Mountain Mayhem® 2019 is the longest running 24hr mountain bike endurance event in the world, kicks off this weekend – the magnificent Marston Lodge in rural Northamptonshire. Riders will be arriving today ready for the 12pm race start on Saturday, may the weather gods smile on them.....
The new location
Marston Lodge is a privately owned 700 acre arable and livestock farm with 100 acres of woodland, uniquely with very significant historic importance in British history extending back hundreds of years. Original fortifications were built by Celtic tribes, the Coritani and Catuvellauni, as the Welland Valley on which Marston Lodge is situated, formed the border.
The highest point of Marston Lodge land is Moot Hill, 188 metres above sea level. ‘Moot’ means ‘meeting place’ and this hilltop was hugely important in medieval Britain. In the woods there are earth ditches and ramparts still clearly visible today which are the remains of a Norman Motte and Bailey castle.
Perhaps the most exciting thing of all in Marston Lodge history is that the decisive and most fierce battle of the English Civil War, the Battle of Naseby, was fought on Marston Lodge land. It is here that the Cavaliers finally lost the Battle to the Roundheads. Many Cavaliers and camp followers were slaughtered at Marston Lodge, and there are several local ghost stories, legends and even reported sightings, including that of ghostly female Irish camp followers whose faces were slashed with swords.
Mountain Mayhem® is good at ‘firsts’: first ever 24hr mountain bike race in Europe; first (and only) ever mountain bike race to cross a major UK motorway (M5 when in Sandwell in the West Midlands) and now perhaps the first ever mountain bike race with ghostly sightings of Roundheads and Cavaliers?? Or maybe it is just your eyes playing tricks in the middle of the night in the woods...
“We’re so excited about Mountain Mayhem® 2019. We’re excited about the venue, we’re excited about the location which will make it easy for so many to access, we’re excited about the history of Marston Lodge, but more than anything we are excited about the riding. There is so much potential at Marston Lodge on virgin mountain bike territory, with climbs, singletrack and spectacular woodland, plus all the plans we have for everyone at the event. Not only for the riders, but their families and supporters too. Think Friday night party, entertainment on Saturday plus loads of activities for the kids and adults alike. We can’t wait. It’s such fun planning it all” said Jill Greenfield, director of Pacific Edge Events, owners and operators of Mountain Mayhem®
Entries for the race are still showing as open on the event website but click through and there's no entry information or options suggesting that the race is full to capacity.
Aside from the 24hr main team/solo event, there will also be a completely new two stage race - 6 of One/Half Dozen of the Other. This involves racing for six hours on Saturday and six hours on Sunday giving riders time to chill in between. There are two categories in the 6 of One/Half Dozen of the Other two stage race:
Open (teams of up to 3)
E-bike (teams of up to 3)
“We know there are riders out there that would love the opportunity to ride their E-bike at Mountain Mayhem. We think the time is right to give them the chance to do just that. We believe that the 6 of One/Half Dozen of the Other two stage race is just the ticket for a first outing at Mayhem.” said Alex McNicol, course designer.
Alex also explained about the new rules: “Essentially there are two main changes. The first is that you can now ride from age 14. The second, and biggest change is in the type of bike permitted: there are no restrictions. Riders need to understand that this is a mountain bike race with a course designed specifically for mountain bikes. That said, if you want to ride a BMX we’re not going to stop you!! The one exception is E-bikes: they are only allowed in the 6 of One/Half Dozen of the Other two stage race”
Good luck to all those racing!
You might also like: