Marfa 100

If testing your physical endurance while taking in the majestic scenery of the southwest sounds appealing, then a trek to Marfa this weekend may be the thing to do.

The seventh running of the Marfa 100 bike race will get underway at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. El Paso time) this Saturday.

The 100K, or approximately 62-mile race will benefit The Dixon Water Foundation, which provides access to hikers, runners, students, educators and those interested in practices of environmentally and economically sound rangeland management.

The race, though relatively new, has generated some interest from bicyclists a long way from Marfa.

“Last year, we had riders from as far away as Massachusetts and South Carolina,” said race co-director Faith Gay, who shares duties with Joey Benton. “In fact, one year we had a rider from Germany who happened to be passing through and joined in on the day of the race.”

The 65 riders who competed last year helped raise over $2,000 for the cause.

“This is a remote area and we have people passing through constantly to visit the national and the state parks, as well as the works of artist Donald Judd,” Gay said. “We’re hoping that the Marfa 100 bike race will continue to grow and become another reason people visit the area on an annual basis.”

Riders of all skill levels are invited to participate in different categories.

“I love Marfa and the beauty of the area so it was a no-brainer for me when I saw the race flyer,” said El Paso biking enthusiast John Pfirman. He’s a member of Bikes Across Borders, an organization that builds and restores bikes and donates them to people in Mexico. “It’s a longer race than I usually do, but having the chance to ride through such beautiful desert scenery with the mountains in the background was something I couldn’t pass up.”

Registration for this weekend’s race, which is $100, will go on through this Friday at 7 p.m.

The fee not only covers the race, but includes an award ceremony where winners receive engraved gemstones and custom designed jerseys. There is also a post-race meal and an after party with food, drinks and live music.

“I’m really looking forward to my first Marfa 100,” Pfirman said. “I’m already planning to return next year with my family.”