Next weekend sees the wonderful trails of Wingello host the ‘3 Ring Circus’. An event that you could be forgiven for leaving off your calendar.
The ‘3RC’ is a race that is often overlooked by many – it is often a bit chilly, it is also not part of any series, although over the years it has been won and raced by some of Australia’s best Marathon and XC racers, as well as being a perfect first event for new-comers to the sport, families, or even for a roadie keen to try MTB racing…
Not so long that you need to have trained with loads of miles for it, and not so short that it will really hurt!
The weekends racing kicks off on Saturday night with night race. Outside of the big 24hr competitions and stage races, there are very few chances to experience the unique feel of night-racing (different to night riding!). There is something very special about watching the glowing tracers of white and red lights through singletrack, and the trails of Wingello provide a technical challenge whilst being relatively risk free.
At night the race arena is warmed by camp fires, and lots of chat – everyone catching up at what really is the event that marks the end of the winter solitude and the start of the 2nd phase of the Australian Marathon season.
Sunday morning is when the ‘Matinee’ (read: Main) event kicks off. A VERY reasonable (and Sydney / Canberra drive friendly) start time of 10am means that there is little need for rushing around in the dark. At the entry level, it is an event that is very low key, and highly family friendly. Clowns and circus acts keep riders and spectators amused through the morning routine of sign-on, coffee and latrine queues. As the name suggests. the ‘3 Rings’ are individual loops that are to be covered in the race and these can be completed as a team of 3 riders or individually.
The blue loop (first lap) is a gentle fire trail roll of around 5 or 6km to separate the field and get riders used to racing again. Then comes the first return to the event centre, and the Red loop starts. This lap is now predominantly singletrack – with the addition of some great new trails. The big rumour is the The Wall is by-passed for this race, so the climbing pain is reduced significantly! As the red loop closes off, a final little climb up to the event center will get riders heart-rates up, and the Yellow loop begins.
Yellow is really the tough loop. It’s the fastest in terms of average speed, but it has the most climbing. A couple of real pinches culminate in the infamous ‘halfway hill’ after the creek crossing. A climb that really separates the race. From here it’s about 10 or 12km to go to the finish. Head winds can mean that only the strongest rider is able to go it alone. There is safety in a bunch at this stage.
So there it is – the 3 rings of the Circus. A great event for riders of all standards and experience. Bring your woolies, a marshmallow to roast on the fire in the evening, and your racing legs for the Sunday.
The entry list is already well filled but is still growing, but at this stage there are many side bets on whether the over 30’s will end up beating the under 30’s….
Entries Close on Monday 21st – so get into the box office to secure a seat ringside!!