BILLINGTON mountain biker Graham Fielding is Hungary for success ahead of the World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships in 2012.
Fielding only started competing in mountain bike orienteering events, also known as Trail Quest, at the beginning of 2011 but has made rapid progress on the increasingly popular circuit. The event is intended to test both navigational and mountain bike skills, and involves finding a set of numbered check points, each of varying point values using an OS map in a given area and a strict time limit.
The 51-year-old has picked up victories in the Men’s 50 (M50) after embarking on events in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Northumberland and his confidence soared so much that his desire and determination took him to the Isle of Man End2End challenge.
The event, starting from the Point of Ayre in the north, covers 47 miles on hill tracks and forest trails with 1,500 metres of ascent to finish at Creagneash in the south. A record number of 1,700 entrants from around the world including South Africa, Sweden and Australia, took part in the challenge. Graham recorded a creditable 45th place finish with a time of three hours and 45 minutes, which was good enough for third in the M50 category.
“I found this event to my liking as it brought together my love of off-road riding and map reading,” said Graham. “As the year progressed my results improved and I started to pick up a couple of wins in my category which helped me grow in confidence and fitness. I decided to take on different challenges, one of which included the Isle of Man End2End challenge. I was very pleased with my time.”
The British Mountain Bike Orienteering M50 National one day Champion, who is also the Malham Show Trail Quest champion and North East Mountain Bike Orienteers M50 summer series winner, has one race left of the summer season before beginning a gruelling winter training period in hope of representing Great Britain at the World Masters in Hungary.
He added: “I look forward to a hard winter of training. Next year I have set my sights firmly on representing Great Britain in Hungary, as well as a return to the Isle of Man to defend my titles in Trail Quest.”
Graham would like to thank Nick Dinsdale of NJD Sports Injury Clinic Clitheroe for his advice and direction, and his family for their support.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring Graham he can be contacted on 07966699872.