Apr 7, 2020
On March 19th at 5:00am Mark McGraw lined up at the start line of the "unofficial" GranGravel 500 Race along with two others. The official race was cancelled due to COVID-19, but that didn't stop these guys from lining up to take on the course, the elements, and potential resupply closures at key points. The forecast called for lots of rain that would make many of the roads unrideable. Despite that Mark still was able to finish in 66 hours (2 days, 18 hours).
When he was only 80 miles from the finish I drove out to snap some pictures and cheer him on, by this time he was the last man standing and it was raining. However, I was happy to see that his spirits were high and his legs still pushing strong.
I'm bummed that I wasn't able to participate this year, but it was a joy to get to chat with Mark about his race. I learned some things that I hope I get to put into action next year.
The GranGravel 500 was created by Billy Rice. It starts and finishes in Bryan, TX (my hometown) and takes you through 500 miles of East Texas gravel, through two National Forest, and by countless country churches and cemeteries. Maybe next year I'll see you at the start line?!