Despite facing some very real and harsh realities in the lead up to race day, the 5th edition of Hit the North went ahead as planned over the weekend in Prestwich, just north of Manchester city centre. An old-school enduro lap-based race, Hit the North is all about tearing around a short race course to rack up as many laps as possible within two hours. Kind of like cyclocross racing, but actually interesting and on decent trails.
It’s no secret the north has been hammered by rain over the past few weeks, and the sodden conditions were proving to be a real headache for race organiser, Jason Miles, who was tearing his hair out over the past couple of months as he had to push back the race date from when it was originally planned. However, a glorious spring weekend greeted the 200 or so competitors who turned up for the event, and by all reports, those competitors and all their families who turned out to spectate and support had a ripping time.
Check out the post-event report from the main man himself!
Words: Jason Miles, Photos: Mike Sudder and Jo Allen.
It didn’t look like Hit the North 5 (actually the 7th or 8th Hit the North…but never mind) was going to happen. With a couple of weeks to go the date of the race was moved back a month. Some entries had to be refunded.
Half of the course we used last time was now inexplicably out-of-bounds. The car park was being filled with tree trunks and tonnes of sand. Bits of paperwork were being passed from desk to desk at the speed of a glacier. Even more of my hair was falling out.
But we got there. Still out on the course in the dark the night before, all the signs were out and the weather forecast was looking good. Not that nice weather at Hit the North seems to matter that much, it’s been awful in the past!
200 or so riders set off under blue skies and our pro-looking start line arch. The generator had conked out so we didn’t have any tunes but it didn’t matter really. What mattered was that everyone had a great race and we raised a load of cash for a local primary school, who in return provided most of the marshals (yay for the parents and teachers of St Mary’s Primary, Prestwich).
It was that good that Hit the North 6 will take place in October 2017. How good is that?
Thanks to everyone who helped out before, during and after. Don’t forget you can get HtN5 t shirts from Twisted Head here www.twisted-head.com and you can get photos from Sportsunday here www.sportsunday.co.uk
Hit the North is back. Rejoice!
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For those who’ve not seen it.
I was marshalling and snapping away at the bottom of the first downhill section.
Here’s my film…… enjoy