Selkirk Marathon

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  • Selkirk Marathon
  • Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    I did the first one – back in – what was it, 2004 or some such. Hardtail was fine though I was a bit beaten by the end. Some rip-roaring loose descents, some (lots) of climbs.

    Premier Icon thv3
    Subscriber

    Signed up for the 50k after breaking my ribs a few weeks ago , will be doing it on a Titus Fireline (29er 120mm ht).

    Hope it’s dry

    haggis1978
    Member

    Anybody doing this? I’ve entered into the 75km. Looking for any advice possible please. Ive got a choice of 2 bikes. First one is a 29er 100mm Hardtail and the other is my old Horst Link Turner Flux with 100mm at each end.

    Anyone tell me what the majority of the terrain is like? I know it takes in part of Innerleithen and the Southern Upland Way but thats about it.

    Im leaning towards the Flux just now.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I’m doing the 50km, the profile for the 75 just looked like too much climbing to me!

    I’d do it on a hardtail if I had one just because it’s faster and lighter, but don’t have one so will be on a full sus. I’ve not done it before but have ridden sections of previous routes, there’ll be everything from tarmac to forest road to peaty singletrack to trail centre trail. I guess a full sus would be comfier over the day though.

    b r
    Member

    The difference between the 50km and 75km is a lot of climbing, so I’d go with whichever bike is the best climber.

    The descents are on the whole fast and rocky, so decent tyres/tubeless would be a good call.

    They are predicting rain for this week, but the majority of the route is toughened/rocky so I wouldn’t bother with mud tyres or the like.

    salsa
    Member

    Does anyone want an entry, 5 months training for this and then I just have crashed the bike and have concussion so can’t ride it. I’m gutted.

    Cannot get a refund so my entry for the 75 is available.

    dbcooper
    Member

    Salsa, they need marshalls, go along anyway.

    Facebook Linky to organisers post.

    Paul McG
    Member

    The organiser lurks on STW and would prefer that if places are swapped, that you at least tell me them about it 🙂

    I’m drawing up the final start lists tomorrow morning, and can change names until then. Email me. Riding under someone else’s name could cause me insurance and medical headaches.

    Looking good for the Marathon – over 500 entries, so plenty of company!. Online Entries close tonight. If there are slots left (might be a few, but not many, I’d advise entering now if you want to ride) we’ll do EOD until we’ve got no more timing chips/t-shirts left.

    Oh, and we’re covered for marshals, but thanks for spreading the word.

    Cheers

    Paul

    Paul

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    5 months training for this

    😯 , I rode 10 mins into work this morning in preparation…

    Premier Icon FraserCook
    Subscriber

    The weather looks absolutely atrocious! should be some old skool mud riding! I have done the Selkirk full distance every time I have ridden one of these mtb marathon events (Selkirk twice and Ruthin once). I am by no means a XC race whippet and haven’t done ‘training’ beyond riding my bike off-road once a week (and some running). my top tip for completing the full distance is ride nice and slow on the climbs. take it easy, its not a ‘race’. its supposed to be fun! The Selkirk really is an utterly beautiful event.

    b r
    Member

    Most of the route will be fine even if the forecast is correct, it’s hard under-wheel and I was out last night (about 5 miles away) with no probs.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    not seen mud like that for many a year! that was tough but great

    gee
    Member

    Whoever planned the race calendar for this season clearly has a sense of humour. Last weekend we were in deepest, darkest Cornwall and this weekend we are in Selkirk, Scotland. One end to the other!

    After an 8hr drive up and a bit of last minute bike fettling with new tyres and brake pads (thanks Ant!), the El Mar ti 29er was ready to go… Following the damage I found on my Light Bicycle rim last weekend the 650b Ala Carte is out of action for the time being.

    I’ve never ridden this event before and so didn’t really know what to expect in terms of pace, hills or technical features. The pace at the start was pretty high but I felt ok and was riding in a lead group of about 10-15 riders. We hit the first descent and bang – big cut in the rear tyre and quite a lot of déjà vu after last weekend… I repaired it and was making up time on other riders again. I ended up coming across a group with Mark Spratt and a few others and was starting to enjoy it a bit more. The uphills went on for ever and the descents varied between wide, rocky, muddy and rutted doubletrack to amazing technical Singletrack that I much preferred. There’s something about those slithery tracks that I just can’t stand. Bit of a mental block I think. However, just as I started to feel better again ‘hisssss’ and I had a pinch flat. No problem I thought, I’ll just fit the spare tube I picked up at the first feed station. But it wasn’t to be as helpfully the spares provided (which was really nice of them to do so) were Schrader valve and so were never going to fit in my rims. Genius. Cue a nice run down one of the few fun trails to the third feed zone.

    John, who was doing a top job as usual in handing up bottles, said it was the closest he’s seen me to quitting a race. Thankfully Ickle Paul found me a tube that fitted and I carried on again, having stopped to enjoy some of the cake and Haribo on offer at the yummy feed station. By this point I really didn’t care about the result so tucked into the cakes!

    I rode the final section in a pretty bad mood, not enjoying the endless climbing and descending on open moorland through the occasional swamp. Apparently the course is a lot better in the dry! The final descent claimed another rear tube, so again I stopped and repaired it, only to have the valve core unscrew when I removed the mini pump. I begged a gas canister from another rider and rode the last couple of miles to the finish – which was a bit of a surprise as I only had 46 miles on my garmin. For a race billed as 85km that’s a bit short.

