, you will be required to drop out of the race. If you are able and safe, you must make it to the next (or previous) checkpoint to receive aid or seek it from another racer or someone along the course (unplanned).
  • You are allowed to check in at checkpoints without your support crew and re-supply at convenience stores, gas stations, etc. in checkpoint towns or anywhere else, as long as you return to the point at which you exited the course to access aid.
  • Your support team should meet you at the Lake Michigan shore and celebrate with you as you touch the water of a Great Lake for the second time that day, under your own power.
  • For additional information, consult the Rules page.

Endurance is all about heart. — Bear Grylls

Two-Person Relay
If you’d like to experience the crossing of Michigan with a friend, you can each bike half of the route and drive the support vehicle the other half (keep in mind support vehicle can only meet rider at each checkpoint). You must switch at a checkpoint and you must each do two of the four sections. Prizes will be based on number of entrants in this division. All relay finishers will receive a custom C2C-Salsa finisher’s top cap and “100” window sticker.

Route Finding

  • Course directions are via gpx file (Garmin, Strava, etc.) and cue sheets. ALL riders must have at least cue sheets.
  • There will NOT be signs on the course. See the Route page for details.

Schedule (tentative)

Friday, May 11
Check-in, Big Bend Campground, Standish (Lake Huron side): 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Pre-race Pizza Dinner & Meeting, Big Bend Campground: 7:30 pm

Saturday, May 12
Final Race Announcements, 2929 S Hale Rd (3 miles south of Big Bend): 5:45 am
Start, Saginaw Bay channel, 2929 S Hale, 6:12 am (sunrise). Back-up start location is Big Bend Campground.
Checkpoint #1 (Gladwin) Cut-off: TBD
Checkpoint #2 (Marion) Cut-off: TBD
Checkpoint #3 (Dublin) Cut-off: TBD
Sunset Award Cut-off: 9:02 pm
Awards Ceremony: 10:15 (after sunset is complete)
Cut-off, Stearns Park Beach, Ludington: 3:12 am Sunday  (21 hours; 10.3 mph average)

Check-in (and Recommended Friday Night Lodging)
Big Bend Family Campground
513 Conrad Rd, Standish, MI 48658

  • $10 per night for group tenting area
  • $32 per night for sites with electric
  • Email or call Big Bend to reserve a spot
  • You may lodge anywhere you’d like as long as you attend the pre-race meeting in person with your crew.
  • Search here for other Standish (west of check-in) and Au Gres (east of check-in) lodging options.

Start

  • 2929 S Hale Rd, Standish, MI 48658
  • You will start this race while touching Lake Huron and you will finish this race by touching Lake Michigan. That pretty much HAS to be the case, right?
  • Sunrise is 6:12 am so make sure you have your front and rear lights on.
  • Average temperature at the start: 45 degrees

Finish

  • Stearns Park Beach, Ludington
  • Touch Lake Michigan to finish your quest.
  • Sunset is at 9:02; a good goal to shoot for! We will welcome you with a hearty congrats, food and drink if the concession stand is closed.
  • Average temperature at the finish: 60-65 degrees (depending on finish time)

Lodging

  • Saturday night stay at the convenient, top-rated Holiday Inn Ludington connected to the Greystone Convention Center where we’ll do awards and post-race wrap-up. Please let them know that you are with Coast to Coast. We get money back toward the $3,000 convention center cost if you stay there, which helps us keep your entry fees low next year.
  • Discounted 2-queen room rate: $110.46 (24 hour cancellation unlike nonrefundable online rate)
  • Free Breakfast Bar, Indoor Heated Pool, Jacuzzi, Fitness Room, Guest
    Laundry, High Speed Internet.
  • If you have friends or family who will stay in Ludington to cheer your finish, they can take advantage of the Holiday Inn Friday night discounted rate of $116.96.
  • If you don’t have transportation to the start/finish line, we recommend the Ludington Pier House Motel, which sponsors our adventure races in Ludington. It’s a 30 second bike ride from the start/finish.

Official Checkpoint/Support Crew Locations (Riders’ Guide to be provided)
Checkpoint #1 Gladwin High School
Mile: 53
Cut-off: TBD
Amenities: bathrooms and water.
Off-site amenities: Convenience stores in Gladwin and the Cedar River Party Store at mile

Checkpoint #2 Marion Elementary School
Mile: 103
Cut-off: TBD
Amenities: bathrooms and water.
Off-site amenities: Convenience stores/gas stations in town

Checkpoint #3 Dublin gas station, Dublin General Store
Mile: 163
Cut-off: TBD
Amenities: convenience store goodies, bathrooms, water, jerky

Merchandise
Extra Coast to Coast shirts, barrell mugs, stickers, etc. will be available for purchase online as well as Friday and Saturday evening on race weekends.

Coast Loop option (100 miles)
See the separate 100 Miles Race Details page in the menu above.

Weather

  • Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the event in the case of extended severe weather or any emergency situation.
  • We will do everything possible to get the event in, but refunds are not available if it is cancelled due to significant costs we must pay in advance of the race. In all likelihood, we would adjust start and finish times to dodge bad weather. If you encounter severe weather during your ride, definitely seek shelter!

Open Facebook Page
Check out our Facebook informational page for more general ride communication from the organizers.

Closed Facebook Group
Forum to connect with other riders, seek support crew, transportation to/from the start, and to have questions answered from veteran endurance riders.

Consider using #C2C and #C2C2018 tags for photos, posts, and tweets on social media.

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