Race Report: XC Marathon UK National Championships in Nutley

Jul 12, 2023 at 13:52
by Nick Bentley  
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Words: Nick Bentley

The National XC Marathon Championship took place this weekend at Pippingford Park, Nutley, with riders taking on a challenging 80km course filled with steep techy forestry climbs, flowy berms, open field sprints and tight singletrack descents – this course was not for the faint-hearted. With a fantastic turnout of 181 riders gridding in the National and a further 123 taking on the Vittoria marathon running alongside, the crowds were out in force, cheering on their riders.

Fresh from the XC World Cup in Val di Sole Cameron Mason wasted no time in getting back on the bike
Fresh from the XC World Cup in Val di Sole, Cameron Mason wasted no time in getting back on the bike

Isla Short didn t want to miss out on any of the action warming up in the woodland so she could watch the gridding
Isla Short didn't want to miss out on any of the action warming up in the woodland so she could watch the gridding

A slightly different look than XCO with many riders carrying bags of water and provisions to see them through the gruelling 80km race
A slightly different look than XCO with many riders carrying bags of water and provisions to see them through the gruelling 80km race

Smiles on the start line
Smiles on the start line

The calm before the storm
The calm before the storm

There was an incredible turn out of riders for this years National Marathon with a packed gridding in the men s race
There was an incredible turn out of riders for this years National Marathon, with a packed gridding in the men's race

The fastest line in the initial descent was to tuck tightly to the tree
The fastest line in the initial descent was to tuck tightly to the tree

Nick Craig rounded off an amazing XC season by taking yet another win in the Grand-Veterans field
Nick Craig rounded off an amazing XC season by taking yet another win in the Grand-Veterans field

In marathons you have to be able to multitask as demonstrated here
In marathons you have to be able to multitask as demonstrated here

The race started with a steep fire road climb giving the riders time to space out
The race started with a steep, fire road climb giving the riders time to space out

Alan Gunner had a tremendous race taking second in the veteran field
Alan Gunner had a tremendous race taking second in the veteran field

Early loading of sugar helped riders get off the mark quick
Early loading of sugar helped riders get off the mark quick

The riders crossed the arena twice during each lap crossing the Vittoria arena bridge
The course crossed the arena twice during each lap, crossing the Vittoria arena bridge

There was plenty of time to get comfortable in the pits with the lead riders completing 20km in just under an hour
There was plenty of time to get comfortable in the pits compared to XCO with the lead riders completing a 20km lap in just under an hour

The downhill singletrack gave riders a break from the gruelling climbs to enjoy the flowing berms
The downhill singletrack gave riders a break from the gruelling climbs to enjoy the flowing berms

Speed tuck into the berm
Speed tuck into the berm

Always time and energy for a bit of style
Always time (and energy) for a bit of style

The climbs were the best place to overtake
The climbs were the best place to overtake

Kim Baptista was hot on Jane Barr s back wheel for the majority of the race with Jane putting the power down in the final lap to take 7th overall and second in the veteran race with Kim following 8th overall and 6th in the senior field
Kim Baptista was hot on Jane Barr's back wheel for the majority of the race, with Jane putting the power down in the final lap to take 7th overall and second in the veteran race, with Kim following 8th overall and 6th in the senior field

Hope s Thomas Mein had a strong start leading out the pack in a two-man breakaway with Jason Bouttell in the first lap ultimately coming in fourth overall in the senior race
Hope's Thomas Mein had a strong start leading out the pack in a two-man breakaway with Jason Bouttell in the first lap, ultimately coming in fourth overall in the senior race

Putting the power down in the forest climbs
Putting the power down in the forest climbs

Coffee was in great and much needed supply this weekend
Coffee was in great (and much needed) supply this weekend

After all the kilometres in a marathon you have to concentrate every step of the way
After all the kilometres in a marathon, you have to concentrate every step of the way

Even up the climbs the riders were excited to be out
Even up the climbs the riders were excited to be out

As well as the National Championships the Vittoria MTB Marathon was running and riders were excited to take on the national level track
As well as the National Championships, the Vittoria MTB Marathon was running and riders were excited to take on the national level track

Steve Calland was consistent throughout the 80km race taking home a solid second place in the Grand Veterans field
Steve Calland was consistent throughout the 80km race, taking home a solid second place in the Grand Veterans field

It was a tough race for all
It was a tough race for all

Cameron Mason was over the moon to take the win and be crowned this years National Marathon Champion for the senior field
Cameron Mason was over the moon to take the win and be crowned this years National Marathon Champion for the senior field

Relief for Jason Bouttell taking home second in the senior field
Relief for Jason Bouttell taking home second in the senior field

Riders gave it their all on the course
Riders gave it their all on the course

A sprint finish for Dan Howe and Liam Roberts
A sprint finish for Dan Howe and Liam Roberts

with the riders crossing the line at the exact same time
with the riders crossing the line at the exact same time

James Swadling climbed his way through the break-away to take third overall in both the men s race overall and the senior race
James Swadling climbed his way through the break-away to take third overall in both the men's race overall and the senior race

There were high spirits once the race was done
There were high spirits once the race was done

Check out this shot
Check out this shot

Cameron Mason waited patiently at the finishing line to see who won the women s race
Cameron Mason waited patiently at the finishing line to see who won the women's race

Isla Short took a resounding win in the female senior category and race overall with a lead of over 3 minutes
Isla Short took a resounding win in the female senior category and race overall, with a lead of over 3 minutes

Anna Kay battled hard to take second place in the Female Senior category and race overall
Anna Kay battled hard to take second place in the Female Senior category and race overall

Riders were lucky throughout the day with the rain just starting in time for cool down
Riders were lucky throughout the day, with the rain just starting in time for cool down

Smiles all round on the finishing line
Smiles all round on the finishing line

The perfect place to catch up on the action in the final corner coming into the finishing straight
The perfect place to catch up on the action in the final corner coming into the finishing straight

Sam Humphrey took his first win of the season in the male veteran field and boy was he happy
Sam Humphrey took his first win of the season in the male veteran field, and boy was he happy!

When you find out it was a Scottish double win
When you find out it was a Scottish double win

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Member since Nov 28, 2019
245 articles

8 Comments
  • 17 0
 That's me giving it a bit of style, in the pink Pink Floyd t-shirt, baggy short and Vans. I was the fastest non race license rider there!
  • 2 0
 Good effort!
  • 5 0
 Check me out on the wheel of Isla as she crossed the line there
  • 3 0
 Looks better than the national DH event
  • 1 0
 That's not difficult.
  • 1 0
 Yep thats easy done hahahaha
  • 1 0
 Alan Gunner and Nick Craig - blast from the past names but they enviously never retired! Good on them still at it in their 40s or 50s.
  • 1 0
 Nick Craig still does a lot for mountain biking - thinks he's still a Scott ambassador or something too







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