Mention the words Pisgah 111 in Juggernaut company and you will get a mixed set of reactions. Some will tell stories of a land that time forgot and root ladders that ascend into the clouds. Others will crack a wry smile and tell you of punishing climbs, fast technical descents, and bottomless coolers of burritos at the finish. All will visibly cringe when recalling a finish line stunt that may prove to outweigh the greatest misdeeds against humanity that history has ever witnessed. Bottom line, the 111 is a nasty mofo.
But quite possibly the only thing nastier than the Pisgah 111 itself is having to race its little brother the Pisgah 55.5 the following day. They call it the Double Dare. Although the 55 is only half the distance, it packs more than ¾ of the climbing of the previous day’s 111. In total the two races equal over 100 miles of distance and 18,000+ feet of elevation in the unforgiving Pisgah backcountry — including back-to-back days finishing on the horrific Laurel Mountain/ Pilot Rock/ Black Mountain route of death and despair.
Guapo was asked in a pre-race interview what he thought his chances were for finishing the back to back challenges:
“It is much easier on a bike than say on a burro, or an old mining cart. I’ve got this,” he said in a voice that sounds like Tuco from the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Although there were some dark moments in the primordial forest, Guapo was able to bring glory to the ESF with bike and self physically, if not mentally, intact. Another step in the quest for King of Pisgah bragging rights.
El Guapo Results:
Day 1 – Pisgah 111K: 22nd place overall, 4th place Masters (7hr 56min)
Day 2 – Pisgah 55.5K: 13th place overall, 3rd place Masters (5hr 18min)
Editors note: Proper podium technique. El Guapo is too busy drinking beer to get out of the blackout kit.