In 2007, a small group of locals developed a unique mountain-bike race covering the beautiful natural landscape surrounding Butte, Montana. The Butte 100 has seen substantial growth in the course of its 10-year history, and the race has been recognized in nationwide publications as, “an ultimate test of mountain biking physical and mental aptitudes.” The Butte 100 is proud to be contributing to the growing awareness of Butte, Montana as a world-class recreation city.
The entire event is named the “Butte 100,” but it now consists of three individual races: the 25, 50, and 100-mile. All races run in conjunction and support of the others, sharing portions of course, supplies, aid stations, and the start/finish area. The capable and tireless volunteers making up the Neon Army staff the trails of the “toughest mountain bike race in the country.” A constant focus of the volunteer organizers is continued improvement of the overall racer experience each year.
The 100-mile racers are the first to hit the trails and will endeavor to complete a full figure-8 course, which has them pedaling the equivalent of climbing Mt. Rainier. They, along with the 25-mile racers, will experience the desert riches awaiting them in the Bureau of Land Management’s Pipestone area. As the 100-mile racers are hammering the north portion of the “figure-8,” the 50-milers begin the daunting southern track.
The 100-milers return through the start/finish checkpoint at mile 50, before taking on the southern loop. The 50-mile course (the 100’s south loop) is best known for the notorious 6-mile Basin Creek climb that looms over the shoulders of all racers halfway through the southern loop (The first male and female in both races to the top are rewarded with King and Queen of the Mountain honors).
Those surviving this and the ensuing “8-Miles of Hell,” are greeted with a silky 35-mile stretch of single-track on the United States Forest Service maintained Continental Divide Trail – the jewel in the Butte 100’s crown. A nice downhill finish reawakens racers from their trail trance and wills them across the finish line.
In 2016, the newest addition to the Butte 100 race weekend became the Sorini-25 race. This year’s 25-mile course takes racers on the coveted south loop single track in an out-and-back format. Racers will be challenged with the gritty Blacktail descent, but rewarded with miles of single-track through Thompson Park.
Waiting for the 50 and 100 racers at the finish line is the coveted finisher’s mug, along with plenty of food, drinks, and live music. We encourage everyone– racers, families, sponsors, and friends–to hang out, take in the bluegrass jams of our local favorites, the Red Mountain Band, and exchange war-stories from the trail until the awards ceremony and raffle starting at 6:30 p.m.
All in all, the race has grown from a small group of dedicated locals on a gravel road, to world-class athletes competing on world-class trails. With outstanding partnerships with the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, community of Butte, our generous sponsors, and the “neon army” of volunteers, the Butte 100 races continue to provide the best mountain bike racing experience possible!