The first Hit the North event of 2012 went ahead recently, despite the weather leading to cars being snowed-in and hypothermic riders, with some 300 riders turning out for what will go down as a classic event.
Here’s a report from event organiser Jason Miles:
I think we would all agree that Hit the North 3 will go down as ‘a classic.’ Despite the wet weather of recent weeks, a well-timed cold snap over the few days before the race transformed the course from what could have been a muddy hell into something fast and hugely enjoyable.
This year the main two hour race was preceded by a youth race – 40 minutes of 22 young riders battling on a shorter version of the big course, eventually being won in impressive style by Billy Harding (Paul Milnes Bradford) and Martha Gill (Bolton Hotwheels).
A record entry number for the seniors/vets race meant that the start had to be relocated to the foot of a kilometre long climb to spread riders out as best we could. This caused many to quickly realise that behind the laid-back vibe of HTN, lies an unforgiving, painful side…
Almost 300 riders rode lap after lap of the 4 mile, not-all-rideable course. Some rode fast, some not-so-fast. Some rode as many laps as possible, some lurked in the bushes near the end. All seemed to love the course though. The usual top-drawer brass band and catering crew were there and a samba band greeted those who had conquered our trademark unrideable climb. We hope the band encouraged riders to push harder with a slice of very much contrasting Rio carnival.
At the front, the win was eventually claimed by 2011 winner Ian Taylor (Craven Energy), with 2010 ladies’ winner Jenn Hopkins (Singletrack Magazine) claiming the top spot. The vets’ race was won by Adrian Lawrence (Bglobal) and Eleanor Underhill (Weaver Valley CC).
A late snowfall gave the last couple of laps an epic feel, but also caused some big problems with cars stuck in our car park (which lies at the bottom of a hill) resulting in a frantic search for shovels and grit.
Understandably riders also disappeared quickly after the end of the race rather than stand around in the sub-zero temperatures, so we didn’t have chance to hand out prizes or to say our ‘thank-yous.’…so here are all the thanks and acknowledgements that we wanted to say at the end but didn’t have chance to because of the pesky weather…
Thanks to all of our sponsors and helpers, without whom this race wouldn’t happen, including Endura, Hope Technology, Uncle Joes Mint Balls, IMBA, On-One, Team JMC, Voith, Bury Council, The Forestry Commission, Buff, Mount Zoom, Cookson Cycles, British Cycling, Giddy Kipper Catering, Manchester Medical Services, Singletrack Magazine (for letting us abuse their forum), Sedgley Park RUFC, Debbie and Kath for making the edible trophies (which we didn’t get chance to hand out so we ate them), Brant and the Unfeasibly Large Rubber Inbred Man, Nigel and the St Mary’s Samba Band, Radcliffe Brass Band, Stand Pre-School Nursery, Simon ‘Mr Sparkle’ Fox, Tony Craig, all of our fantastic marshals, Louise Gore for the lap counting and results, Paddy Hill, Jenny Gretton, Our Michael and Beth, everyone who took photos and made videos, Dave Powell, Phil Simcock, Budge, Wayne Farrell, Andy Smith, Simon Davenport, Andrew Moore, everyone else who turned up early and stayed late to help and everyone else who entered the race and has supported us in the past. We love you all.
See you at Hit the North 4.
Full results here http://www.hitthenorth.net/news/results-2/