Guest Blog: Ally at the 661 Gravity Enduro at Kielder

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Round two of the 661 UK Gravity Enduro in Kielder came about really quickly for me, I got a new bike (Transition Covert) from the guys at UK importers Surf-Sales only a few days before the race plus we’re also straight off to Vancouver for a month of riding right after the race too, (yeah, I know, hard life!) So anyway there was lots to do.
Connecting stages provide plenty of time to chat as well as recover

We took the long drive up to Kielder mid week to check out the course and also get used to the new bikes so we had some really good fun riding on the sandy trails up there.

I have raced at Kielder before so had a good idea of the sections that would be in the race, they are really different which is great for this style of racing, some are actually quite flat and pedaly and real lung busters while others are shorter but much more technical with rock steps and rooty sections as well as an all new natural stage right out of the castle area for stage one.
The race weekend came together nicely with race organisers Steve Parr and Tally from Uplift Scotland getting all the timed special stages taped and and the transition stages signed so no one got lost!
Just like round 1 at Ae forest the rain hit us on seeding runs so things were a bit wet but there was not the carnage (much to the dismay of the crowd!) that we had a Ae. The qualifier was another hard pedaly stage and really tested everyone’s skills and fitness.
Checking out results...

We awoke to a blue sky, light breeze to keep the damm midges away and lovely sunshine. Steve had obviously booked the weather!  So the Women’s category were off at 20 second intervals early on the Sunday morning, with relatively easy times to get to the stage starts. This style of Gravity Enduro racing is also a really social style of event and great fun, you spend your transition stages between the timed ones riding and chatting to a group of riders you have probably never met before but who are all riding at around the same level (after the seeding runs), chatting about your last stage and all the mistakes you made etc.. People are really friendly and always help out if someone needs a hand with something or has run out of snacks!

The women’s category is probably even more friendly than the others as there are less in it so you get to chat with everyone, you really don’t have to be an super ace rider either, most of the more technical sections will have a ‘sneak’ or easy run round them, it will probably take longer obviously, it is still a race!  However there is lots of support and encouragement and advice from the more experienced riders too so you not on your own really which makes it a lot more fun!
Ally on maximum attack

The sun stayed out all day and the 5 stages, all about 3-6 min long came and went without any major problems for anyone but with some great racing too. Stage 5 the final one in to the finish area was a bit of a ‘killer’ after the four other stages and we were all really grateful to hear Steve cheering us on on the PA as we entered the finish arena to check out out overall times live.

The sun stayed out for the prize giving too and a host of ace prizes were given away to the winners. Everyone packed up and said their farewells as the clouds gathered for the next downpour, Steve had obviously only booked the sun till 4.30pm!
Had a really great weekend with all the girls who were racing there, congratulations to Carrie Poole in Open and Helen Gaskell in Elite Women on their category win’s and everyone else who podiumed too.
Really and looking forward to round 3 at Innerleithen on the 15th and 16th July which looks like it is going to be a bit of a toughie so the mutual support might come in handy!
If this Gravity Enduro lark sounds like fun why not get signed up and come along! Just check out the 661 Gravity Enduro site at:

Ally Campbell

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