Mountain bike events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment will return to the Deep Creek Dam trails with their Jetblack Wild Wombat event at the end of the month and this year the activities will not only offer an endurance mountain biking event, but also a brand new trail running race. The competitions will include the Shimano Mountain Bike Grand Prix 4 and 7 hour endurance race on Saturday 31 October and the Rocky Trail Run on 1 November.
The organisers said that the biggest challenge for them was the short lead time to promote the event, which is why the mountain bike event will be one of their flagship cross-country races that had a solid following across NSW and the ACT. “We were and continue to be one of the very few cycling events organisers in Australia that managed to return to racing in mid July. In the cross-country trail racing space our 4 and 7 hour Shimano MTB Grand Prix was a format that could be adapted to the new set of regulations and Covid-19 safety requirements. We have built a very strong core racing community over the past 12 years and the new riders and racers blended in very smoothly – and enthusiastically, I might add”, says Juliane Wisata, co-founder of Rocky Trail.
Mountain biking and racing on ‘rocky trails’ gaining momentum
With a 12-year history the Shimano series has been offering regular events across NSW, in the ACT as well as QLD and events are planned for later in the year also in VIC. SHIMANO Cycling Australia has been the principal sponsor since the series was founded and with strong support from the cycling industry has grown to one of the major cross-country endurance racing series in Australia.
Wisata described the Shimano MTB Grand Prix events as “classic cross-country lap racing at its best” and as a “seriously fun experience”. In the current COVID-19 event recovery stage, registration patterns for the 2020 Rocky Trail season were proving events hugely popular with riders and their families, driving up demand for the series in all regions, says Juliane Wisata, one of the business founders. With race start at 9am the competitors could race solo or in relay teams for four or seven hours alongside Australia’s elites and experienced endurance racers. With Elite and a range of junior and age group categories as well as an eBike option, racers can expect less of a winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all racers.
During the community sports limitations in August and September Rocky Trail had paused all activities in NSW and the crew – and racers – were excited to return to the ‘rocky trails’. “We are relaunching our racing season for the second time this year in NSW and we have put all our efforts into further adapting and making more changes to our operational procedures, which has been essential to getting the events industry back on track”, she said. “In order to bring our riders and spectators the racing action that they love, we are introducing new rules and regulations which make sure we all adhere to social distancing and gathering laws currently in place.”
Wisata: “We know trails.”
The Jetblack Wild Wombat event will launch the new “Rocky Trail Run”. The trail running race was a concept that Juliane and husband Martin Wisata had worked on during the Covid-19 hibernation. “I personally have been doing trail runs for fun around our local bush areas and I found it such a relaxing and energising activity – our whole life is out in nature and on trails. We know the Deep Creek Dam trails quite well and have fallen in love with the Eurobodalla region over the past few years.
“There are a lot of exciting opportunities and great potential for trail-based events and we believe that the location in Mogo and Batemans Bay is an enviable one in the mountain biking community – we know that trail runners will be excited about the opportunity to run in these amazing bushland surrounds with us on race day too”, Wisata said and that the crew was banking on their competitive event experience of over a decade.
The trail running event it was designed with flexible start times, so that the runners could complete one, two or three laps on the 9km course throughout the day. “The trail runners can start their race loops any time between 8am and 2pm and we will set it up so that there is a start and a finishing point on the course. That way, if the athletes wish, they can take a break in between their laps to refuel.”
Covid-19 specific rules
“We still have very conservative self-imposed event participation limits in place, which are well below the Government and State Health authority regulations. As those laws tend to change quickly, and we will be constantly screening any developments – our racing rules will be a constant work in progress, and we will keep adapting them over the weeks and months”, Wisata explained and that the organisers had been in close contact with event partners from Destination NSW and the local Eurobodalla Shire Council events team. Event Manager Wisata also pointed out that with temporary COVID-19 event rules active, there was a participant limit in place and specific event health and safety regulations were available via the event website. “The event is tracking all participants, which means that competitors must sign up and pay online. Every non-racing spectator or supporter must be indicated via an online registration on our website to reserve a race access pass at no charge. Non-racing event participants also include media and sponsor representatives, who are encouraged to sign up via the same online portal for an event village access pass at no charge”, she said.
Local business support initiative
Competitors can sign up online and the organisers hope for a solid local participation. “We have had over 3,000 competitors at our events across NSW, QLD and the ACT since mid July and are so pleased that we can help revive tourism destinations and help local businesses by showcasing their regions”, said Wisata and that they will encourage their competitors to bring families and friends along with empty eskies. “One of our main goals with this racing weekend is to help showcase and promote the Eurobodalla Region with Mogo and Batemans Bay in particular.”
The Jetblack Wild Wombat offers a free promotional platform to local businesses and it’s as simple as contacting Juliane Wisata with some information and potentially an offer or special highlight that will appeal to the mountain bikers and trail runners. The business directory and features will be promoted via the Rocky Trail website, social media portals and email newsletters to their riders and runners.
For more information, contact Juliane Wisata at Rocky Trail Entertainment on 0416 737 972.
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