Marathon XC Racing UK

Getting back into riding MTB XC Marathon, and was wondering if any other Brits had recommendations for good marathon races to use as test rides leading up to the XCM British Champs? (100km last year winning time was 5:30 ish)

In SA we had a loads of great races to choose from on my doorstep but as I am in London now they are less easy to come by and more work to get to so want to choose wisely.

Any recommendations much appreciated.

Unfortunately there really isn’t any Marathon Racing to be had in the UK in the traditional form of a single lap. This is mainly due to the fact that here in the UK we have some pretty stupid rules about racing on Bridleways and footpaths. Therefore races can only be held on private land which means courses up to 8 miles maximum.

However look up the Scott MTB Series, 5 rounds held across the UK every summer. Fantastic events with varying distances. The routes are always brilliant and fantastically well organised. Technically they are NOT a race for the above reason so there is no podium, ranked results or prizes. But you do have a number and your time is recorded. Towards the sharp end you will find usually a mix of the UK’s best elite and age category XC races though…

Alternatively we have a great selection of Endurance events through out the year. Usually 4 hours, 6 hours, 12 or 24 but held over a lapped course. Check out the Thetford Winter Series, Gorrick MTB series, Torq 12/12, Mountain Mayhem and Brighton Big Dog.


Thank you so much for your response, I just checked that out (Scott series), looks like it will be a great option. Will also scour out some of the other events as well.

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There’s also Ratrace the crossing which is a 3 day coast to coast.

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I did the Scott Wantage Marathon this year and was amazing…a mass start which was so fast. I will be doing as many of the Scott series next year as possible. I’m also doing the Avon and Tyrell race this weekend.


Same here! Living in London and having difficulties to find some XCM races our similar event especially around London. Probably will be doing the Marathon Series rides next year and a couple of Endurance events, see link below;

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Up until 2 years ago I wouldn’t have hesitated to recommend the Selkirk MTB Marathon:

In years gone by this was part of the Merida MTB Marathon Series (later CRC) and had close to 1000 riders taking on a very challenging course of about 80km. Over time, and a change to the calendar, numbers reduced and eventually the route was cut to the current 45km or there abouts. Still a brilliant route, but the distance isn’t quite what you’re looking for.


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Thank you.

Yes I will do the marathon series and then aim to do XCM Nationals.

Unless you know otherwise, there’s no confirmed event yet for British mtb marathon champs. last two years were on the Isle of Man but no mention this year.
On the plus side the Scott series are superb with proper, full on courses and a field that will be led by Paul Oldham and Nick Craig plus lads from Torq among others. Legally a sportive but raced like a race at the front.

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I am not aware that its been confirmed yet but I have planned around the Manx 100 being the race for the nationals. (I need to plan for something and that’s the most likely from having spoken to the organisers and BC but yet to get confirmation)

I have lined up the Scott series of races (they recently published all the dates locations etc for 2019) so will definitely be doing all of them that match up with my availability.