UNE 12 Hours in the Piney almost here!

Post date: Mar 7, 2013 11:36:25 AM

The major mountain biking event in the New England region, UNE 12 Hours in the Piney, is coming up on Saturday March 23. This is a 12-hour Enduro race where competitors complete as many laps of the 13 km course as possible between the 10 am and 10 pm. Most people race in a team of two or four, taking turns to ride a lap. But there are a growing number of dedicated fitness freaks who compete solo, riding lap after lap for 12 hours. With the event finishing at 10 pm, most riders have the opportunity to ride a lap with lights.

2013 is the third year that this event will be run, and it is solely organised and run by New England Mountain Bikers, NEMTB. The numbers of competitors have doubled each year, and the club is expecting in excess of 300 riders this year.

The event is held on the magnificent mountain bike trails at the Armidale State Forest, otherwise known as “The Piney”. This year the club has extended the trails to connect to Charleston Willows. This provides a large, flat area for camping and transition with power, toilets and other facilities. As usual, the race precinct will come alive like a mini city. Tents, marquees, music, fine food, quality coffee, big screens with live timing updates and places, demo bikes, sponsors give-aways, presentations and plenty of other sources of excitement will welcome each rider at the end of each lap. There will also be free camping at the transition area, right on the track.

The new section of the track begins at the council owned Charleston Willows, then crosses the creek into the travelling stock route to the east. Next, the track goes under the bridge on the east side of the river and enters the pine forest, joining up with the existing track. After a long and much varied loop through the piney, the track crosses the creek again and comes back to the transition area after crossing under the bridge again on the western side of the creek. Finally riders will meander through the tents and marquees that will line the track at the finish. It will be an atmosphere that will excite and motivate even the most weary of competitors. There will also be some surprises around the track to keep riders entertained.

This year there is a list of quality sponsors. Without these businesses, the event would not be as successful as it is. UNE, Armidale Dumaresq Council, Hutchinson and Harlow Real Estate, Newcastle Permanent and Armidale City Bowling Club have all put forward cash to provide substantial prize money for most categories. Products sponsors include Maxxis tyres, Norco Bikes, Merida Bikes, Shotz Nutrition, Apres Velo Clothing and Red Bull. They will be giving away a stack of prizes. Red bull will have their Wing Team in attendance with the girls giving away Red Bull products during the event. Merida and Norco will each be providing a new 29er mountain bike as prizes. They will also have a full range of 10 to 11 different 2013 models of demo bikes for people to try. At presentation at about 11 pm Saturday night, there will be a number of lucky draws. The best will be the new Norco 29er. The winner must be in attendance to claim their prize.

Entry needs to be online via the registration link on www.12hoursinthepiney.com. Please note the early bird prices close 1 week prior to registration close. Registration close is 12pm Friday 22 March 2013. Entry needs to be completed online. Check out the rego link on the event web page: www.12hoursinthepiney.com.au .

Solo – Male and Female ($85pp, early birds $65pp)

Pairs - Male, Female and Mixed ($150, early birds $110 per pair )

Teams of four – Male, Female, Mixed ($260, early birds $180 per team)

Juniors - ($25 per person)

For the little riders there is a kids race just after the main race start around a short kids track near the start line.

All entrants will receive a rego pack at registration will all sorts of goodies in it. The official time to pick up these packs is 6 pm to 8 pm on Friday night, March 22. This will be held at the Armidale City Bowling Club. Why not hang around for a carb loaded pasta dinner at the club, or at least a few drinks? Everyone who picks up their rego bag on the Friday night will be in the draw for the Merida 29er bike.

World 24-hour mountain bike champion, Jason English, will be back again to defend his title from last year. English said last year “The UNE 12 hour in Armidale is a great event on a great track. I’ll be recommending this event to everyone.” Fellow elite solo rider Andrew Hall will also be returning. Hall pushed English all the way last year and finished in second place.

The SES and St Johns Ambulance will both be in attendance during the event. In return, NEMTB donates some money to these groups. Any other money raised will go straight back into maintaining and building trails in the local area, thanks to the thousands of volunteer hours from NEMTB club members.

The UNE 12 Hours in the Piney is an event for everyone, not just hard-core mountain bikers. Sure there are some gnarly A lines on the track, but each has an easier and smoother B line. These are of course slightly slower than the A lines. All visitors and locals who participate in this great event will have a rewarding time with this spectacular and friendly event. Check out the event website for more details: www.12hoursinthepiney.com.au.