UGG 2019 is pending park approval, stay tuned.


Performance bikeR Crown-1









Thanks for the support: CrankArm, Rouler, and Pedaler Wine and Beer and Trek Holly Park!

Course map – please do not ride into Camp Lapihio until Friday/Saturday day of the event. Camp Lapihio is a private campground within Umstead and is not publicly available for riding.  For 2018, there is a good chance we may modify the course route, stay tuned.

THIS YEAR: We are going to use chip timing tags to time your laps!

Past UGG results are here:
UGG 2017 resultsUGG 2016 resultsUGG 2015 results

Registration Pending Park Approval

Waiting List and Transferring your registration:  If you can’t make it to UGG, please email to open your spot to someone else, the Webscorer reg page also allows for us to keep a waiting list and facilitate transfers.

Location: 8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617, The race headquarters and start/finish will be located at Camp Lapihio in Umstead State Park. Follow the signs for Camp Lapihio Group Camp from the US 70 (Glenwood Avenue) Park entrance. The Camp Lapihio Group Camp is approximately 3 miles into the Park from the US 70 entrance. Camp Lapihio is a private facility within Umstead, please do not drive or bike into the campground before the day of the event.  Other groups rent the facility out throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons and expect to have privacy when they stay there.  Do not bike into Camp Lapihio until the date of UGG.

Date/Start: Sunday, the Glenwood entrance park gate will open up at 7:00 AM, we will start at 8:30 AM. UGG ends at 5:30 PM (last participant must cross the finish line by 5:30 PM to qualify as a finish).

Format: Gravel road 16.7 mile laps, bring the bike you like but get done by 5:30 PM!

Distance: 50 miles (3 laps) or 100 miles (6 laps)

Limit: Capped at 120 participants total. Registration is set up for 140 people assuming attrition.

Refunds/Transfers: We will refund you (minus $20 for processing) and you can transfer your entry to another person if you notify us by email ( a week before UGG.

Course: Entirely on the gravel roads within Umstead. DO NOT ENTER/BIKE THROUGH CAMP LAPIHIO BEFORE UGG DAY, this part of the course is very small and we as bikers can only use the camp on the actual date of UGG.  Camp Lapihio is a private campground within Umstead and groups rent out the campground expecting privacy. Please do not poach on this fire road in order to get your training in, it will not make or break your performance if you don’t ride it.  If you would like to simulate the same amount of climbing, go bike Old Reedy Creek and make the turn onto Reedy Creek Lake Trail and go up the hill to the gate and then go back. It is a nice, punchy 1/2 mile climb up and will prepare you for UGG in lieu of the Camp Lapihio road.

Food/Aid Station: You are allowed to put their own food/drink in the loop around the Camp and set up a pit area that is easily accessible from the course.  There will be food/water available at race headquarters and at an aid station on Cedar Ridge/Turkey Creek.  Post-race “real” food will also be provided.  UGG participants get a free meal but if you have family/friends coming, consider buying them a meal ticket.

POST-UGG meal will be good, we promise, however if you are a vegetarian/vegan please email at least 2 weeks prior to UGG to plan ahead.

Packet pickup:  Bib #s and waivers can be picked up at Camp Lapihio from 5-6:30 PM the Friday, the day before the event and to save yourself some time the day of UGG, you can also set up your pit area at this time.

Awards: Prizes will be given out to the top three finishers in each category. First-place category winners get a cool UGG jersey courtesy of Rouler Sportswear and a gifts cards from Performance Bike or Trek Bicycle Store! Check out the jersey:


Campground:  At the Camp, we will have access to a mess hall, restrooms, showers, running water and 40 primitive cabins. Parking in Camp Lapihio is scattered among various satellite cabin groups. Much of the parking, but not all of it, is located within 300 feet of the course. There is running water, latrines, and showers adjacent to the cabins. The Park does not allow personal tents, at any time, or RV’s at Camp Lapihio.

Parking: Parking will be throughout the four satellite cabin groups at Camp Lapihio. All non-participant vehicles may park at Power Line Parking at Camp Lapihio. The cabin groupings are 500 to 1000 feet from race headquarters, the main lodge, and the start/finish line. The race course itself winds through the four cabin groups. In some places parking will be within 100 feet of the course and others will be up to 300 feet, with some spaces substantially further. The smoother parking goes Saturday morning the better for everyone. There is no particpant, crew or spectator parking adjacent to the race headquarters building or on the park access roads!

Additional Comments: The goal is to put on a fun, yet grueling endurance event that everyone can enjoy and at the same time raise money for more singletrack in the Triangle area.   UGG is run 100% by volunteers and the money we raise from this event will go to our trail building funds.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions to make this event even better next year email me at

Thanks for joining us!


Register:  No UGG-day registration!

