Season Marathon Opener: Sugar Cubed Race Recap

ICORR and Goosetown Racing, led by Race Director Mike Frasier, put together a wonderful opening marathon for mountain bike racers here in Iowa as part of the 2016 IMBCS Series at Sugar Bottom Recreation Area between North Liberty and Solon, Iowa.

What a great job they did for us to create a fantastic racing event! All of our thanks go to Mike, the volunteers, the sponsors, ICORR, and Goosetown for giving us Sugar Cubed!


This event had been in the planning for several years, with me badgering Mike to add the marathon as a category option and include it on the same day and at the same time as the well known Sugar Bottom Scramble. However, Mike kept saying that it would be difficult to come up with a workable solution on the same day or weekend. The format of using the entire trail system at Sugar Bottom, and holding the marathon event as a separate race earlier in the year before it became too hot was the final decision. This also provided the opportunity for IMBCS regulars who usually race in the shorter distance XC events a chance to try out a marathon.

The end result is we had 76 registered riders on Sunday, which set a record for attendance at an IMBCS Marathon since we began adding them a few years ago. Seventy-four of the 76 registered toed the line on a beautiful, perfect day with sunshine, no wind, and temperatures hovering in the 80–82 degrees range while one was in the sun and less in the shade.


Stats: 62 Men raced, and 12 Women raced.

Some did one lap (about 12 miles, plus the two mile prologue). Thirty-three did two laps. Twenty-eight racers did three laps. Two racers fighting for the men’s podium did four laps! That’s 50 miles those two did. In all cases, everyone got to enjoy pristine trail conditions and ride the entire trail system at Sugar Bottom in reverse direction.

Brian Eppen took top honors in the men’s field, completing four laps with a finish time of 4:46:00.


The podium for the men apparently included some sort of a requirement that one be in their thirties…



Kim Eppen took top honors in the women’s field completing 3 laps with a finish time of 4:04:30.


The Cat 1 Women’s podium had a little more age diversity and one didn’t have to be in their thirties. 😉



Again, we thank our title sponsor World of Wheels for providing the cash prizes that go to the top 3.

There was a race within a race special prize of liquid hipster fuel for those who got a taste of the Sugar on a singlespeed. The one gear podium gladly accepted the prize fuel…



Congrats to all of the winners! Full results are available here.

Some other photographs from Sunday’s Sugar Cubed.

Fifteen-year-old Ethan Jedlicka is the real deal as he came in 7th place. You will find out more about Ethan in our upcoming Spotlight featuring him.


IMBCS Advisory Board Member and website coordinator Katherine Roccasecca was  all smiles out on the trail…


Conner Dilger on his first lap…


Dave Miller navigating his way to 16th place on Sunday…


Emily Robnett picking her lines to an excellent 3rd place finish!

Although we got to ride down the famous Cyclocross Hill, there was one short steep hill that had most of us off our bikes pushing, or grunting in pain if we tried it…


Next up for IMBCS is the Summerset Shootout at Summerset State Park located between Indianola and Des Moines, Iowa. This race will include a trail run at 9:00 a.m. followed by our traditional XC mtb races.

In fact, the month of June provides us with a trio of races: the Summerset Shootout on June 4th, the Ingawanis Woodland Shredfest on June 11th, and the rescheduled Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy on June 19th. Both the Shredfest and the Frenzy will include the Marathon Category, as well as the early morning Trail Run. Something for everyone at three diverse locations and trail systems.

IMBCS would love to see everyone come out and enjoy the racing and fun on Iowa’s singletrack as well as the post race food and parties.

All photographs used in this post are courtesy of Broken Photography in Marion, IA, and Jennifer Horn-Frasier.