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Racing...races to consider this year

This year I want to return to events which challenge me on a mental as well as physical level, whilst also offering me the experience of racing on unique courses or in parts of the country where I have not raced before. During 2009 I raced in shorter cross country mountain bike races in order to increase my overall speed, as I had already proved I had good endurance in 2008 by competing in various endurance events such as the 12 hour Set 2 Rise, Bontrager TwentyFour/12 and the 75km enduro's run at the National Cross Country series. Although my speed improved during 2009 I just didn't enjoy these short cross country sprints which were based on pure power rather than the physicaland mental battle of the longer endurance events and the passion to race started to fade towards the end of the Summer.

I enjoy the endurance events more than the cross country 'sprints' as after the shorter, faster races I come away with no lasting memories, just a body racked with pain! Whereas in the longer enduro events there is a better atmosphere as you are not just racing 'arse up, head down', you have the time to appreciate the course and share some banter with your fellow racers as you race the clock round and sometimes the banter is the only thing which keeps you going and stops you getting off the bike, physically and mentally unable to continue. The body may still be racked with pain, but the many great memories of these endurance events help keep my mountain biking fresh, keep me motivated during training and hopefully coming back for more racing year after year.

January 2010
  • 17th January | Soggy Bottom Series, Round 2 | Plymouth, South West | Details
    Quality race series at possibly the finest mountain bike race venue in the country. Well supported and sponsored, plenty of different categories and prizes as well as the Bottom Border Battle to find the best rider from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

  • 24th January | Whyte Winter Series, round 3 | Norfolk, South East | Details
    Well run enduro series with an excellent course and the chance to race against the best in the country. Not to be missed!
    2009 : Fun, 3rd of 30
    2008 : 4 Hour Men, 45th of 53

February 2010
  • 20th February | Hit the North - Winter Sprinter | Manchester, North West | Details
    A 2 hour bike race around Philips Park and Waterdale.There is no restriction on the type of bike as long as it has two wheels and one rider.The course has a bit of everything. 2.8 miles of fast hardpack, woodland single track, tarmac, raised decks, steps and quite a lot of mud.

  • 21st February | Soggy Bottom Series, Round 3 | Plymouth, South West | Details
    Penultimate round of the quality race series at possibly the finest mountain bike race venue in the country. Well supported and sponsored, plenty of different categories and prizes as well as the Bottom Border Battle to find the best rider from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

  • 28th February | Whyte Winter Series, round 4 | Norfolk, South East | Details
    The final round and as I missed round two in December then I won't be missing this!
    2009: Fun, 3rd of 32
    2008: 4 Hour Men, 40th of 64

March 2010
  • ?? March | Nutcracker MTB Series | Lightwater Valley, North East | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 13th March | Midlands XC Series Round 1 | Midlands | Details
    Established and well attended race series based in the Midlands, now in its fourth year

  • 14th March | Black Park XC Race | Buckinghamshire, South | Details
    My club runs this well established cross country mountain bike race, now in its tenth year. Well run, well supported and with excellent prizes.

  • 14th March | Soggy Bottom Series, Round 4 | Plymouth, South West | Details
    Final round of the quality race series at possibly the finest mountain bike race venue in the country. Well supported and sponsored, plenty of different categories and prizes as well as the Bottom Border Battle to find the best rider from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

  • 21st March | Altura Whinlatter Mountain Bike Challenge | Lake District, North West | Details
    This enduro is a real all mountain adventure, definitely one if you are looking for a challenge. A superb course criss crossing the highest forest in England.
    2009: 172nd of 208 finishers

  • 27th/28th March | XC Nationals + Nightrider 6 | Sherwood Pines, Midlands | Details


April 2010
  • 4th April | Nutcracker MTB Series, Round 1 | Camp Hill, Bedale | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.
  • 11th April | Fully Sussed (South West) Series, Round 1 | Idless Woods, nr Truro | Details


  • 11th April | Muc Off 8 Enduro | Pippingford Park, Sussex | Details


  • 11th April | Hell of the North Cotswolds | Winchcombe, Cotswolds | Details
    This is the 26th year of the event. The first in 1984 was the brainchild of the late Pat Smith and Tim Groom who had ridden the Paris-Roubaix sportif (known as the "Hell of the North") and wanted to bring the flavour of that ride to the Cotswolds.

