THE Tathra MTB Enduro is ready to hit the ground running, or riding in this case.
Organisers are preparing to host one of the biggest mountain bike events on the South Coast’s calendar this weekend.
This year, beginners, or cyclists who are not adventurous enough to ride 50km or 100km can take part in the “have-a-go” tracks.
Track coordinator Andrew Johnson said there had been two new shorter courses added to encourage riders.
The event will now include a 10km and 20km as well as a 50km Goat’s Knob fire road race.
Johnson says the tracks are great for trying out track racing in a low-key environment.
“The have-a-go races are lap races around the 4.5km Bundadung School’s Track, which is a great introductory single course, with only a few hills and obstacle challenges,” Johnson said.
These events complement the Enduro’s traditional free Bega Cheese kids events, Tuff 20km, Filthy 50km and King Nelba 100km single track races.
Meanwhile, organisers said heavy rainfall had made them “nervous” last week, but the tracks are draining well and will be in good shape.
Johnson said the rain was actually fortuitous as it settled the dust and bedded in new sections of trail.
“We would never knock back rain,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile, organising committee member Stacey George said cancellations of a meet in Canberra could see strong numbers on the weekend.
“There was an event in Canberra that was cancelled, so we’re expecting a few entries from that who are just keen to get a ride in,” George said.
“We’re hoping numbers will be on par with last year.”
Entries passed 175 by Monday with more sign ups during the week.
George said last year’s event had about 400 competitors overall, but the weather would be a factor.
Meanwhile, Johnson is anticipating a crowd of about 300.
“Momentum for the race is building, as word has spread about the quality of the tracks and the fun event we put on,” Johnson said.
Online entries for the event closed yesterday, but eager riders will still be able to register in person.
George said it had become pretty common in the event for people to “leave it to the last minute”.
Since the Enduro’s inception four years ago the race has grown significantly George said.
“It builds, word is getting out and it’s a community event and it’s fun really,” she said.
George said money raised will also be going towards a community cause.
“In 2014 money from the event will fund the IMAGINE community solar farm at the Tathra sewer works,” she said.
The solar farm will be officially launched at 8am tomorrow at the Tathra Treatment Plant.
“Under the scheme, money from the Enduro will help fund the construction of a solar farm – with the council purchasing the “clean energy” to power its sewage treatment plant,” she said.
The two-day race event starts tomorrow afternoon with the “have-a-go” rides and kids races between 1pm and 5pm.
A race briefing will be held for the long courses on Sunday at 7.20am on the starting line.
Meanwhile the Filthy 50km race will start at 8.30am with a briefing 10 minutes beforehand.
Organisers said the schedule is subject to change.
For more information visit the website www.mountain biking.com.au/tathraenduro.