Report: Merida MTB Marathon Round 3
3rd round of the Merida Bikes MTB Powered by MBUK Marathon Series - Llanwrtyd Wells 5th July 2009
Above: Despite heavy rain in the leadup to the event, the trails held up well and attracted favourable comments from many riders. And as if further proof were need. this chap looks more than happy...
This year Merida event organiser extraordinaire John Lloyd finally managed to take the Merida Marathon series 'home' to the unofficial birthplace of mountain biking Llanwrtyd Wells. Judging by the feedback, he managed to impress the majority of riders with the fantastic riding of the area. The weather yet again did not really play ball and the heavy rain on Saturday night turned the previously bone-dry trails rather muddy in places. However all four courses held up well and offered lots of variety and fun sections for the riders to enjoy.
Above: Marathon god Nick Craig (right) just can't keep away from a muddy field full of mountain bikers
The 10am start on Sunday morning was as always a mass start affair and was blessed with warm sunshine. After a short paced section the riders pulled away from the road and entered the seemingly endless network of single and double tracks which can be found around Llanwrtyd Wells. The 1st rider on the 25km long mini marathon came over the line in a super fast 1hour 38minutes while the last riders on the full (80km) marathon made it back into the event village at 7.02pm - a gruelling 9 hours and 2 minutes on the trails.
Above: The event village, basking in glorious technicolor. Whoever you are, we love the full cycling kit/handbag combo...
With the 3rd event now being ‘done and dusted' attention now turns north, to Scotland and the Selkirk round, which has been one of the favourites since its introduction. So if you enjoyed the series so far makes sure you make your way to Selkirk. For further details on the Selkirk round go here.
Event photographer Jon Brooke and his colleague Lauris Naglins were again on site as well as on course taking pictures of pretty much everybody. So just go onto Jon's website and you can find your photos there to view or buy.