Full-Beam Lights Day Night Enduro
November 19th 2011 here at Innerleithen a classic enduro race was born, 2 stages raced in the afternoon’s unseasonably fantastic weather then fit the lights onto the bike and repeat all over again in the dark. For those not familiar with the enduro race format it’s somewhere between XC and downhill racing but leaning more to downhill. The idea is to cycle your XC or all mountain bike up to a designated starting point and be timed from there to the finish of that stage. Then you can make your way back to the start point of the next stage at your leisure, but not too slow as there are shut off times for each stage, then you race against the clock for that stage.
Stage one this weekend took you all the way up to the top off Plora Rig for the start of Track One. This stage is a mix of soft loamy ground with tricky roots and rocks all the way down to the last section where it gets a bit tighter through the smaller trees where your greeted with even sloppier terrain through the soft ground due to the lovely summer we’ve had this year. All credit to Rich and the crew from Innerleithen MTB who have done a great job getting this track to where it is now, be nice to get a dry spell to let it bed down a bit now though.
Stage two was a classic mix of the more flowing easier downhill tracks. Again it started up on top of Plora Rig where you headed of down towards the left hand side of the quarry on the Gold run, where you could either take a sneaky tight, steep short cut over the left side of the quarry which shaved a good 5/10 seconds or you could carry on down the trail onto the top fire road. From here you joined the Cresta Run for a bit before heading of down onto the old 39 steps trail. Soon as you hit the push up track you headed down there taking in a couple of bus stops before hitting the middle fire road where you had a 300 metre peddle along the road. From here you dropped into the 2009 national track and down through the old hole in the wall then joined up with the Cresta track again down to the arena and down the right hand side of the Bomb Hole round the bottom berms and into the finish.
With around 120 riders of all abilities entered it showed how much interest there is in this kind of racing. From ex world cup downhill racers to mere novices out to enjoy the relaxed laid back approach to this race. The racers were put into 4 categories this weekend from the young under 19’s who were among some of the fastest, to the over 40’s who weren’t so slow them selves.
First place in the U19’s went to Junior Scottish Downhill Champ and world cup rider Joe Connell with an overall time of 19 minutes and 24 seconds for the 4 stages. Second place went to Jake Hood from Peebles with a time of 19 minutes and 46 seconds, Lewis Kirkwood riding for Bicycleworks got the 3rd step on the podium with a time of 21 minutes and 31 seconds.
Next up were the women, there was 11 taking part and it was The Hub Café owner and rider Emma Guy who took the win with a time of 24 minutes and 34 seconds. Second place went to young British Cycling Team XC rider from Peebles Katy Winton who got round in 25 minutes and 25 seconds. Coming back from injury world cup XC rider Lesley Ingram riding for Glentress Riders took third place in a time of 26 minutes 18 seconds.
The over 40’s were out in force this weekend and it was Ex World Downhill racer Crawford Carrick Anderson who took the win with a time of 20 minutes and 9 seconds, this included him running down the last third of stage 2 with a punture. Second place went to Marcus Jones with a time of 20 minutes 36 seconds and third place to local engineer Phil McGrath in 21 minutes 6 seconds.
The men’s 19 – 40 category is probably looked at as the top class and it was local Peebles lad and current National 661 Enduro champion Gary Forrest riding his Orange 5 who took the win here with a time of 18 minutes dead. Second place went to Ibis rider Keith Buchan in a time of 19 minutes and 29 seconds, Dan Darwood finished in a time of 20 minutes and 5 seconds to take third place.
A big thanks to Innerleithen MTB racing for putting this event on and thanks to I-Cycles man Steve Deas for the track choices, Full Beam Lights for their support and prizes for the winners, and also bringing some of their awesome lights along for some lucky people to try out and Hope Technology for all there goodies and support.
All the photos from the day are online here at Roots and Rain