The Australian marathon racing calendar has a few stand out events, ones that are long running, and have helped create the sport in Australia. Some racers even refer to them as our ‘classics’.
On 7-8 November, the Camelbak Highland Fling will transform Bundanoon into a small town of mountain bikers. One of the longer running marathon classics, ‘The Fling’ is a very prestigious race to win, and wins don’t come easily. With a fast course and big prize cheque, it’s hard fought at the front of the race. This year, the Fling is also the final round of the Maverick Marathon Series. With the series relying on a best three from four points count, it’s still very open.
Wild Horizons’ Huw Kingston: “Racing in the 2015 CamelBak Highland Fling is shaping up to be fierce in both the men and women’s elite categories – with both Fling line honours plus in the men’s race the Maverick Series win up for grabs too. We’re also looking forward to the newly introduced Some Fling (23km) that was introduced to give up and coming juniors the chance to race seriously the Fling.”
Going into the final round of the Maverick Marathon Series, the Full Marathon men’s elite rankings see James Downing leading Andy Blair, Mark Tupalski and Shaun Lewis.
In the Full Marathon women’s elite Maverick Series rankings Jenny Blair leads Wendy Stevenson, with Jenni King in third. Whilst not racing the Maverick Series, 2013 and 2014 CamelBak Highland Fling winner, not to mention the current Australian road cycling and MTB champion, Peta Mullens will be on the line to claim a third straight victory; but will also be pushed by the likes of Jodie Willett and the inform Briony Mattocks.
“The Fling was the first race I camped at back in 2011″ said Mullens, “… I remember waking up to the sound of bagpipes and a queue for the portaloos. I’d missed the memo about the ‘Bundanoon Dash’ the day before so only got to watch as the locals sprinted up Constitution Hill in fancy dress. I remember thinking to myself ‘god this mountain bike game is AWESOME!’ It’s a celebration of everything good about the sport and that comes down to detailed organisation, great food and good people. So now it’s one of the few ‘go to’ races on my calendar every year.”
Entries are still open for the Fling, so don’t miss out on one of the busiest weekends of Australian mountain biking.