If you’re a human over the age of eight, then the 2023 PMBA Enduro likely has a race going on that will suit, as well as heading to a new venue.
Alongside the usual PMBA Enduro, there’s a womens’, kids and e-bike enduros to tick pretty much every enduro box there is to tick.
All entries, bar the Graythwaite Epic, go live Monday 3rd December at 9am.
Read the full press release below.
The Hope PMBA Enduro series is back for 2023 and is bigger than ever. It features a new-to-us venue, and the calendar contains the most inclusive set of events we have ever planned.
Before we get to the detail of the 2023 events, I’d like to reflect on some history that will also give context to the 2023 plans.
PMBA Enduro was envisioned to provide an introduction and a progression path for aspiring enduro racers. It’s been immensely rewarding to see familiar rider such as Martha Gill (who later became one of my PMBA Enduro ambassadors) start enduroing at our first series in 2014. Enjoying it so much she swapped disciplines from cross country to enduro, progressing to be World Enduro U21 Champion just a few years later in 2017.
There are 10 ambassadors are on the website, if you want to look at other inspirational progressions including Polly Henderson and Tom Wilson who are now regularly repping on the world stage and validating the enduro pathway PMBA Enduro has created. However let me use the second example of young ambassador Katy Kaos . Her progress from winning our first U10’s enduro in 2019; getting a special invite into that year’s Hopetech women enduro (and beating 2/3rd of the ladies). Joining the ambassador program, beasting Graythwaite 2020 as the only event we ran in covid. Now she’s a Scott sponsored superstar and national DH champ at 13 years old, setting fastest women times of the day at PMBA Enduro as well as U16 series champion.
That kind of immense progression, that I feel honoured to have partly facilitated, has made me really want to expand the grassroots events PMBA Enduro puts on. When you see that as an organiser it just makes me want to maximise that pathway and encourage enduro for all.
In my discussions with Hope Technology, there was an obvious connection with their own grassroots programs, Hope Academy and Hope Women. I explained my aspirations and what hurdles were in place for me to execute this plan, and together we have made this happen.
So today, as well as announcing the 5 round Hope PMBA Enduro 2023 series, we can also launch Hope Women Enduro Series (age 13+), a Hope Academy Enduro series for 8-14 boys, and 8-13 girls and a Hope Academy U10’s series all with 3 rounds. This really is “Enduro for all”.
There is now also a 3 round E-Bike series contained within the 2023 event calendar. From the very grassroots of the sport to a national enduro round, there is something for every current and future enduroist this year.
This year every single round has parking/camping included in the ticket price, please remember this when booking, its extra value you cannot ignore.
Entries open 9am Saturday 3rd December (except Graythwaite)
29th April Hope Academy Enduro, Hope Womens Enduro
30th April Gisburn Grassroots Enduro
Graythwaite and Grizedale
27/28th May Graythwaite & Grizedale Epic, and E-Epic for E-Bikes
Ae Endurofest (Ae Forest)
24th June Hope Academy Enduro, Hope Womens Enduro
24/25th June Ae Endurofest including E-Bikes also BNES R3
One Giant Leap Llangollen
12/13th August Llangollen including E-Bikes
Kirroughtree Forest (Final)
2nd September Hope Academy Enduro, Hope Womens Enduro
3rd September Hope PMBA Enduro final
It’s almost a cliché to say that it is tradition for us to start at Gisburn Forest, so it will come as no surprise that we are. A little later than normal so that we could book some sunshine too. The end of April on the bank holiday weekend we start with a full program of grassroots enduro racing. Saturday sees the opening round of the Women and Academy series, on the usual 3 trail centre stages. As for the whole Women and Academy series, it’s the mashup format we are using.
So you can try each stage as you wish and we’ll take the best time. Saturday afternoon we will also squeeze in the U10’s single stage mashup on “27 berms” just like last year. This will be a free event, but entries will open 3 weeks before the event with preference to those who have an entry into another event on that weekend. Sunday will see the main Hope PMBA Enduro series kick off, with some off piste stages added to those used on Saturday for some added gnar while still being very accessible for grassroots racers. Camping/Parking now included in the ticket price.
