075 – Elgon Enduro Uganda – Live Chat with The Organisers And Winners
We chat with the Organisers, Winners & Friends of the Elgon Enduro in Uganda: Will Clarke, Simon Blake, Peter Horsey, Tom Shopland & Adrian Raess
Today on episode Seventy Five we catch up with the guys after a tough enduro race in Uganda. Its the second Elgon Enduro which has been a great success. The race has grown from a few competitors last year to international participants this year. Tom Shopland is from the UK and runs his own guiding company in the UK called Trail Unknown. We had Tom on the podcast a few weeks ago on episode 071 (listen here).
At the time of recording the podcast Tom had no idea in 3 weeks he would be racing in Uganda, but after searching through the back catalogue of the podcast he came across the episodes we had done from East Africa (see below) and it just happened that Tom’s sister was in East Africa at this time, he was intrigued. One thing lead to another and Tom ended up in Uganda. Awesome! Adrian Raess is from Switzerland and just happened to get in contact with Will about helping with race and course preparation for the enduro. Adrian ended up staying for a number of weeks, racing and having a blast before heading on the rest of his African adventure the whole way down to South Africa (he also showed how fast the Swiss are on a bike!).
We had a laid back, fun chat about how the race went, what the conditions were like, how the course has changed from last year, funding, competitor numbers, how MTB is advancing in East Africa, how Tom came to be there and how curly Adrian’s hair is. Plus much more.
Tune in and check out how the crew are helping grow mountain biking in East Africa!
- How the second Elgon Enduro race was received
- What the conditions were like over the two days
- What the trail network is like
- How Tom from the UK ended up racing in Uganda
- Why Peter decided it was time he made the trip north and participate in the race
- How Adrian came to be racing in Uganda all the way from Switzerland
- What Tom thought of the trails and how they differ from the UK
- Why Tom was super stoked
- How different the trails are from Switzerland
- What you can expect from racing in the Elgon Enduro race
- How Will got the local community involved and hired locals to be marshals for the weekend
- How the race helps the local area and businesses
- What future plans Simon, Will and Peter have for the development of mountain biking in East Africa
- How to get in contact with the East African Crew
It was great to get Will and Simon back on the show. Along with Peter, they are doing some amazing things to bring mountain biking to East Africa and most of the time at their own expense. The guys are super passionate about what they are doing and have plans put in place to make this even better in the near future. If you listened to episode number 066 when I had James Savage from Savage Wilderness on the show (listen here), we chatted about the difficulty and expense of getting mountain bikes imported into Africa. Simon fills us in on some updated information on this subject that may just see this issue get better in the near future. We also chat about future plans for pump tracks and how Tom is going to try and make this happen with help from projects he is doing regarding pump tracks in the UK.
The Elgon Enduro was a great success and everyone seemed to have an awesome time. Peter brought up his timing system for the race so things could be timed a little more accurate and I am sure this was a massive help. Simon and Will are putting plans together to get interest from the Enduro World Series (EWS) and hopefully make this a part of their future locations to consider. There certainty is the scope and the technical terrain to make this a viable option, so fingers crossed. The future is looking bright out there for the mountain biking scene, things are starting to move along at a good pace and we are seeing more and more race events every year. This can only be a good thing. The local communities benefit from extra people coming into the area, everything from accommodation to locals helping develop and marshal the trail network. And there are signs that this may even be required on a full time bases, so again extra money going into the local communities.
So put the kettle on, put your feet up and check out how the mountain biking scene is growing with the massive efforts of a handful of passionate and dedicated people. Enjoy the show!
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Thanks so much to the guys for coming on the show and sharing their Elgon Enduro story.
And thank you once again for Listening!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!