Home Forums Bike Forum Hope MTB Marathon @ Ruthin – rider numbers in decline?

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  • Hope MTB Marathon @ Ruthin – rider numbers in decline?
  • monkeysfeet
    Free Member

    Yes indeed. My last Flintshire challenge ended just after the climb up to Nannerch. We had moved house recently, and our new neighbour threw a party which included copious amounts of home made sangria.

    I wasn’t well.

    Cycled back home, had a shower and went to sign back in at Mold sports centre.

    Happy days Indeed!! 😂

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    @monkeysfeet.

    Our paths must have crossed many times in the past.
    Used to do all the marathon events BITD.
    I can still remember the first Dyfi event there must have only been about 100 riders.
    Think we did the first ten without missing a year.

    It was the event at Builth the one year when they missed a water station that finished it off for us.
    2006ish I think.

    Scorching hot a folks dropping like flies through lack of water at the half way point.

    Only ever did the Selkirk events after that fiasco.
    John Lloyd had nothing to do with the course from Selkirk so it was actually pretty good with some interesting sections in.
    Some of which i now ride regularly as it’s now local to me.

    Just found this picture from the Cambrian in 07.
    Mrsstu doing gravel before it was a thing.😉
    2006_1001cambrianchallenge0016

    monkeysfeet
    Free Member

    Wow, it’s nice to know we’ve shared some trails. Mold /Clwyds was my old stomping ground and i was lucky to be a part of NWMBA. Made some great friends and took part in a fair few XC races prior to foot and mouth in and around the local area. Even won a trophy or two 😂😂😂

    monkeysfeet
    Free Member

    I was the first aider for a few of the Dyfi events, and I recall a really hot year with a few riders who suffered.

    There was a bike shop from Chester who had a stand, they were based at the cycling cafe at Ledsham by the mini dealers. Can’t remember the name……

    Edit… Eureka Cycles!!!!

    2
    stestu1001
    Free Member

    I’ve got a bike shop in Liverpool if you send us some posters advertising the event I’ll put them up in the shop. Ruthin isn’t too far away (I’ll be there riding it) and I reckon quite a few of the people who come in the shop would be up for entering but may not have heard about the event.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Edit… Eureka Cycles!!!!

    Haha! A real eureka moment, were you in the bath at the time? 🤟😉

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Wish it was more local, I’d be there. Maybe I need to actually try riding different locations of the uk.

    1
    Fantombiker
    Full Member

    Just an observation…with mapping apps sharing routes there is less mystique around great xc routes. If i can ride the route for free anytime, then why would i pay £45 to ride at an event with congested parking, waiting to be told when to start and a medal/t shirt i don’t want?
    A half decent band, and more a festival vibe would help add value….

    Gribs
    Full Member

    If i can ride the route for free anytime

    I’m much the same. I really don’t understand sportives either. All the events I’ve entered in the last few years have been at least partially on private trails (Boltby, Ardrock and Yorks mtb marathon)

    convert
    Full Member

    My thoughts are that back in the day when I’d have thought of entering this my bike would have been pretty suitable – because most of us road bikes that we barely softened XC bikes. Your average FS bought for FRA was 100mm front and rear maybe. Now, even though I’m a million miles from a raving enduro rider, my bike just is not ready for this event. Of course I could still ride it at an event like this, but it’s meant to be a completion and my legs alone are enough of a disadvantage without the bike relegating me to the back of the field too.

    si77
    Full Member

    I wanted to do it, but it clashed with a BMBO weekend event in the Yorkshire Dales. They will clash again this year, so I’ll have the same dilemma.

    dyls
    Full Member

    I have been doing your Welsh events for quite some time and enjoy the ‘gathering’ of it – I thought the Builth one last year was well busy. I missed last year’s Ruthin one though, as I was away on holiday.

    I also enjoyed the Dyfi Enduro before that finished – not sure what happened there but is it an option to resurrect that one?

    It looks like the youngsters today gravitate more towards enduro and ebikes and not soo much on fitness.

