It takes three days to set up the AMB100 Marathon race track and only a one-hour storm to change the weather from beautifully warm Indian Summer days and balmy autumn evenings to a freezingly wet morning and a cold race day! That’s the AMB100 Marathon for you – the length of the ‘monster circuit” in combination with the rough terrain and unpredictable weather conditions of Stromlo Forest Park make it one of the toughest races on the Australian amateur mountain bike events calendar. However, based on the positive and enthusiastic feedback we get year after year, it must be also one of the most rewarding ones.
For the first time in the event’s history, we saw Jason English at the start line of the 100-miler competition. This year the 5am ‘sparrow’s fart’-race start was a real challenge because of the cold conditions, however, the sunrise out on track would have rewarded the brave racers. English’s hottest contender was last year’s winner, Callum McNamara from Canberra. The two were racing wheel on wheel for the first two laps and McNamara then retired from the event, “Not feeling it today.” English went on to win the 5-lap leg burner in 7:11:42, just under 2 minutes of McNamara’s 2017 winning time. In second was Adrian Middleton from Greenway (07:53:15) and third was local racer, Rohan Geddes (07:56:11).
In the 100K-competition, it was Brendan ‘Trekky’ Johnston who defended his 2017 race win, improving his race time from last year by almost 4 minutes, clocking in 3:39:08 ahead of fellow Canberran Jay Vine (03:41:56) and Harrison Ernst from Warrnambool in VIC (04:01:04). In 04:57:18 it was Bre Vine who added a top podium position to the family accolades, winning the female elite competition ahead of Michelle Morris from the Central Coast (04:59:39) and local Elise Burris (05:03:43). Cristy Henderson, the female master racer took the line honours in the women’s in 04:35:04.
Two racers from Helensburgh won the 66K-two-lap race: in the men’s it was Andrew Arthur from Helensburgh taking out his category in 02:33:08 ahead of Sydney’s Michal Kafka (02:40:47) and Canberra’s Daniel Lekhac (02:41:28). Amelia Cafe won the women’s race in 03:18:27 ahead of Shimano’s Georgina von Marburg (03:20:46) and Linda Ståhlgren Bouveng from Coombs (3:26:07).
Also the 1-lap challenge was popular with more than 50 racers finishing the event, including eight juniors.
Says Mike Blewitt from the headline sponsor, the Australian Mountainbike Magazine, “The AMB 100 has many categories which means you can find the event that pushes you without punishing you.”
Hero story from the race
Rocky Trail’s Race Director said that he had been impressed by the sportsmanship and enthusiasm of all the competitors at the event who braved the cold conditions. However, one story stood out for him, involving the three 100-mile Master competitors, Cory Dimmer from Longbeach, Rohan Essex from Hughes and Elvio Fernandes from Shellharbour. “At the AMB100 we generally try to get the podium presentations rolling as soon as a category has the top three finishers across the line – we have so many different categories that we don’t want to drag it out too long for our riders. However, in the 100-mile Master category, Cory Dimmer and Rohan Essex decided to wait for their third comrade, even after an eight and a half hour race. Elvio crossed the line about half an hour after them, but these guys waited for him to have a full podium photo with all three finishers”, Wisata said of the camaraderie out on track.
The honorary ‘latern rouge’ award goes to JetBlack racer Peter Rohr. The SuperMaster rider in the 50+ category crossed the line as the last finisher after 10:36:55 hours of racing.
Full race results are ONLINE and for more stories from the race, visit the AMB Magazine and MarathonMTB online!
In the media:
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We’d like to thank our headline sponsor, the Australian Mountainbike Magazine, as well as all our supporters and crew. Special thanks to:
- Hayden Bird and the OnyaBike team for lending our marshall crew a fleet of Scott E-Bikes for the weekend!
- The Pedal4Pierce crew for helping out as part of our marshall team – thus, generating a $800 donation from Rocky Trail to Pedal4Pierce.