The Otway Odyssey is one of the premier mountain bike marathons in Australia. While it started in 2007 as a point-to-point race from Apollo Bay to Forrest, the course was changed in 2012, so the race now starts and finishes in Forest – better trails, and easier logistics.
But don’t underestimate the Odyssey, race times for this 100km race are typically longer than for others around the country – it’s hilly, twisty, and a real challenge.
There are more options this year for young riders and those new to the sport – but the event atmosphere and amazing trails remain. It’s one of the best weekends out on the trails in Forrest, and shouldn’t be missed.
For 2017, the race was complemented by a gravel grind the following day – a perfect reason to make a weekend of it. There is even a combined category for the Odyssey and ‘Big Ring’ gravel grind – head to the event page for full details.
Just reward at the Otway Odyssey
The Odyssey has long been known for rewarding hard fought battles, and 2019 is no different, with cash prizes for the men’s and women’s podium:
- $2,000 cash for 1st Male and Female
- $1,000 cash for 2nd Male and Female
- $500 cash for 3rd Male and Female
- $100 cash to the fastest male and female over a specific timed climb (King & Queen of the Mountain) and timed descent (open to 50km and 100km riders).
The Otway Odyssey has also been well-known for equality in racing, and ensuring that the women’s elite race is just that – a race for the elite women.
“In order to stamp out pacing by male riders and create a fair race between all elite women, we will be starting the Elite Women in the 100km Otway Odyssey 30 minutes ahead of the main field.”
But why race the Otway Odyssey?
That’s the big question, right? Rapid Ascent have run the Odyssey since 2007, and it has stayed a premier event for a reason. With a great event hub, considered course and professional route marking, they have laid much of the foundation for a successful event. The course is challenging, but if it’s too challenging there are shorter options to enter. It’s tough, but there is comfort at the end with showers, food, drinks, entertainment and bike washing. The town of Forrest turns it on for the race weekend, and is nearly over run with cyclists.
Best of all is the course variety. You don’t have to race the full 100km to race the best bits of trail. Each distance makes the best use of the variety of trails in and around Forrest, giving any entrant a similar (albeit still different) experience, matched to their fitness. Full course details are on the event website.
With the addition of the Great Otway Gravel Grind, Rapid Ascent have made an excellent mountain bike weekend in the Otway Ranges.