The Willo is a one day event celebrating the life of mountain bike champion James Williamson, who died in March 2010 at the age of 26. James was a top-level XCO and XCM rider. He was passionate about the sport in every way, as well as being an Australian and World 24 hour champion. In 2020 the legacy continues – race the 10th Anniversary Edition!
Bush fire update (30.01.)
We can now confirm that The Willo 2020 will be happening at Sparrow Hill instead of the Wingello Forest. As expected there is no chance to get the badly burnt trails back in shape in time for the 2020 edition. On the website you can find information about the venue and a (preliminary) trailmap. More information including exact track length will be posted in coming weeks. Once again we want to especially thank State Forest for their ongoing communication in regards to current states of forests.
We look forward to welcoming you all at Sparrow Hill on 1 March 2020.
The Rocky Trail Team
Bush fire update (24.01.)
We have just secured our alternative venue for the 2020 Willo and at this stage it is likely that we will be using it: the MTB trails of Sparrow Hill in the Kowen Forest near Canberra.
We will have a detailed trackmap for you in the coming weeks and aim for a nice long lap with the right mix of single and firetrails.
At the event we will be raising funds for the resurrection of the Wingello trails to help the community there and will bring events to the region again in the future for sure. At this stage it is unlikely that the forest will open in time for us and the trailcrews to go in there and fix it in time for the event.
Bush fire update (14.01.)
We are of course aware that the area has been quite badly hit with bushfires. Our aim is to stage the race in Wingello as planned to give a much needed boost to local shops, restaurants and accommodation providers. However it it’s not ready in time or unsafe we will have an alternative venue ready for you. It’s too early to make a call but we will keep you informed as soon as we have any updates.
At this stage we quickly want to thank our partners from State Forests who keep us up to date and are fantastic to work with in these challenging times.
About the Willo
This is a race unlike any other. It is one of the top mountain bike marathons on the Australian cycling racing calendars and an annual reminder to all riders of the joys of mountain biking as well as the impact James had on the sport. The Willo was set up in honour of James by his aunt Meg Patey and is now managed by Rocky Trail Entertainment under her patronage.
We are proud that all the key event sponsors, supporters and volunteers will stay involved and we are committed to continue one of the key components of The Willo, which is offering junior development opportunities for regional kids. As Meg so rightly puts it,
“We just wanted to do something to continue his energy and spirit, so we started this event. It’s been quite a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it – it’s time for me to step back and I really look forward to continue being a part of the race as a patron and rider. With Juliane and Martin and their team I have found good people who will take this event into its next decade and keep James’ legacy going.”Meg Patey
Join us for the 2020 edition to race the 10th anniversary of the event!
The lap-based classic marathon race will feature the popular mountain bike network in the Wingello State Forest and we are bringing back the original 25 km circuit with loads of singletrail goodness. There are various distance classifications across adult and junior age groups – for many young athletes this race will continue to provide the opportunity to experience their first thrill of racing.
Every race participant will be instantly taken by the relaxed and friendly nature of the race, which in fact does on James and the camaraderie that mountain biking brings for all.
“It’s about teaching them about how to find out who they are and how to approach life, because that’s what James was and that’s what he would have wanted”.Meg Patey
We are looking forward to joining Meg with friends and supporters of The Willo in celebrating the memory of a great man and the bright future of this inspiring event.