    I would agree though with enhancing your promotion and advertising.

    I will try and make this years Ruthin one!

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    If i can ride the route for free anytime

    I think that’s been a small but significant part of the decline of Sportives in general.

    A lot of people really value the group aspect, riding with others, the safety blanket of mechanical and medical support but there’s a fair few who’d rather nick a route and do it all for “free” (not counting that they’ll obviously need to buy their own food/drink etc).

    Many events tried getting around that by only emailing out a .gpx to registered entrants in the week before the ride (rather than making it publicly available) but that only really works for one year – once it’s up on Strava, anyone can download it.

    convert
    Full Member

    A lot of people really value the group aspect, riding with others, the safety blanket of mechanical and medical support but there’s a fair few who’d rather nick a route and do it all for “free” (not counting that they’ll obviously need to buy their own food/drink etc).

    I know this is breaking away from the thread topic and now talking about sportives but for me that group thing went from a positive appealing thing to a total turn off when organisers got greedy (or were realistic about the economics of running events) and bleated participant numbers. This happened alongside the evolution of the mamil to the point that you were sharing the roads with way too many fellow riders many of whom had not grown up in the sport and were quite frankly had terrible road craft. Dangerous to ride alongside and embarrassing to be associated with.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    This happened alongside the evolution of the mamil to the point that you were sharing the roads with way too many fellow riders many of whom had not grown up in the sport and were quite frankly had terrible road craft. Dangerous to ride alongside and embarrassing to be associated with.

    100% agree which I think is the other half of the coin around riding routes for free, on your own, anytime.

    I think it applies to off-road events as well to a degree. There are been many threads on here over the years where people have ridden a marathon/off-road sportive etc and either complained about slow riders holding them up on descents or, the flip side, complained about riders hurtling by inches away on narrow trails.

    I think a lot at beginner level get put off by the thought that everyone else is going to be super fast, on top end kit etc and so it’s difficult to get new blood into the sport (that applies for road and MTB and especially for racing rather than “just riding”).

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    and either complained about slow riders holding them up on descents or, the flip side, complained about riders hurtling by inches away on narrow trails.

    But that’s about the riders not the organisers.  Having experienced the MTB Marathon series it’s always been clear to me that the event can be “competitive” up front or ridden for enjoyment at your own pace.    You will always get outliers, I was put in hospital at the Exmoor event a few years ago by a guy who messed about jumping on a decent and unexpectedly for me landed on me at speed, but you can’t blame the organisers for that.

    Many clubs including our own (road) Easter Classic put on events where it’s quite clear that any pace is welcome to be enjoyed, but safety is paramount.   IMO if you’re a flyer and start at the back, you have no right of advancement via bullying verbal or otherwise, elbows, entitlement, complaint or such forth.   As a performance based cyclist you make you way past calmly and professional with care for those less capable/competitive, or make the effort to turn up earlier and sit on the front at the start.

    twowheels
    Free Member

    Just came to this thread via google as I’m considering doing Ruthin this year.  I have done MTB marathons on and off since around 2003.  Really enjoyed them.  Ruthin is the only one I haven’t done.  Agreed with a few comments saying the events seem to have faded a little in the social media driven era.  I was looking for a YouTube video of the trail highlights but barely saw anything recent.  This isn’t really a criticism of the organisers but I think more about how aggressively some events are marketed.

    Further comments for myself are mostly related to getting old and probably not too helpful :/

    1. The group of friends that I went with gradually drifted apart and/or stopped riding entirely.

    2. I moved to Sheffield and had my fill of good riding from the door.  Then moved to London and had no car so logistics were more challenging.  I did Minehead via train and youth hostel but it was a faff.  Did Selkirk with a rental car.  This applies to all mtb trips of course but it’s easier to organise in certain locations.

    3. I now prefer my racing shorter/faster even aside from time pressure.  On the other hand, for longer rides when I have more time, I appreciate “wilder” experiences either alone or with a much smaller group.

