The fifth and final round of this year’s Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series powered by Mercedes Benz Vito Sport took place in Ruthin, North Wales, and we were there to capture all the action!
After a season of ups and downs on the weather front, the final round was no exception challenging the riders with wet and muddy conditions throughout the weekend. Situated on the edge of the Clwydian Range and spoiled with a varied and well-established trail network, Ruthin really did have something to offer everyone.
The Exposure Lights Big Night Out was held on the Saturday night, and added to an action packed weekend with a separate 40km course marked out. At 7.30pm with darkness setting in more than 140 riders left the event village to tackle the 42km long course – armed with handlebar and helmet lighting that turned the pitch black night almost into day.
From the start the riders followed the usual return route of the marathon, gently climbing through Bathafarn Farm and continuing to climb off-road until The Clwyd Gate Motel. The route continued off-road to the forestry on Moel Famau, where the track alternated between forest track and singletrack right through the woods, finally exiting the forestry and descending Frith Mountain.
The first rider over the line managed to finish the course in 1 hour and 53 minutes while the last one finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes.
On Sunday the flagship CRC Marathon took place, offering riders a variety of terrain including fast and flowing tracks along the open hill-tops mixed in with technical single and double tracks through the various wooded areas.
As always there were four courses on offer with the half marathon and the full distance being the most popular. The fastest rider on the 30km long mini marathon was back in an incredible time of 1 hour and 31 minutes while the last full distance rider made his way over the finish line at the Ruthin Rugby Club 7 hours and 33 minutes after the start. The challenging course conditions and weather had no impact on the fun people had during the day, and going by the endless row of smiling faces the last event of the series was another great success. You can find the finishing times on the results page.
Event photographer Jon Brooke and his colleagues were out in force during the weekend – head to their website now to view or buy the pics.
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