FINDRA Ambassador Fi Berry on the Red Bull Foxhunt, 2016
It has been 48 hours and I’m still buzzing after having taken part in biggest female only, mass start MTB race! The third Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton moved to a new location at Melmerby Scar this year. A brand new course had been dug into the hill and was waiting for 250 pairs of wheels and a World Champion to take it on.
Both excitement and the weather had been building prior to the weekend. Having watched Rachel’s wet and windy course preview and ploughed straight into ankle deep mud at the base camp on the Friday evening, we knew things might be slightly more challenging all round. Our infamous Foxhunt jerseys were put on and we all set off for practice. After checking out the huge queue for the uplift on Saturday practice and hearing the words; ‘If you’re feeling strong you can push up the hill’ we decided to push to the start for our first practise. I think a whole lot of excitement and crazy eagerness to get on the course took over! We all took it easy on our first go, checking out the A and B line options and taking on the super slippery off camber grass corners and switchbacks.
I was dead impressed with Nic sending the second A line huck rock drop! “One day”, I thought to myself…
> Nic sending the A line drop!
The course ended with an awesome big berm and another A or B line, off or around a drop off jump to the finish line. An excellent course with a little bit of everything. We then heard the uplifts had stopped due to the weather, so it was another push to the top for another practice. We tested out how fast we dared to go on the off camber grass – foot out flat out!
The uplift was again cancelled by the time it was our turn to get to the top for our seeding runs – third push to the top! A wee dance and sing song with some fantastic ladies and Rachel kept us warm and spirits high at the top. Good job I had my FINDRA Merino Wool Neck Warmer to snuggle up in while we waited to start our timed run.
I seeded in 46th – knew I could go faster than that, bring on race day!
> Thanks Keith Phunkt Valentine for this awesome photo!
Race day started with an early morning yoga session, perfect to stretch away any aches from the previous days hike a bike. After an awesome pancake for breakfast we queued up for our first uplift of the weekend for the start of the race.
Three hours later after helping dig out a couple of stuck Jeeps and some thrilling mud spinning off roading which distracted from our race nerves, we made it to the top. Tara and myself found out we’d been moved down the order and would start in a big group behind the grid of the top 50. We placed ourselves at the side hoping to avoid what could be a mass start carnage. Rachel was ready on her wooden platform behind us, the count down started, adrenaline soared and we were off! There is nothing like the thrill, excitement and a little bit of scared as 200+ women set off downhill at the same time being chased by the World Champion! So much cheering and whoooping as we charged all the way down the course.
I am super chuffed finishing 21st having started 50th and a huge well done to my FINDRA team mate Nic for her 6th place!! Hands down the most fun race I have done this year! Great to see so much support, encouragement and tips being shared around by all the women there and Rachel. Bring on next year!