It's only a few days now before the 1st ever English round of the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon Series will open its doors at the Lowther Deer Park, near Penrith. But besides the 1st English marathon in the history of the series it is also the first marathon that has a whole cycling festival - the Cumbria BikeFest (7- 13th May '07) - happening around it.
The list of attractions surrounding the marathon is pretty much endless and can be checked in detail on the Lake District site. The pre-entries have been very good but there are still places to be had. If you haven't entered yet just download the entry form from here and send it together with your cheque as soon as you can. There is also the chance to enter via the online entry which you can do up to Friday lunch time. Please do not enter via the website after that as the organisers might have difficulties downloading your entry in time to add you to the entry list. You can still enter on the day but be aware of the £2 surcharge.
Chain Reaction Cycles voucher
Besides free entry to the festival all pre entered riders will also receive a Chain Reaction Cycles voucher. So better make sure you get your entry in quickly.
Course / Profiles
John has been up in Cumbria for quite a few days working with Chris Ford from Cycle Active who is our course designer for the Penrith round and has given the course the last few final touches. As always we will have a big map with all the spectator points and feeding stations next to the registration but we also put the profiles of the 4 different courses up on the site.
The Cycle Active guys are preparing for the first event in Cumbria and their sessions are starting to get booked up. If you'd like to get out for a ride and develop your skills with some of the guys then now's the chance, and best of all - it's completely free. There are two levels of skills ride to choose from, they last for about 1.5 hours and they depart on the Saturday of each marathon weekend at 12pm, 2:30pm and 5pm. Numbers are strictly limited to ensure good learning, so email email@example.com now to reserve your space. You'll also get a goodie bag from skills sponsor Buff and a voucher off any full CycleActive training course in The Lake District. Going by last year's interest it is unlikely that any places will be left by the time you arrive at the event so please make sure you book yourself in in advance.
As an extra service the instructors from CycleActive will also be on course on the 25km mini marathon helping out, giving advice and simply looking after the riders...in particular those who are riding their first event.
Here is some very important last minute information from the events management team up at the Cumbria BikeFest! 1.) ALL Merida entrants plus one supporter will get free car park and free camping pitch for the weekend. Any other supporters will be charged £5 camping fee/festival entry. Any entry queries please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.) If you still have your confirmation please make sure you bring it - if you can't find it don't worry as we have complete entry lists on the gate.
3.) Car passes will be issued to all entrants to the site. If you go off site and want to come back than that is fine - please make sure though that you BRING your car pass to get through otherwise you will be charged again!
4.) Extra cars (i.e. supporters of a Merida rider arriving not with that rider) will get charged £5 for any extra parking pitch (1/2 price of the normal price) and £5 for every person in the car. PLEASE make sure that the Merida rider who you are supporting gives your details (name/car registration etc.) to the personnel at the gate when they come in.
5.) Normal entrance to the festival (i.e. no relation to the Merida marathon) will be charged the regular prices of £10 per car (for the whole weekend) and £10 per person (camping for the whole weekend).
6.) Entry is from Friday lunchtime onwards and if you are intending to stay till Monday morning please let the gate staff know when you first come through.
7.) There will be day tickets available at a reduced rate.
8.) The event will be signposted from Friday onwards - also see map here. Please follow the signs for the Cumbria BikeFest and/or the Merida Marathon from Junction 40 on the M6 to get to the festival.