The 2016 British Mountain Bike Long Race Championships were held in Ringwood Forest North on Saturday June 18th.
During the week leading up to this event, I was convinced on several occasions that an amphibious vehicle would be the choice of the competitors with it raining most days and with the Forestry Commission contractors active in the woods, many of the paths had become tracks and the tracks had become swampy extraction lanes. I had to change controls on several occasions even in the last two days after my latest visit.
On the morning of the event, the weather forecast had predicted good weather with no rain and whilst putting the controls out the tracks had dried out fairly well with only pockets of extensive mud. Even the control stakes went in without any problems. As with any event in an area with public access it was always a concern about whether we would still have all the controls at the end of the event but again luck was on our side and I can report we had no stolen or moved controls.
The event started at midday and within minutes we had a competitor coming back to the start to report he had been intercepted by a landowner, claiming we were on his land without permission, but as luck would be on our side again there were no controls in the area and it was only a route choice. So with marker pen in hand, we quickly changed the route choice and only one competitor was impeded. We have found out since that this particular householder has a history of causing problems and we did have a right of way.
After the initial problem the rest of the day ran without a hitch and althoughfinding it tough, many competitors enjoyed the courses and came back with many stories of chasing dogs, falling off and snapped chains.
At the end of the event we had two worthy winners of the overall prizes: Killian Lomas on the ‘Open Mens’, just beating Emily Benham into second place, and Charlie Somers Cox on the ‘Open Ladies’, beating newbie MTBOer Natalie Creswick. As planner I am also pleased I got the distances just about correct, with all classes finishing with a time of about 85 mins.
A big thank must go to Wimborne Orienteers who organised and ran the event for you and particular thanks to Dick who ran the SI and kept me on track, Trevor Bridle who organised the paper and permissions and helped me with putting out and collecting of controls and the tidying up at the end. But also thanks to you the competitors who travelled hundreds of miles to attend.
Results and splits are on both the BMBO website and also the WIM website:- www.wimborne-orienteers.org.uk
Please put your routes up on Routegadget:- http://www.wim.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#60