Categories Comments 50-mile option 100-mile option
Open Men (up to 49)



Open Men (50+)
Open Women (18-39), 40+
Must purchase by Nov. 1, 2018 Free for racers, Additional $15 S M L XL
Lunch Tickets (Family/Friends)
$10 S M L XL
 UGG Jersey
 Must purchase by Nov. 1, 2018  $50 S, M, L, XL, 2XL


84 Responses to Umstead Gravel Grinder

  1. Todd Singleton says:

    You planned a lot of this route around climbing Cedar Ridge. Are they even going to have it open then? I’ve heard from Rangers they may be permanently closing it or rebuilding it because of constant runoff.

    • RaceDirector says:

      Ranger Duke approved the route so I would expect he would have nixed the idea if that was the case, but, to be sure I’ll follow up and confirm if the route has to be changed. If it is closed, I’ll post the alternate route by August 20th.

  2. RaceDirector says:

    To transfer: send an email to with your full name and category plus change request. If you can’t make the race, please email so I can open a spot for someone on the waiting list. There will be no refunds in doing the transfer from 100 to 50 miles. If you upgrade from 50 to 100 miles, then you will have to pay the difference.

  3. […] Looking ahead: UGG: that’s the onomatopoetically appropriate acronym for the Umstead Gravel Grinder mountain bike races of 50 and 100 miles at Umstead State Park in Raleigh on Oct. 31. More info here. […]

  4. ac says:

    Does the course start by going down and up those steps?

  5. Richard Wiegert says:

    See I’m entered in the 100 mile…can I swap to 50?

  6. fritz q mallari says:

    i am on waiting list , just wandering if you already have a slot for 50 miles?

    • RaceDirector says:

      Hi, we have a lot of people on the waiting list for the 50 miler and no open slots. Think about next year!

  7. Allan Brunner says:

    I’m still on waiting list too. Did you not get my manila envelope with cash?

  8. Kriste says:

    Can you post a more detailed description of the camp, lap start /stop area. I saw someone mentioned steps. Where are the steps?

    • RaceDirector says:

      The laps start right in front of the main large cabin at Camp Lapihio. The steps are to the left of the this main cabin and will be marked with tape on Friday 10/30. They are very low steps and you can walk/run with your bike up the steps if you don’t feel comfortable pedaling up them.

  9. Eddie says:

    What kinds of food and drink will be available at the aid stations? Will there be bottles so we can grab and go, or will we need to fill our own bottles?

    • RaceDirector says:

      There will be water & Gatorade & cups available, you should plan on filling your own water bottles (or supply them to us and aid station volunteers can fill them for you) and we can transport them to the Cedar Ridge aid station before the race start (you will pass by twice in one lap) or have them ready for you near the aid station at the Campground. There will also be water at the turn-around at the ORC entrance. Food: M&Ms, trail mix, bananas, cookies, chips, peanut butter crackers, and a some energy bars.

  10. mark says:

    What food will be available at the start/finish area? Last year there was ‘real’ food from the Flying Biscuit. Will there be similar this time?

    • RaceDirector says:

      Yes, there will be real food again, lunch in the cabin! This is for the racers & volunteers. If you have extra guests, please let me know (if you didn’t already buy them a meal ticket).

  11. John Gillan says:

    Great event. Kudos to the organizers and the volunteers. I am glad I went home and got my shoes

  12. arjayhinek says:

    Thank you to the race organizers and all of the volunteers who made this a great race. I may not have done very well in the race, but I had a great time during the long long duration I was I was doing it. I have renamed Cedar Ridge “The Meat Grinder” and the top of that hill, where the “Slow” sign is for people going the other way is now “The Boneyard.” The name I have for the Graylyn trail hill is not fit to print. Cemetery Hill seems pretty apply named. Keep up the great work. Hope to get in to next year’s race.

  13. colleen says:

    There were several people taking photos. Were they official photographers? Will the photos be posted anywhere?

  14. James says:

    Awesome job from all the racers yesterday!! Couldn’t have asked for better weather either. Here are some pics I took, enjoy!

  15. Carlton Cooper says:

    I thought it was a fantastic event. I am not primarily a mountain biker but it is tough but doable. The climb of Cedar Ridge really gives the race it’s character.

  16. Liam de Paor says:

    When will you have details for the 2016 event?

    • RaceDirector says:

      Date will be set soon (by Feb. 24th), working on the permit and camp reservations. Registration will open on May 1, 2016.

  17. Old MTBer says:

    Hi all – I would like to throw one route option in the hat for UGG 2016. The route could go DOWN Cedar ridge–then at the bottom for 1/2 loop take a left on N Turkey, then on the other 1/2 take a right up S Turkey (or vs versa). Essentially, the reverse 2015 route. Just one option for democratic vote to keep it fresh and sassy.

  18. Richard Wiegert says:

    How is the course looking? Any damage or changes post-Matthew? I bet that creek is a disaster.

    • The creek was not bad at all on Wednesday. A few washouts, sand and loose gravel on the course, but I’ve seen it worse. Going down North Turkey Creek was a bit scary, almost skid off the trail a few times. The rain last night should help pack down the loose stuff though.

  19. Stephanie H. says:

    it says here that we have to purchase the jerseys by October 1st, so if I purchase a jersey now what will happen? Can I still pick it up at the race or is it too late?

