After a successful second round of the series at Llandovery, Wales, the CRC MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport is set to head to a brand new location in Marshbrook, Shropshire on July the 2nd – 3rd 2011. Here’s Mike looking back over the last event and on to the next one…
“The strong winds that made the Saturday sportive even more challenging prevailed throughout the night and not only tested the stability of the countless tents and marquees around the rugby club in Llandovery but also brought some rain to the area. During the night the ground which up to that point was bone dry got a short but heavy soaking which unfortunately turned the fast riding trails into something a little different.
Luckily when the riders lined up for the start at 10am the sun started to come out and stayed with the riders and the event throughout the day. Four different distances were on offer on the MTB Marathon – a 28km long mini marathon, a 45km long half marathon, a 70km long middle distance and an 88km long full marathon.
It had been the intention of course designer John Lloyd for quite some time to bring the event to Llandovery and its surrounding hills and going by the feedback we had at the finish line it sounds promising for this new addition to stay in the line-up for years to come. The linking road sections in the middle of the course where a welcome change in the muddy conditions out there and helped to clear the tyres as well as to get a ‘few fast miles’ under ones wheels.
Despite tough going in places some of the riders out there really pushed on resulting in an impressively fast time for the 1st short course rider of just 1hour 23min. From there onwards there was a steady flow of riders coming over the line to receive the event T-shirt till the last warrior managed to complete the long course in a time of 7hours and 16mins.
The next round is taking us again to a new location and is again a double event with a road sportive on the Saturday. The location is Marshbrook in Shropshire (to be more precise the Shropshire Hills Mountain Bike and Outdoor Pursuits Centre) and the event weekend will offer something for the roadies out there as well as for the trail enthusiasts. The event in Marshbrook will offer two sportive rides on Saturday – an 85mile long classic sportive (with approx. 2,800 meters of climbing)
and a 50mile long standard sportive (with approx. 1,700m of climbing). After the sportive the focus will turn onto the pasta party (included in the MTB Marathon entry and weekend ticket) as well as the live music (and bar) which will be based right in the centre of the event village.
Sunday will be all about riding some first class trails. Three marathon distances are available for the riders to choose from sothat everybody can find the right challenge for the day. You can find the details of the Marshbrook event on our event page and we will update the news section with some detailed course information over the next couple of weeks.
Early indications have shown that Marshbrook will be a rather busy event with entries already surpassing the Llandovery number. So if you are up for some first class MTB riding (including the longest single track descent in Shropshire, possibly in England) then make sure you get your entry in quickly.
Photos and website updates
At this event we had once more 2 photographers out on the course; our regular photographer, Jon Brooke and his colleague Mitch. Check out Jon’s website www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk where you can find your photos to view and to buy. We have also have put the finishing times up on the sportive and marathon websites.
Ernest Press Competition
As announced at the start line the guys from Ernest Press run a competition of a different kind. Phil from Ernest Press was out on his bike taking part in the half marathon and ‘picked’ a few people who deserve the £ 40 voucher of Ernest Press mountain bike guides and cycling books.
So the lucky winners are:
Number 52 – Steven Dag – for ‘caning it past Phil on a climb and then going onto ride twice my distance on his singlespeed’.
Number 3011 – Laurene Fraisse – for riding the event on her trusted CX bike.
Number 25 – Daniel Broughton – for wearing a rather natty pink raceshirt.
Number 39 – Gary Cousins – who more or less collapsed on the finish line after completing both days (long courses) but still being able to see the funny side of it all.