What a day! Four seasons in one day and probably one of the busiest weekends in the history of the “100” events. Over 200 riders tackled Saturday’s Exposure Lights Big Night Out night marathon and almost 1,000 riders took part in the Sunday marathon.
Exposure Lights Big Night Out
The event opened its door at roughly 10am in the morning and without much warming up, the event village and registration tent quickly filled up – developing a real buzz of anticipation. Lots of riders were running around preparing themselves for the night outing, topping up lights, checking the latest in light technology at the USE stand, getting their legs spinning on one of the many Pedro’s Spin warm up rides or simply carbo-loading at the pasta party. At 7pm everybody lined up outside the main marquee to get last minute instructions, and cross their fingers for the chance to win a Merida Matts Sport 100 in the grand draw with runner up prizes from Exposure.
Then it was riding time as more than 200 riders rolled out of the White House farm and into the hills. Two short hours later all the first lights came back down the finish stretch, while the last riders got home a couple of hours after. Everybody was rewarded with a warm cup of tea come cake and with an excellent ELBNO Buff.
Spring Marathon (Sunday rides)
After a cold night the sun greeted everybody on Sunday morning, everything looked good for the long ride ahead. More than 800 riders entered the three Sunday marathon distances. The new 25km class proved popular with nearly 100 riders signing up, and at 10.30am the riders set out to tackle the new 100 series course. The weather then decided to show its hand though, and dished out four seasons in one day – warm sunshine, hail, snow, a little rain and lots of wind. But everything worked out brilliantly in the end, with loads of happy faces crossing the line.
Marathon newcomers CycleActive had a great time. They were busy all weekend leading the Pedro’s spin and running skills classes on site, while other members of the team looked after some of the less experienced 25km riders out on the course. CycleActive had lots of kids and young riders joining the classes and all the feedback was great. The guys will be back at the next marathon and would like to see more adult riders taking the opportunity to improve their skills before they head out into the hills on the Sunday rides.
Photos and website updates
Photos of all riders will be available at www.sleepmonsters.com. The MTB-Marathon website has been updated recently, keep an eye on the news in the top left hand corner.
As we said previously, the CycleActive guys looked after lots of ‘up and coming’ riders over the weekend and we are intending to improve on our offerings for families even further. There was a big increase in the number of families being around the event village but if you can think of anything else we can do to make it better please send us an email with your ideas to email@example.com and we will try to make them happen.
We mentioned at the weekend that there are still 10 places left so if the marathon bug has bitten you or you have discovered that you are actually fitter than you thought you would be why not come and join the TransWales ’06. Just go onto the website www.mtbtransuk.co.uk and download an entry.
Bad Goisern event
With Easter this weekend summer is not far away. And summer means Bad Goisern time. If you haven’t been to the ‘Merida 100 on holiday’ in your ‘marathon career’ maybe this is the year. Big mountains, clean air and thousands of other likeminded bikers from all over Europe – what a great combination. Check out the details on the event and on the accommodation deal we have organised for you on the Bad Goisern page: http://www.mtb-marathon.co.uk/events/bad_goisern.php.
Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it to the first round of the Merida 100 Series in Builth Wells, as the next one is only a few weeks away. Round 2 is in Rhayader on the 27-28th May. There are still plenty of places available but we have a limit of 1000 riders, so if you want to enter we recommend to do it soon. Simply go to www.mtb-marathon.co.uk and download an entry form…or once it is up and running simply enter on line.