    • RaceDirector says:

      You won’t be able to pick up the jersey at the event, it is a custom order so it will take 3 weeks to arrive. Will make arrangements to get it to you.

  20. One year I may actually finish this race. I’d have paid $100 for a rear derailleur cable today. Too bad Performance support pulled our before first lap ended.

    • RaceDirector says:

      I’ll have to check with Performance and other bike wrenches to see what they can do for us next year (like do they need to have cables/hangars available!). And yes, that was a bummer, we will make an effort to get more bike support available next year. And have a basket of inner tubes on hand.

      • Not Performances fault I didn’t check my elderly cables for wear. Shifter was damaged anyway, perfect excuse to upgrade to 11 speed! It was an excellent race regardless, well organized and perfect weather.

  21. NCKenny says:

    Thanks for putting on a great race today Sarwat. Seriously good weather too.

  22. John Gillan says:

    Anyone have any pictures?

  23. rainman says:

    Thanks to Sarwat,TORC,and all the volunteers for their hard work and for pulling this off once again. It did not look easy and I think we all sincerely appreciate your efforts.

  24. IronMensan says:

    Are there intermediate time limits for each lap?

  25. Bobby Wheeler says:

    how do we know how many people are registered for 50/100

  26. fritz mallari says:

    any update about the waitlisted for 100 miles?

  27. Sandy Miller says:

    As a friend of a competitor who would like to watch a part of the race, do you have suggestions on parking? Viewing?

    • RaceDirector says:

      Sorry, didn’t see this until after, I think the most interest part to watch would be at the bottom of Cedar Ridge. They could park on Ebenezer church rd and walk down. Or park at the Black Creek Greenway lot and walk over to spectate.

  28. Jimmy Jones says:

    As a local cyclist I was very upset when my wife came home from her run this morning and one of the riders said to her, “I don’t know why you f-ing runners have to come out during a bike race.” We both hope that the race went well and are thankful for the work the organizers have done to make it happen. We’ll likely participate in future years.

    • RaceDirector says:

      Hi, I apologize for the rude bicyclist, although I did ask people to be nice and courteous several times before the event started, not everyone adheres. If this happens in the future and you know the # the person had, please let me know so I can ban them from future UGGs.

      • Tito Craige says:

        The runners and families with dogs/strollers are probably scared to death of the speeding riders. The least we can do is be courteous and give them plenty of room to be safe. I hope the nasty cyclist is banned.

      • Jimmy Jones says:

        Thank you for the response. We live next to the park and many of our neighbors use the park in non-cycling ways. I work hard to be an ambassador to them because they can be quick to call the Park Office and advocate for banning bikes. I also have been on many start lines and am thankful that courtesy is always mentioned. Thank you again for organizing, I am sure this is not representative of everyone involved and this event goes a long way to maintaining and expanding bike access in the area.

    • RW says:

      Holy Moly…that’s awful.

  29. ac says:

    Any thoughts on reversing the course this year? So we go down Cedar Ridge instead of up it?
    I think this might be a little safer in terms of other people using the park. In that direction, on all of the sections with a lot of blind curves, North/South Turkey Creek, Corkscrew, we would be climbing and going much slower. I know it is the cyclists responsibility to ride safely, but I wonder if that might be better.

  30. D says:

    So any word on the 2018 course?

  31. advcyclist says:

    No singlespeed category? Boooo…

  32. B. Patrick Sharpe says:

    Is there a way to see your position on the waiting list?

  33. Peter Howarth says:

    Date is now December 16th (Sunday), but the notes still say Saturday in the “Date/Start” section. I’m going by the 16th date unless I hear otherwise.

  34. ac says:

    Thanks for saving the race this year. any update on the course?

    • Rick says:

      S, did I read somewhere you are considering reversing the course?

      • RaceDirector says:

        Yes, will be posting the course soon, we will go counterclockwise on Turkey Creek.

    • RaceDirector says:

      Yes, we will run the course counterclockwise on Turkey Creek and not do Cedar Ridge.

      • Rick says:

        So no creek crossing? 🙂

      • jack says:

        just doesn’t seem right to not have the creek crossing and Cedar Ridge climb…..disappointed

        • RaceDirector says:

          I hear you, in the end it will depend on how much rain we get and how high the creek is. Normally the ranger does clear the creek area and they regularly fill in the washouts.

          • jack D says:

            Certainly understand it being too deep to pass…… just don’t want it to be too easy! after all it is the Gravel Grinder yeah?
            thanks for all the hard work you guys have put in for this…… I look forward to doing my first and definitely not my last UGG

          • RaceDirector says:

            Yes! We look forward to seeing you there!

  35. Jack says:

    So what is the route for the race? Will the rangers clear the roads of debris and filling in some washouts?

    • RaceDirector says:

      going to speak to the ranger this week to find out. I think one option is to do one climb up Cedar Ridge and then go left on Reedy Creek to do Turkey-Graylyn counterclockwise. Will be scoping it out this week to check the mileage.

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