  • 10th/11th April | 2010 Chain Reaction Cycles Mountain Bike Marathon Series, Round 1 | Builth Wells, Wales | Details


  • 11th April | Southern XC 2010, Round 1 | Crow Hill, South | Details


  • 18th April | Midlands XC Series Round 2 | Midlands | Details
    Established and well attended race series based in the Midlands, now in its fourth year

  • 24th April | UCI World Cup XCO 1 | Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire | Details
    Grab your tickets and come and see the best of the mountain bike world fight it out in the UK. A new course has been designed and built especially for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The well drained course is just over 6.5km, climbs 184m in altitude and passes through some of the UK finest forests.

May 2010
  • 1st May | Wiggle Enduro 6 | Catton Park, South Derbyshire | Details
    Taken part in this in 2008 and 2009 and a good early season test of your endurance.
    2009: Male Fun, 53rd of 135
    2008: Male Fun, 76th 0f 131. Night Time Trial, 50th of 56.

  • 8/9th May | XC Nationals + Are You Tough Enough Enduro | Deepcut, Surrey | Details


  • 16th May | Bucks Off Road Sportive | Buckinghamshire, South | Details
    My club runs this mid season classic. Like the Black Park XC Race it is well run, well supported and with excellent prizes.

  • 16th May | Fully Sussed (South West) Series, Round 2 | Woodbury Common | Details


  • 23rd May | Southern XC 2010, Round 2 | Pippingford, Sussex | Details


  • 22nd/23rd May | 2010 Chain Reaction Cycles Mountain Bike Marathon Series, Round 2 | Builth Wells, Wales | Details


  • 23rd May | Midlands XC Series Round 3 including Midlands Championships | Midlands | Details
    Established and well attended race series based in the Midlands, now in its fourth year

  • 23rd May | Nutcracker MTB Series, Round 2 | Aske, Richmond | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 29/30th May | Set 2 Rise | Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire | Details
    I can't say enough great things about this event. It was my first 12 hour solo and I loved every pain filled minute of it. A "must enter" I'm afraid!
    2008: Solo - Men, 12th of 18

  • 29/30th May | XC Nationals + Big Welsh Weekend Enduro | Margam Park, South Wales | Details


  • 30th May | Brownbacks 2010 XC Series | Lee Quarry, Bacup, Lancashire | Details
    Rode in the first race of the 2009 series, a real technical challenge and classic grass roots XC racing!

June 2010
  • 12th June | Gisburn Dirty Dozen 12 Hour MTB Enduro | Bowland, Lancashire | Details
    Takes place in Gisburn Forest, Bowland, Lancashire which has recently undergone some serious renovation, resulting in an awesome network of single tracks through the pines and when coupled with the fast logging roads, Gisburn is one of the few remaining places yet to be discovered by the majority of the MTB world.

  • 13th June | Fully Sussed (South West) Series, Round 3 | Newnham Park, Plymouth (Including SW Champs) | Details


  • 13th June | Nutcracker MTB Series | Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 13th June | The Marin Roughride | Wales | Details
    Like the Whinlatter Challenge, this is not a race but a challenge across the stunning rolling hills of Wales. One not to be missed, a real tough event and one you'll remember for years to come.

  • 13th June | Southern XC 2010, Round 3 | Hampshire (venue to be confirmed) | Details


  • 18th/20th June | Mountain Mayhem | Eastnor Castle Deer Park, South East | Details
    Probably the most famous mountain bike race in the world now alongside La Ruta De Los Conquistadores. Original Source Mountain Mayhem is a 24 hour mountain bike endurance event for teams and soloists. From its humble beginnings back in 1998, the event has grown and developed over the years to become the biggest and best 24 hour mountain bike endurance event in the World.

  • 26/27th June | Strathpuffer Lite | Scottish Highlands | Details
    Don't know much about this one but they run a 24 hour race in January so I'd expect it to be on the tough side of lite!

  • 27th June | Brownbacks 2010 XC Series | Lee Quarry, Bacup, Lancashire | Details
    Rode in the first race of the 2009 series, a real technical challenge and classic grass roots XC racing!