    4. Getting softer regarding weather and just thinking I’ll sign up up nearer the time if it’s looking dry!

    twowheels
    Free Member

    Entered…

    imnotamused
    Free Member

    I’m so pleased to see this thread getting some interaction. I’ve loved these events and really want them to continue (I’m just a customer like you). I saw how passionate the volunteers were and felt I should promote them a bit

    2
    wonnyj
    Free Member

    I just wanted to
    (i) give this good thread a bump
    and
    (ii) say how good the the Hope MTB Marathon at Builth Well was yesterday (and over the weekend). Classic, tough route with some super sweet singletrack over big hills. the tops of the hills were running surprisingly well.

    austen
    Full Member

    Sounds great, I was hoping to be there yesterday to do the short loop with my daughter (12).  Would have been a great introduction to events but an ice skating/wrist issue put paid to that.

    Maybe that’s another angle though, get the kids in!

    Will aim to get to one of the other ones.

    imnotamused
    Free Member

    Wonnyj I was there and agreed, a superb event, I’m still buzzing from it. The singletrack was defo a stand out feature! Very well attended by the looks of it.

    Austen – defo book one, they’re so friendly and work for all abilities

    stumoses
    Full Member

    Similar to many on here, I didn’t know they were still a thing.

    Over the years I have ridden many of the Merida events then it was Scott, CRC and then Hope.  I used to enjoy them, not a bad price with t shirt, pasta and well organised but not heard much of them for a number of years.  Last one I rode was in April ’18, first one in 2008 I think, possibly The Lakes and I am sure it was a tough 100k (unless my story has got embellished over the years)

    stanley
    Full Member

    Share the GPX file then :-)

    Just kidding. I fancied this but also wanted to do the Velo29 Sportive in Yorkshire (same day). Used to do all of the marathon events from about 2003-2008. Hopefully be at the Ruthin one.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Resurrecting this thread to say thanks to @p.rowland . A friend and I rode the Minehead event on Sunday and had a great time. Great route, very well organised. Nice to get a t-shirt at the end end too!

    We had entered the full distance but missed the cut off by 30 seconds which I was actually very grateful for. Will be back fitter for next years event, may try to get to Ruthin later in the year.

    edthecarpenter
    Full Member

    Old knackered xc racer here, if I can use my ebike I’ll be at Ruthin. Done these from the Schwinn 100 days.
    Great day out and often riding trails that are only accessible on the event day. :-)

    1
    abingham
    Full Member

    I was also at Minehead (the only singlespeeder I think…) and certainly concur with the above. The route was very well signed, and the logistics at the rugby club were great (loved not having to think about dinner/breakfast given I was camping). The course was brutal, it felt that if I wasn’t climbing up some double digit % grade hacking my lungs up, I was flying down rock-strewn tracks trying to hold on but avoid arm pump, with nothing inbetween! A great exposure to North Devon riding.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Singlespeed! Seriously well done. And yes, it felt like there was no flat or even slight incline on the whole course :-D

    abingham
    Full Member

    I walked quite a lot of it – definitely overgeared! Got into the front group off the start so did the first big climb without having to stop, then dropped back and rode the rest at my own pace after the group thinned out. Ended up finishing the full marathon inside the top half.

    It is a pretty relentless course – that final climb up through the woods felt like it went on forever! That descent off the top after it though was an absolute gem.

    Speshpaul
    Full Member

    “ That descent off the top after it though was an absolute gem.”

    The up side of pretty much being the lantern rouge on the 65km was that I had that descent all to myself.

    i had fun but it was savage. Glad we stopped over on Sunday night.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    There does seem to be a lack of focal point (forum, magazine, website, etc) for XC and marathon style event organisation. Can’t recall how we used to know about them all back in the day, but like many others I had no idea the Merida events still existed…

    Speshpaul
    Full Member

    It used to be the mags as I remember.
    but maybe one of the issues in spreading the word now is social media bubbles? Where you are only telling your followers your events are on.

    could STW step in with a events page? Free listings for charity events? A Fee/cross promotion for commercial events?

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