Setting in place an enduring event

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Inspired by the need to run challenging events for all mountain bikers on proper courses Innerleithen MTB Racing organised a downhill enduro as part of the local series.

Innerleithen MTB Racing is affiliated to Scottish Cycling and runs events for various age groups and abilities.

Scottish Borders Council supported international events for the group in 2010 and is aware of the economic and tourism boost that these occasions are creating.

Councillor Vicky Davidson, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said: “The enduro brought people from all over Scotland and the north of England who are booking into local accommodation and using local shops and cafés.

“I am very impressed by the interest that Innerleithen MTB Racing has achieved through the events and SBC supports its hard work in the tourism field.”

Traquair Forest was host to the 130 mountain bike enthusiasts involved in the enduro. The first riders were off early, many in groups of friends, heading up to the top of the hill for the first of three tracks on offer. These were completed in sequence with the combined time for all three counting towards the final result.

Helen Findlay, event organiser, said: “Our main aim is to encourage more people into the area and keep the fun side of mountain biking alive. The tracks varied in character from natural, shallow gradients to steep and even some man-made rocky bits, but all gave a good taste of the challenging riding.

“What didn’t vary was the camaraderie among the racers and friendly professionalism of the marshals and event staff.”

Gary Forrest of Innerleithen was first back at 11am and was virtual leader with a time of 18.42. George Gannicott, of Selkirk, was fastest junior in 21.39 and Gill Davies fastest woman in 28.41.

This was race one of a series of events at Innerleithen to start this year.

The next race is a mini downhill taking place this Sunday.

The third event is the now traditional XC season opener Mountain Time Trial on March 13, with riders leaving at one-minute intervals and completing one lap of a 25km course.