CORC racers of all ages turned up to race the Willo Enduro yesterday in memory of James Williamson. James died in his sleep (from an previously undiagnosed heart condition) early in the morning of March 23 2010, before the start of stage 3 of Cape Epic that he participated in with his friend Shaun Lewis.
Many of the racers who competed yesterday knew James and many never met him, but for everyone this race is a special one on the competition calendar. Mountain biking as a sport is celebrated every March in Wingello state forest as racers of all ages and levels turn up to compete in either the kids race, the U13 and U15 13km, the 22km, the 44km or the marathon event 66km.
This year the conditions were hot, dusty and sandy which made for tough racing. The 66km race saw two of Australia’s best cross-country racers battle it out in Men and Woman elite. Bec McConnell took out the Women Elite 66km race ahead of fellow Canberra elite rider Emma Viotto with Kim Willocks in third place. Canberra rider Jenny Blair is back racing after having a baby and came fourth. Dan McConnell won the Men Elite 66km race after a long battle with fellow Canberra rider Brendan Johnston and Western Australian Reece Tucknott who took the last podium step.
The CORC junior riders had a huge field of keen riders who enjoyed racing with their friends and testing out their skills in the 13km, 22km, 44km and 66 km races. Jordan Riddle won the U19 44km race while Ashley Allnutt came fourth. Jesse Dunlop came fourth in U17 22km and team mate Joshua Kluth raced to a third place in U15 22km. Eden Dickson was also back racing after his back surgery and came fifth in the same category. Young Parker Knox was 10th in his first 22km Willo race. CORC also had many junior riders in the U13 13km race. Mia Kluth won the girls race ahead of fellow club rider Chloe Pragt. Dylan Mason won the U13 13km boys race in a big field of 35 racers ahead of fellow CORC rider Oliver Grande with Ash McLean in fourth and Jordi Dunlop in fifth. Andriel Hernandez finished in good style in 23rd place.
CORC Master racers also turned out with many racers in the different distances to compete against their friends and fellow master riders from clubs around the region.