Thursday, 12 November 2015

Davagh Enduro Night Rider 2015

Davagh Enduro Night Rider
Davagh Forest Trails
7th November 2015

This is the second edition of the Davagh Enduro Night Rider.  Unlike last year the weather was fantastic.  With the majority of the prep work done it was all down to on the day setup.  Entries this year where low in the lead up to the event. A last minute surge in entries seen numbers slightly bigger than last year.
Lunch time Saturday we headed into the forest to mark out stages.  Although Davagh Forest trails has way marker points. The direction we take as a race sometimes deviates from the trail centre direction.  We taped off junctions and used arrows to indicate the direction.  After marking the junctions next was to set up the timing system on each stage.  We switched the system on and used our test card to ensure it was working.  We got back to the carpark and set up the registration area.  Registration was due to open at 5pm.  There were many riders already at Davagh.  The Northwest MTB Club had come over from Sligo.  They done a training day with Rosco Lines and stayed on for the Night rider.  Some had already signed up others signed up on the night.  Already there was a steady flow of riders coming through the registration area. I give the marshals their instructions and sent them out into the forest to get their position.  Riders started out on the climb to the top and stage 1.  The stage was set, marshals in place, medics roving the forest and riders on their way to the start.  I would also be roving between the stages.
 The night enduro follows a similar route to the day enduro with some small changes.  All trail centre based to make this event accessible to most riders.  There was a good atmosphere and a dry night really helped.  Trails had some puddles from the rain earlier in the day.  Despite this, the trails have more grip with a bit of moisture. 

Riders lit up the forest with bike lights and head lights.  The flicker of the lights and rattle from bikes resembled an 80's style video game.  Despite the riders coming through the forest at 30second intervals there was an eerie silence.  Watching riders finish each stage with smiles always helps ease the nervs.  With the event well underway I drove between stages making sure all riders and marshals were ok.  Updating the medics when a stage had been closed with our sweeper riders.  Our medical team have good knowledge of the area. They move between stages setting up at the most central location.  As stages complete they reposition, always staying as close to the action as possible.  Some of our marshals were also riding the event.  When the stages closed they then completed the stage. Riding around behind the main group completing the stages.  

The majority of the field had completed the stages.  While waiting on the marshals to complete the course.  I took a drive around and started taking in the tape and signs.  As I done a complete loop I drove back towards stage 5.  All riders had got through and our marshals were getting ready to go back to the main carpark.  Medics stood down with no actions always makes a good event.  There was a great buzz from the riders, as I got back to the cabin.  Comparing times and reliving each stage through animated stories.  Riders spoke about how it went right and wrong time wise for each stage.  Riders were getting warmed with soup, sandwiches and sausage rolls.  Others gathered at the screen comparing times.  When the final marshals got back we got straight into the prize giving.  

Kings and Queens of Darkness
 1st Female Molly Stack
 2nd Female Tricia Kelly

 1st Male Sport Conor McQuillan
 2nd Male Sport David Burns
  3rd Male Sport Kenny Graham

1st Male Intermediate Scott Nelson 
2nd Male Intermediate Bryan Conlon
3rd Male Intermediate Peter Wilson

Spirit of the Enduro
Alex Vibornijs & Dylan Harpur
Young 16 year olds mixing it with the adults and placing very highly in the overall results.

Thanks to all our Sponsors who help make the event happen.  Signal Signs have been a fantastic help this year.  Steelweld Fabrications for making our trophies.  Blackthorn Design for the artwork and trophy design.  The Shepherds Rest for the food and drink after the event.  Sperrin Bakery Draperstown for the rolls and sausage rolls.  Barry McGuigan for sweeper duties and the Photographs.

I also can't thank enough the team of marshals and helpers. They come up and make the event run like clock work.  Joan who puts on a great spread of food for everyone at the end.  S.T.E.P.S. Mental health girls who always get stuck in and help us in registration and catering.  Last but not least the Competitors.  I have said it before, We create the platform and the riders make the atmosphere.  You are all legends.     

Until next time.......