Posted on: 31 May 2013
Event: 08 June 2013, Selkirk
On Saturday 8 June up to 100 elite cross country mountain bike racers from throughout the UK will descend on Selkirk in the Scottish Borders for the 2013 British MTB Marathon Championships.
Joining former Olympians Oli Beckingsale (Endura MTB Racing) and Nick Craig (Scott Syncros Pioneer) on the start line will be The 2012 British MTB Marathon Champion Lee Williams (Gateway Cycles), eight time winner of the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Rob Jebb (Team Hope Factory Racing) and Scottish cross country mountain bike legend Rab Wardell (Alpine Bikes Racing).
Among those fighting for the women’s title will be the 2012 British Marathon Champion, Jane Nuessli (Fischer-BMC), the 2012 World Endurance Champion, Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing Team), Amber Southern (WXC World Racing), currently ranked number one in the UK and Rachel Fenton (AW Cycles), who will be determined to go one better after her second place British Marathon Championships performance in 2012.
All of the elite riders will take on an 80 km single lap course that includes a fantastic mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads and some of the very best man-made trail centre routes at Innerleithen in their bid to claim British honours.
The British MTB Marathon Championships will be run alongside the Selkirk MTB Marathon, where as many as four hundred ‘sportive’ riders will take on one of three fully marked courses - 25km, 50km and 80km. These routes that pass through the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick will suit families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.
Course designer, Pete Laing, has been scouting new sections to freshen up the marathon courses. For those taking on the 80km course he is determined to include a few optional timed ‘Enduro’ sections (an uphill, a downhill, and one that’s a bit of both) in order to add a little more spice to those who want to race their mates and have the opportunity to claim the unofficial title of ‘King or Queen of the Hill’.
Paul McGreal of Durty Events, organisers of The 2013 British MTB Marathon Championships and the Selkirk MTB Marathon, said: “We’re really chuffed to be organising the British Championships alongside the popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon. We believe we have the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer. We are determined to provide an achievable challenge for all our riders in fantastic surroundings with a lot of fun thrown in too.”
The marathon weekend’s cycling festivities will begin on the evening of Friday 7 June when Selkirk High Street will be transformed into a traffic free street party for all the family to enjoy. There will be a number of cycling events and activities that spectators can not only watch and marvel at but also take part in too.
One of the highlights will be a Roller Racing challenge. Roller Racing is the latest cycling phenomenon to hit the UK. Two participants battle it out on a pair of custom-built rollers connected to a huge dial, with split-second-digital timing over a simulated 500m distance. They are accompanied by music, lights, an MC and baying crowds whose energy and enthusiasm builds an incredible atmosphere as they cheer on their favourite cyclists. Each race lasts 15 – 30 seconds and is as tough as you want it to be with speeds reaching 50mph and more. Roller Racing is not just for the hardened cyclists and not just for adults. Everyone is encouraged to have a go.
Another amazing spectacle for the crowds will be Urban Street Trials races from the renowned Clan mountain bike display team. Riders will race head to head over an urban obstacle course likely to include cars, pallets, cable drums and skips.
Paul McGreal added: ‘Thanks to huge support from Scottish Borders Council we’re closing Selkirk High Street from 7 until 9pm and filling it with a festival of exciting cycling related goodness: Urban Street Trials races, Roller Racing, and a portable pump track. Part spectator event, part ‘have a go’, part ‘come and enjoy the spectacle with great food and drink’. It will give the marathon riders and supporters a chance to relax, let their hair down and have some fun ahead of the challenge they are going to have to overcome.’
The British MTB Marathon Championships and the Selkirk MTB Marathon will be staged on Saturday 8 June 8 2013 and the event will be based at Selkirk Rugby Club. There is still plenty of time to enter.
Entry fees are:
British MTB Marathon Champs - £40
25/50/80km Marathon - £30. Entry on the day (subject to availability) - £35.
12-15 year olds ride for free over the 25km course but must be accompanied by a full price entry adult.