Jeanette Blain | News Editor | [email protected]
Photo credit: Dave Richards
UVU student Preston Yardley, racing with Team Endurance 360, came in first place in his bracket in the fifth annual Crusher in the Tushar bike race July 11, setting a record in the men’s 29 and under age group, coming in at 4:55:19.
This is Preston Yardley’s second year participating in this race. Last year, he came in fourth place, where he was voted “most crushed” because he was the guy who had the most pain induced by the race and yet still finished.
“After his first race he was so exhausted that he said, ‘That’s the toughest race I’ve ever been in and I’ll never do that again.’” Preston Yardley’s father, Al Yardley said. “30 minutes later he was asking when the next race was.”
The backcountry course, which features 70 miles of paved and unpaved roads, began in the town of Beaver, traveled through the Tushar Mountains in Fishlake National Forest and ended at the Eagle Point ski resort.
The Tushars are some of the tallest mountains in Utah, which makes this race one of the most grueling in the state.
According to tusharcrusher.com, 600 riders from around the world participated in the race, which accumulates over 10,000 in elevation gain.
Yardley said he trained up to three hours a day, mostly on the back roads of American Fork Canyon, to prepare for the race.
“I have never felt so tired but indebted and deeply connected to my body and bike, which faithfully supported me to the finish line. Somewhere I will find the determination for another run at next year’s course and reexamine the limits of my body,” Yardley said.
He plans to race the Crusher in the Tushars again next year, but said he may move up to the pro category.