AMB100 Event confirmed for 2020

The AMB100 Async Marathon will be held in Canberra on the October-long weekend

Rocky Trail has just confirmed that the AMB100 Event will he held under the new Rocky Trail Async RacingTM format in 2020 with competitors spread across two days on 3rd and 4th October 2020 in Canberra. As the venue the popular Sparrow Hill and Kowen Forests were announced to feature a figure eight race track with various distance options to choose from.

The managing team at Rocky Trail had worked the better of the past month to re-envisage and re-work the race, which has an 10-year history of being run at Stromlo Forest Park. However, the high influx of riders at the public venue had influenced the organising committee’s decision to move the event to Sparrow Hill and Kowen Forests, where a large racing circuit was easier to be managed.

It is amazing to see the uptake in cycling and mountain biking and we are truly stoked about it. This has meant that the ‘original home’ of the AMB100 Marathon has been getting hammered over the weekends. We decided that the 25km ‘monster circuit’ would impact the operations at Stromlo too severely and moved the event to Sparrow & Kowen this year.

These forests have had more 24hr MTB and Marathon MTB races than any in the country, more club XC races than most, also hosted rally cars, sled dogs, trail running and more… and yet they remain a great place to ride and race in the ACT.

Bob Morris, Rocky Trail’s Event Manager of The Willo Marathon at Kowen Forest earlier this year

The second major change is the race format, which is geared specifically to address the current Covid-19 event environment in the ACT. The new “async” way of racing in essence it means that the Rocky Trail athletes at the AMB100 will literally “race the way they ride”- they still compete in the one event, but not at the same time. Two race days and designated start time slots each day ensure spreading out the field.

The event’s Race Director Martin Wisata said that the racing format complied with all the challenging Covid-19 rules and regulations and that the event centre and mass starts had been eliminated,

A skeleton crew will operate the operations and medical hub at the start, which will replace the event centre. This is to essentially eliminate any gatherings. We stripped the original marathon concept to the bare minimum and put even more safety measures in place to eliminate touch points.

We will keep the #rockytrailracer spirit alive, still have the riders feel connected, excited and motivated. We will deliver the same challenge, toughness and the fun of it all.

Martin Wisata, Race Director in Canberra

Wisata explained that the specific figure eight configuration of the Sparrow and Kowen loops featured a start and stop timing set up that allowed the competitors to “self-support” as spectators and race support wasn’t allowed in the start area or out on track.

“You can have a break in between laps. Once you have completed either loop your time stops and restarts again when you start the next loop”, he clarified and added that the event was delivered under a strict Covid-19 Safety Plan. Race rules and Covid-19 Plan specific event regulations were being communicated directly to all athletes and published in a Virtual Rider Briefing ahead of the event.

Race the way you ride

The competitors can choose from three different distances, with the single lap option offering a range of U19 age group classifications:

  • AMB100 Single | 1 lap – Sparrow + Kowen loops | 42km
  • AMB100 Double | 2 laps – Kowen + Sparrow loops ridden twice | 84km
  • AMB100 Triple | 3 laps – Kowen + Sparrow loops ridden three times | 126km

Sparrow offers hand-built trails through the pine forest that are in places smooth and flowy and in others rocky and tight. The over 100m elevation change can be hardly noticed when flowing through the fast forest section or brought into thigh burning focus when pushing up rocky pinch after pinch. A true test of the all-round mountain biker.

Kowen trails built predominantly by the infamous Kowalski Brothers and their network of volunteers has for years provided the pinnacle of marathon mountain bike tracks. Trails like the “Stairway to Heaven”, “Yipikaye” and “Quadrophenia” are burnt deeply into the memories of many as the now passed Mont 24hr and Kowalski Classic were either the first races or bucket list races for all Australian mountain bikers at one time.

For more information, visit the AMB100 Async Marathon website.



About Rocky Trail Async RacingTM

In it’s essence it means that our athletes will literally “race the way they ride”- they still compete in the one event, but not at the same time.

adjective, not existing or occurring at the same time.

You still race together in the one event, but not at the same time!

Travel information ACT

Important: For travel and other Covid related advice please visit the ACT Government website. You need to be allowed to travel to the ACT in order to race.

Media contact: Juliane Wisata
Media contact: Juliane Wisata

Juliane is one of the Rocky Trail founders and our Marketing & Communications Director.