The Borders Bike Festival – a combination of a Marathon mountain bike event and the Selkirk Raid, a mountain bike enduro event – is now known as the Orbea Borders Bike Festival after the Spanish cycle company agree to become lead sponsor. The festival is organised by Selkirk based Durty Events, organiser of the Aviemore Triathlon, Craggy Island Triathlon and the Celtman. Local trailbuilder Pete Laing – who designed the original Glentress 7 Stanes and Golspie trail centres – is responsible for course design.
Paul McGreal from Durty Events said: "We are delighted to be returning to Selkirk for the 2016 Marathon, and the new Selkirk Raid event. The Scottish Borders have some excellent trails, and it's one of the few areas in Britain that can provide a proven, challenging marathon course over a single loop."
There are two fully marked courses with distances of 50km and 75km - something for novices, intermediates, and hardcore racers alike.
The 50km course can be completed as either a Marathon, or as the brand-new-for-2016 Selkirk Raid.
There will be four timed Special Stages, all descents. However, for every 5 minutes over a target time, five seconds is added to your time for Special Stage 5. So, dawdle too long at the top of Stages 1 -4, and you risk adding time to your Stage 5 time. Ride too fast and you might be sub-optimal on Stages 1 - 4.
The courses feature a mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, twin-track forest roads and old drove roads. Riders will visit the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick. The 75km course will also include some of the very best man-made trail centre routes at Innerleithen. The 50km and 75km routes will include a few special timed ‘Enduro’ sections.
The Orbea Selkirk MTB Marathon and Selkirk Raid will take place on Sunday 1st May and the event will be based at Selkirk Rugby Club in the Scottish Borders. The event has been held for around 13 years, and has been organised by Durty Events since 2013.