British mountain bike championships coming to Selkirk

The start of one of the Selkirk Merida MTB events.

The start of one of the Selkirk Merida MTB events. (Image credit: Pete Laing)

The 2013 British Marathon Mountain Bike Championships will be staged in the Scottish Borders, as part of the Selkirk MTB Marathon, on Saturday, June 8. The race will feature a single lap, 80km course.

Formerly known as "The Merida" and the "CRC", the Selkirk MTB Marathon is under new management and is being staged by Selkirk-based Durty Events, who are responsible for triathlon and duathlon events throughout Scotland including the Durty Triathlon, Craggy Island Triathlon and the famous Celtman! Extreme Triathlon.

"We are delighted to be returning to Selkirk for the 2013 marathon championships. The Scottish Borders have some excellent trails, and it's one of the few areas in Britain that can provide a course over a single loop," read a statement from British Cycling. "We had other applications which were considered but the Selkirk bid was considered to offer the best combination of date, proven course and established event infrastructure."

"We're really chuffed to have been asked to organise the British Championships alongside the popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon," said Paul McGreal of Durty Events. "We're expecting the very best riders in the UK to come and test themselves on the very best single-lap course in the country. We believe we have the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer and the most popular and challenging course in the UK which is why Selkirk has been voted 'Best MTB Marathon' several times. We aim to provide an achievable challenge for riders of every ability in fantastic surroundings with a lot of fun thrown in as well."

The British marathon Championships are open to male and female riders (19 or older) who are British citizens and hold a full BC or UCI recognised racing licence; with coveted red, white and blue jerseys up for grabs. There are also integrated championship categories for veteran men and women.

For those non-license holders who are taking part in The Selkirk MTB Marathon, there are three fully marked courses with distances of 25km, 50km and 80km - something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.

All the courses have a mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, doubletrack forest roads and ancient drove roads. Riders will visit the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick. They can expect lung and thigh busting climbs that are rewarded with epic grin-inducing descents.

Renowned trail builder and course designer, Pete Laing (7Stanes and Golspie), is scouting new sections to freshen up the marathon courses and will include a few special timed "enduro" sections to add a little more spice to the events.

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