Strathpuffer 2012 - photographing a 24 hour mountain bike race

I spent the weekend of 7/8 January photographing the Strathpuffer 24 hour mountain bike race.

The Strathpuffer is an annual mountain bike race event held in Torachilty Forest, near the village of Contin on the A835 road to Ullapool. Now in its seventh year, the race is an endurance event with teams of riders (solos, pairs and quads) competing over a roughly 7 mile course and the team with the largest number of laps after 24 hours wins (25 really, as a lap counts as long as it was started before the 24th hour and finished before the 25th).

The winners of the 2012 Strathpuffer mountain bike race were a team called 56 Combined, who recorded 33 laps in just over the 24 hours. Remarkably, the 56 was reference to their combined age and all four members of the team were under 15 years of age. They received a rapturous round of applause as they accepted their trophy.

This year's solo winner was Phil Simcock of Team JMC. He recorded 26 laps in just under 24 hours. The picture above is of his team-mate, Jason Miles, who placed fifth in the solo category (and first in the single speed) with 22 laps. A friend of mine, David Hetherington, joined Jason on the podium for the single speed category, finishing in second place. Other friends of ours were also on the podium, with one team, Dave Beggs and Naomi Freireich, winning the mixed pairs for a second time. A great result for them all and I have lots of respect for everybody who competed in and supported such a fantastic event.

On a personal note, I was working at the event and I should have some photographs published in a UK magazine soon if all goes according to plan. Watch this space!