    Despite not really enjoying the course and obviously having a terrible race, it’s an event I’d go back to as it’s a very challenging lap and it makes a nice change from riding in 8mile circles at other enduros. Also I’d feel a lot more comfortable knowing the climbs and descents. As I was just bumbling along, I was able to enjoy the views from the top of the final climb which were epic.

    Onwards and upwards…

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    For a race billed as 85km that’s a bit short.

    It’s 75km not 85 on the website…

    b r
    Member

    We hit the first descent and bang – big cut in the rear tyre

    Me and a buddy were betting how many of the XC boys that would claim this year, luckily it’s smoothed out. There were also loads of folk mending punctures on the final descent too.

    Had cramp this year, so struggled on a couple of the hills – but never seen Stoney Knowe this muddy.

    gee
    Member

    The Champs race was billed as 85km I think?

    Not sure why XC boys would suffer more… I was running Snakeskin Ralphs and just bottomed out the tyre on a rock. Bad luck 🙁 clearly Enduro types would have been immune?

    GB

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    yeah I had bad cramp today from about half way, bit odd

    saw lots with punctures too, no idea why people don’t go tubeless

    gee
    Member

    I was tubeless… A sharp rock put a big cut in the tyre. One of the subsequent flats was a pinch, the other was another big cut.

    Premier Icon jwr
    Subscriber

    We saw some of the racers making their way across Minch Moor yesterday. Looked pretty brutal – quite a few thousand yard stares in evidence!

    Premier Icon wonny j
    Subscriber

    Last weekend we were in deepest, darkest Cornwall and this weekend we are in Selkirk, Scotland. One end to the other!

    To be fair you could drive north for another 6 hours and still not be at the top of Scotland

    b r
    Member

    Not sure why XC boys would suffer more… I was running Snakeskin Ralphs and just bottomed out the tyre on a rock. Bad luck clearly Enduro types would have been immune?

    I live here, and riding at racing speeds on descents such as ‘Sheep Encounter’, ‘3B Enduro’ is brutal on equipment/tyres. Consequently most of us run stronger (heavier) tyres as a rule, especially the front. Far heavier than you’d run elsewhere.

    To give you an idea, my HT has gained nearly 4lbs in the 2 years we’ve lived here. Heavier tyres, bigger rotors, dropper and destroying components so much I now buy XT rather than XTR.

    xc-steve
    Member

    Was a great race I enjoyed it despite loosing my water bottle on the first decent and not picking my next one up till feed zone 2! Que feeling pretty drunk whilst descending until rehydration finally kicked back in on the final descent of the day and I started feeling normal again.

    Amazing views and I loved that climb up to the first timed dh section through the lush green forest amazing!

    b r
    Member

    3hr 44min for 75k (just over 2300m of climbing) – madness 😯

    gee
    Member

    Which tyres do you run then?

    scottyroyal
    Member

    After 3 punctures in 3 races earlier in the season I’ve ended up ‘racing’ on the same tyres I ride in the lakes, if they survive there they’ll survive anywhere.

    maxxis ardent front, cross mark rear, both EXC TL ready. Heavier and a bit slower rolling than Ralph’s etc but I figure you make the time back if you don’t puncture. Did me proud at Dyfi and Selkirk.

    Will prob switch the front to an Ardent Race for XC stuff.

    gee – figured you’d punctured a couple of times after you came past twice, then saw you for the third one at the bottom of the final descent. Gutted.

    b r
    Member

    I don’t race, just ride – so run a soft Chunky Monkey at the front and currently have an old UST Racing Ralph on the rear (replacing my normal Ardent which I wasted at Inners the other night). Tubeless at 22-25psi on Crests for a bit of extra stability.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I’ve found the EXO sidewalls good and the spesh Control sidewalls good too, without being too heavy, but then I don’t race either, I suspect the lycra crew would lol at those tyres. I’ve torn standard Schwalbes and maxxis on stones, apart from those not had a flat in about 3 years.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Awesome ride, course and organisation.

    Thats the first ‘race’ ive been to that ive ridden just for a laugh. I also didnt turn up on a short travel race bike, i took the 150mm travel Five29… over 30lbs, flows, and a 1×10 setup. Felt pretty spot on – although at the start line it felt like the most inappropriate bike to bring to a race.

    The descents were brilliant, even better for the mud and wet making them needing a bit more front end weight and confidence.

    I pushed back up the second singletrack descent to ride it again, as it was pretty awesome, off camber drifty muddy awesomeness.

    The only complaint i had was that the enduro section felt like it started about 100 feet too soon. I ended up riding into a tree somehow, still managed to knock out a pretty decent time.

    Possibly the best descent was the really slippy claggy clay twisty descent, mega fast, and a real hoot.

    I hope it batters it down with rain before the race next year as that really made it for me.

    I hope the chap who put a hole in the leg down to the bone on the enduro section got back safely, does anyone know if he did?

    And big a big clap for the girl on singlespeed doing the 50km.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    yeah the slippy singletrack descents were great, muchos sideways action. I ground to a complete stop on the yair timed bit and had to clear the mud out the bike to get the wheels turning again though!

    I saw a guy getting his leg patched on the timed section and then getting some more patching at the next feed station from mountain rescue, might be the same guy.

    b r
    Member

    And big a big clap for the girl on singlespeed doing the 50km.

    If it’s who I think it is, she did the Strathpuffer solo on it too.

    gee
    Member

    I pushed back up the second singletrack descent to ride it again, as it was pretty awesome, off camber drifty muddy awesomeness.

    Brilliant. I wish I’d have done that after I fixed my second flat as I had to run down the Inners descent!

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