A great day out in the forest near Wingello in the best conditions I’ve seen there. It was the anniversary of the sad day our great friend Jimi passed away and his Aunty Meg, along with the Southern Highlands club and Canberra Off-Road Cyclists, did an amazing job putting together another fantastic event. James would’ve been proud again.
For reports on the day…
Check out Paul VDP’s nice write up on his race, the event generally, and a bit about Jimi.
And the usual excellent report from The Roost Mag.
Below is also a nice wrap up from hard working and brilliant Meg (James’ Aunty).
THE JAMES WILLIAMSON ENDURO CHALLENGE 2014
The James Williamson Enduro Challenge is a race unlike any other. Riders come to this event, not so much for personal gain, but for the memory of James. The race is an annual reminder to all riders of the joys of mountain biking and the impact James had on the sport. It is an emotional race for many, from the organisers who knew James closely and to some of his closest friends riding in the Elite category.
The fourth James Williamson Enduro Challenge was held at Wingello State Forest Sunday March 23 in clear sunny conditions. Four hundred and eleven riders lined up to race in four distances of 13km, 25km, 50km or 75km. The Open Male 75km category included some of Australia’s top mountain bike riders such as Shaun Lewis, Sid Taberlay, Dylan Cooper, Andy Blair, Kyle Ward and Peter Hatton. After a tough contest Shaun Lewis took out an emotional win with Peter Hatton close behind, followed by Andy Blair and Dylan Cooper. Jenny Fay took out the 75km Open Woman category, ahead of Lana Moy and Lucy Bechtel.
In the Open Male 50km category, Brendan “Trekkie” Johnston brought home the line honours ahead of Garry Millburn claiming a tight second place with little more than a second ahead of Paul Van Der Ploeg in third. It was great to see Ben Henderson riding again In this category, after a tough two years off the bike battling the Chikungunya virus, and we look forward to seeing Ben smashing out his hot laps again at many more events. In the Open Female 50km race, Emily Parkes took out the race in front of Eliza Kwan with Eva Boland third.
Categories ranged from U13 to Supermasters. The main weight of riders was concentrated in the 50km Open and Masters categories, with some very strong efforts in these categories as usual.
Many juniors who had attended the James Williamson Development Camp in 2013 were present in the U17 and U19 categories, including Alysha McNee Darrach, Hugh Dawkins, Harry Kooros, Jese Webb, Tom and Josh Daniher, Murphy and Tearloch Carr, .and Darcy Longworth.
Organising the Willo Enduro, is very much a collaborative effort. The Southern Highlands Cycling Club teamed up with the expertise of CORC, with many friends and supporters of James completing the team. Strong support is also thrown in by local businesses. This race could not happen without sponsors Giant, Shimano, Powerbar, JetBlack, Radical Lights, Rubena Tyres, Frameskin, Enduro Magazine and Forest Corporation of NSW. All these sponsors provided prizes for the event. Race organisers Rocky Trail Entertainment, Chocolate Foot, Cycle Education, Wild Horizons, The Duo Classic and the Kowalski Challenge also provided generous prizes. A big thanks also goes to ONYA bike in Belconnen, and to local bike shops who contributed in many ways. Thanks to Snax on Trax who provided the food for the day and the Wingello Fire Brigade, who provide the marshals. The race organisers would like to extend a huge thanks to all these sponsors and supporters for without them, this race would not happen.
As well as podium winners there were many other winners as prizes are handed out during the day. These included Maizy Evans who won the Radical Lights Podda, Archie Strachan who won the Giant XTC Junior 20” bike, and an exuberant Sara Mills who won the Giant Anthem 27.5 bike.
All proceeds from this race are put back into Junior Development with an annual training camp held each year in November. Details of the next James Williamson Development Camp will be available on the website when arrangements have been confirmed.
In recognition of the support of riders, a complimentary entry to the 2015 Willo Enduro will be emailed out to all competitors who have completed four Willo Enduros.
Thanks again, to all the riders, supports, sponsors and everyone else who all worked together to keep this race so enjoyable and who help to keep the spirit and energy of James alive.
Images from the day are available at with thanks to Rob Conroy, Josh Nicholson and Russ Baker.
Look forward to seeing you all again, next year at the Willo.
James Williamson Enduro Challenge