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7hours of 7mile Enduro – QMTBC Fundraiser

7hours of 7mile Enduro – QMTBC Fundraiser

by Elmo Cotter

The 7hours of 7mile was an iconic Queenstown local mountain bike race that started in 2008 and ran in 2009, 11, and 14, but came to an end due to lack of time and resources to keep it going. After a conversation with Tony ‘T.Man’ Moore and some other local riders, I stared to think it could be something with enough enthusiasm around it to be worth resurrecting. Looking at the bike calendar I saw Queenstown was lacking a social Enduro event like this so decided to see if we could make it happen. Outside Sports, being a key company that funded the development of the 7mile bike park along with the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club back in 2003, was keen to get behind the event and fund the costs of putting it together. So away we went.

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The 8th of April looked like the best date, putting it at the tail end of the bike season. The event in past had always had a fun and social focus rather than being a super competitive event and we wanted this event culture to remain strong. With over $10k in prizes donated by various local businesses, the prize list was stacked with all sorts of things from a Heli-bike trip for 5 with Fat-Tyre bike tours, to Icebreaker Merino clothing, to Devil Burger Vouchers – meaning we were able to create a tonne of prize categories. 

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With 60 registered riders the 8th came around and it was time to hit the trails. We were blessed by the weather gods with a beautiful sunny autumn day and with the great weather came 37 more keen entrants to make a field of 97 riders of all ages and abilities.

We wouldn’t have considered this event a success without some great costumes and the riders did not disappoint.

There were people in retro lycra race suits, Hawaiian shirts, covered in glitter, and the team ‘In Victorius IL Trio 7 Milus’ dressed in knights’ armour while riding their noble steeds. The festive vibe was strong and everyone was there with smiles on.

To kick off the race, one member of each team removed their front wheel and placed it by their bike for the group start. Then, with a 3-2-1-GO, the riders ran in a mob around the car park and back to their bikes where they had to put their wheel in before taking off on the track – an effective way of spacing out the crowd. The course took a loop throughout the 7mile Bike Park that went backwards up some downhill trails, through a variety of existing trails, and cut some new lines on untracked ground to make an exciting loop full of varying terrain. The trail had technical sections with roots and rocks, tight switchbacks, flowy jumpy downhills and some loose loamy zones to make for a varied course to put everyone’s overall skills to the test.

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One of the individual riders, Richard Dunnett, was the first to complete the first loop and powered through for his second as everyone cheered him on. Riders came flying through the transition area, ripping skids in front of the timing tent and tagging their mates in, or pedalling on for another lap. A good turnout of spectators and support crew cheered everyone on and music played at the lakefront making for an exciting transition zone. The trails were quite dry so by midday the track was getting dusty, corners were being roosted and new hot lines where popping up which kept things exciting. 

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As the sun rose higher in the sky it was about time to get something into the riders and spectators bellies. Life’s a Grind coffee caravan and the Taco Medic truck provided some high quality sustenance for riders and spectators, and the Pick Me Lick M eice block stand was treat for those needing to cool down a bit. Outside Sports also put on a BBQ for the riders to keep them trucking through the day. BikeshopDan from Outside Sports was on hand with his bike stand ready to fix any issues the day but with only a few minor fixes he ended up manning the BBQ most of the day. Got to feed the people!

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With 1 hour to go it was time for riders to get on the gas again and pump out their final laps with what energy was left. Several teams and individuals had stopped riding to enjoy the sunset while the keen riders gained a few extra laps to try and get themselves ahead enough for the podium. 

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Just as the shade came down on Wilson’s bay, it was 5pm and the race was done with!

The final riders came out of the forest, knackered, but with smiles on their faces and ready for a drink. 

The last of the sun shone on the hills in the background making for a spectacular backdrop to the prize giving

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After the placing prizes there was still a huge amount of spot prizes including; best dressed, team spirit, biggest air, good sort of the day, hard done by, most stylish bike, best marshal, and one of the entrants (Brenna) even ended up jumping in the cold autumn lake for a free hand gliding trip!

With prize giving wrapped up and the day done with, riders headed to Atlas Beer Caféfor a well-deserved beer.

With $2910 raised for the club and everyone smiling by the end of the day, it really felt like a great success and something we hope to do again next year.

RESULTS

1st Individual men’s - Richard Dunnet who also had the fastest lap of the day with a time of 18.25

2nd Individual men’s – Marty Macdonald

3rd –individual men’s - Louis Bronstein

 

No women’s individuals - take note for next year!

 

1st Men’s team –Rebel food (Martin, Grant, Matt, Brent)

2nd Men’s team – Bikaholic (Justin, Matt)

 

1st Women’s team – The screaming marmots (Susan, Sharyn, Merrin)

2nd Women’s team – Back Flag (Aimee, Meagan)

1st Mixed team – Team Blank (Alex, Michelle, Marty)

2nd Mixed team – Menagerie (T.man, Neil, Mandy)

 

 

Thanks to everyone that came along, all our incredible volunteers, our generous sponsors, and everyone else that helped make this a fantastic day.

 

Thanks to all our prize sponsors:

Outside Sports

Fat Tyre Adventures

Specialized

Icebreaker

Torpedo7

Skyline

Cardrona

Mons Royale

Thunder Jet

Atlas Beer Café

Nzone

Vivian+Espie

Southern Discoveries

Remarkable Women’s Health and Fitness Centre

Welcome Rock Trails

Queenstown Rafting

Alta Queenstown

Skytrek

Select Action Sports

Aj Hacket Bunji

Shotover Canyon Swing and Fox

Devil Burger

Spoke Magazine

The North Face

Mitre10 Mega Queenstown

New World Queenstown

Bikaholic

Altitude Brewery

The Lone Star

Rebel Food

Big Night Out

Taco Medic

Site Trampoline

Around The Mountains Cycle Trail


 

Film by: Paul Rayner

Photos by: Thomas Whelan, Lance brown

Words by: Elmo Cotter

 

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