July 2010
  • 3/4th July | XC Nationals + Great Yorkshire Enduro | Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire | Details


  • 3rd/4th July | 2010 Chain Reaction Cycles Mountain Bike Marathon Series, Round 3 | Grassington, Yorkshire | Details


  • 11th July | Southern XC 2010, Round 4 | Bordon (organised by my club, West Drayton MBC), Hampshire | Details


  • 24th/25th July | TwentyFour/12 | Newnham Park, Plymouth | Details
    One of the finest events in the mountain biking calendar. The venue offers space and facilities for camping all on site. The venue is perhaps England's finest with beautiful scenery, a flat arena/camping area complimented by a course that has been host to five rounds of the Cross Country World Cup in the 1990s and continues to have a superb reputation for variety and fun riding.

  • 25th July | Brownbacks 2010 XC Series | Lee Quarry, Bacup, Lancashire | Details
    Rode in the first race of the 2009 series, a real technical challenge and classic grass roots XC racing!

  • 31st/1st August | 2010 Chain Reaction Cycles Mountain Bike Marathon Series, Round 4 | Selkirk, Scotland | Details


August 2010
  • 1st August | Midlands XC Series Round 4 | Midlands | Details
    Final round of this established and well attended race series based in the Midlands, now in its fourth year

  • 7th/8th August | Sleepless in the Saddle (SITS) | Catton Park, South Derbyshire | Details
    SITS has been seen by many as the little brother of Mountain Mayhem, it's brought to you with the same enthusiasm and attention to detail but with a more relaxed and intimate feel. The event has also for many years been regarded traditionally as the end of season celebration of Cross Country racing in the UK.

  • 15th August | Fully Sussed (South West) Series, Round 4 | Abbeyford Woods, nr Okehampton | Details


  • 22nd August | Brownbacks 2010 XC Series | Lee Quarry, Bacup, Lancashire | Details
    Rode in the first race of the 2009 series, a real technical challenge and classic grass roots XC racing!

  • 22nd August | Nutcracker MTB Series, Round 4 | Fremington Edge, Swaledale | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 29th August | Gorrick 12:12 | Minley Manor, South | Details


September 2010
  • ?? September | Nutcracker MTB Series | Camp Hill, North East | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 4th September | Kielder 100 | Kielder Forest, North East | Details
    The Montane Kielder 100 is Britain's first 100 mile, single lap, off-road mountain bike race. That's right, 100 miles, not those tiny little European kilometres, and it's back for 2010! One lap of a specially designed one hundred mile endurance mountain bike race course with just one road crossing, some fire roads, some grass tracks and a surprising amount of challenging, technical singletrack.

  • 12th September | End2End Challenge, Isle of Man | Isle of Man | Details
    Your chance to ride from one end of a country to the other whilst conquering some sizeable peaks along the way. The 75km route of the Isle of Man Sleepwell Hotels End to End Challenge incorporates 1500 metres of climbing with a thrilling mixture of fast fire roads, sweeping moorland paths, country lanes and forest singletrack. You'll also experience stunning views and great support from the local spectators whilst you gain a real sense of satisfaction as you make your way from the northern most to southern most points of the island.

  • 12th September | Nutcracker MTB Series, Round 5 | Camp Hill, Bedale | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

  • 18th/19th September | 2010 Chain Reaction Cycles Mountain Bike Marathon Series, Round 5 | Ruithin, Wales | Details


  • 26th September | Brownbacks 2010 XC Series | Lee Quarry, Bacup, Lancashire | Details
    Rode in the first race of the 2009 series, a real technical challenge and classic grass roots XC racing!

October 2010
  • 2nd October | Dusk 'til Dawn | Norfolk, South East | Details
    The classic season finale, and a real tough one at that. Superb, thoroughly enjoyable event and extremely well run...not to be under-estimated though...it may break you!

  • 9th October | Relentless 24 | Nevis Range, Fort William, Scotland | Details
    The Relentless24 will take place on the world renowned Witch's Trail and recently constructed World Championships courses in the Forestry Commission Scotland's Leanachan Forest with the event hub being based at Nevis Range, Fort William from 12 noon on Saturday 10th of October 2009.

  • 17th October | Nutcracker MTB Series | Hamsterley Forest, North East | Details
    Remember Nemba? At last the wait is over! MTB Racing has returned to the North East of England.

November 2010
December 2010



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