The series then moves to Graythwaite, on the late May bank holiday. This is our toughest round, big pushups and steep technical descents that challenge even the professionals. Unfortunately there are no grassroots events at this round, but we do have an epic lakeside campsite and HQ. We have moved the HQ down to the new glamping field at Graythwaite. Plumbed in showers and toilets are a bonus on top of the waterfront race village. Camping, showers & parking is included in the ticket price, bank holiday camping on the shores of Windermere and Epic Enduro stages – you can see why this event attracts racers from Southampton to the highlands of Scotland and even further afield.
Graythwaite was hit hard by Storm Arwen and that cancelled the 2022 running, and we haven’t been able to get enough clear stages for the event, so to keep it “Epic” we will be running half the event over in Grizedale Forest. With echoes of the huge 2017 Graythwaite and Grizedale BEMBA National Championships the only way we could bring this event back for 2023 was to once again combine 2 forests into one event. No half measures, no compromises, the Epic is back in 2023. This will also mark the first event where PMBA Enduro will have an Ebike Class.
I’m not sure it is going to make it easier, but there is an overwhelming amount of requests for this category, so here it is. I may well make you all set off first as a group, and please remember this will be an out-and-back self supported loop of 6-8 stages and 1000M elevation with pushups. I’ve no doubt the event will run, however with covid cancellation in 2020, Arwen cancellation in 2022 I’m not sure I can personally cope with cancelling again, so the entries for this round will be delayed until Feb 2023 just in case of more storm damage this winter. Mainly for my own mental health rather than any actual issues with the venue or stages. I hope you will understand, it’s been a tough run of things these past few years.
Ae Endurofest, what’s that then? Well its a festival, of enduro. We have the full range of events this weekend. A Saturday with Women and Academy mashups on trail centre stages and on entirely different off piste stages practice for the main enduro, which is also round 3 of the BNES – BEMBA National Enduro Series.
Ae Forest has been missing from the national enduro scene since 2016, and we plan for it to come back with a bang. Held in mid summer, again sunshine has been booked for the weekend. Huge flat camping/HQ right in the centre of the action. The main enduro stage loop means you often find yourself back near camp between stages, so you can ride light and enjoy the awesome singletrack descents lovingly carved into the hillside by the locals.
This is one of our E-Bike rounds, and unlike Graythwaite you have the option to call back at HQ at this round due to a looped course.
The Women and Academy course uses a shortened version of the red XC loop, while being just a little harder than the Gisburn round to help the progression.
Camping/Parking included in the entry price just like every round this year.
Our fastest round of the year is next up, One Giant Leap Llangollen and its awesome downhill tracks will once again be tweaked into a very gravity heavy enduro venue. No Academy or Womens round here as we have used every square meter of the hillside to squeeze 5 stages within the One Giant Leap bike park..
The third and final of the E-bike mini series. Our 3 E-champions will be crowned here, Male U40, Male 40+ and Female.
5 gnarly stages, awesome views and this ultra compact venue will no doubt provide some close racing. Live timing is also booked for this round, with great signal and just 1 transition route it makes it possible to check your times after every stage. Mid August and again I’ve been chatting to my mate Ra and booked the sunshine for 12/13th August, with an overnight shower to keep the dust down, lets see if that weather gets delivered.
As always camping, parking and showers included in the price.
Round 5 and its back to Scotland for the finale, back to Kirroughtree for another packed weekend of Enduro for all, Academy & Women on the Saturday, and the final of the main enduro series on the Sunday.
We’ll be introducing a little off piste action to the Hope Women Series for this final round, and minimising overlap between the Saturday and Sunday courses.
We could well see the camp HQ spreading out into the overflow camping for the first time ever if our new grassroots series is as popular as we hope.
The original home of the U10’s free enduro will again see a swarm of balance bikes down the “taster loop” while the older ones furiously pedal.
Sunday’s Hope PMBA Enduro final will take on technical off piste, and make sure you haven’t forgotten how to pedal. With the final’s points having to count, those pushing for the series class podiums will have had to master a wide range of enduro styles and venues through the year for a much deserved title.
For everything PMBA Enduro-related, head to their website here.