Trail Break: Woodcote this weekend

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The next Trail Break Trail Ride/Navigator race weekend is coming up fast. Woodcote in Oxfordshire will play host to a waymarked ride on Saturday 1 December, with a choice of three route lengths. The routes promise “superb Chiltern Hills trails”, and all the usual Trail Break accoutrements – catering, free SiS energy drinks, route map etc – will be present and correct. Start times are between 9 and 10.30am – a wave of riders sets off every five minutes, so you can just set off when you’re ready. Bear in mind that if you opt for the long course (which’ll be about 30 miles) you’ll need to start by 9.30am.

Then on Sunday there’s the next Trail Break Navigator Race, covering the same area as the Trail Ride so that riders who did Saturday’s ride can make use of their new-found local knowledge. The event involves plotting yourself a route between checkpoints (handily pre-marked on the supplied map) that allows you to visit as many of them as possible within the 3.5 hour time limit. There’re a bunch of categories covering solos and pairs, so there should be one to suit pretty much everyone.

Trail Break’s Navigator races are as competitive as you make them – at one end of the scale it can be just a pleasant ride that’s slightly more involving than following arrows. It’s all quite serious up the front, though. By way of an example, Nick Dean (Solo Super Vet) won the previous event at Bramley by racking up 700 points out of a maximum possible 730. All the category winners were well up in the overall standings – single Men’s winner Darrell High was just 30 points behind along with Vet Team winners Pete Brown and Guy Exley.

Mark Humphrey and Nicola McLeod won the Mixed Team category (640pts, 6th overall) with the same points score as Vet Ian Cartwright (5th overall by virtue of a faster time). Iwona Szmyd won the women’s category at 9th overal, while the Men’s Team category was won by Will and Rich Kromhout.

It’s got to be a good way of giving both your legs and brain a bit of a winter workout – full details and online booking can be found at www.trailbreak.co.uk, or for more information, call 0118 976 2491. Further Trail Ride information is at http://www.trailbreak.co.uk/trail_rides/ (online booking is available), while Navigator Race details reside at http://www.trailbreak.co.uk/navigators/ (more online booking). Need more? Trail Break’s 2008 season is approaching a state of fully-plannedness – all the events are at www.trailbreak.co.uk/calendar.

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