The leg­endary 300 pre­pare to scram­ble down the moun­tain

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’S 22 kilo­me­tres long and a 1200m descent – that’s the good news.

The bad news is it’s on at least two kilo­me­tres of snow and a mass start from the sum­mit of Mt McKay that re­quires a mix of bravado and des­per­a­tion in the scram­ble for po­si­tions.

Last year 75 rid­ers tack­led the McKayos chal­lenge – this year the field is ex­pected to be close to 300.

They have added 4 kilo­me­tres to the jour­ney and in­cluded the re­cently fin­ished moun­tain bike trail to be­low the Falls Creek re­sort ticket box on the way to the fin­ish line at the shores of Lake Guy at Bo­gong Vil­lage.

The unique race that mim­ics the pop­u­lar­ity of sim­i­lar snow, dirt and road races in Europe was won in its first year by for­mer world cham­pion moun­tain biker Paul van der Ploeg.

Snow­maker An­thony John­son is an­other who will again be at the start line for the McKayos on Septem­ber 24.

“It’s pretty unique go­ing from snow to gravel,” he said.

“For me I guess I have a bit of a home­town ad­van­tage be­cause I’m out here for about 12 hours most nights pump­ing out the snow so I know where the nooks and cran­nies are even when they’re cov­ered by snow.

“It’s also pretty crazy at the start and for me you have to spin it to win it – I don’t back off all the way down the hill.

“Last year of course we had a for­mer world cham­pion moun­tain biker in the field and that was fan­tas­tic but the race is re­ally for ev­ery­one, you cer­tainly don’t have to be an elite moun­tain biker.”

John­son said moun­tain bik­ing had turned Falls Creek into a year-round re­sort.

“The way it has been de­signed and put to­gether the trails at Falls Creek have be­come a real draw­card and the suc­cess of this event shows that that is only go­ing to grow,” he said.

“I have the best of both worlds - live at Falls Creek as a snow­maker in the win­ter and rid­ing the trails through the sum­mer.”

En­try into the McKayos will open on the Facebook event page car­ry­ing that name in the near fu­ture.

The cost for in­di­vid­ual en­try is $75 each or you can en­ter as a team of four that must in­clude one fe­male.

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