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Monday, July 11, 2011

Mountain biking mum aiming for top spot

Mountain biking mums are becoming a major part of Australia's biggest annual mountain bike marathon, the Flight Centre Epic. Race organiser Peter Creagh, of Tailwind Promotions, said the event in the Lockyer Valley in South East Queensland had seen an increasing number of female participants since it started nine years ago.

"Women are certainly rising to the challenge offered by the Epic," he said.
Policewoman Emma Thomson, from Cleveland, is a single mum who enjoys the exhilaration of competitive mountain biking and is looking forward to her third Epic, which is held on August 6-7.

"Admittedly the course took me forever to complete in my first year and I thought I would never finish," Emma said.
"Now I've come to really love the sport. Last year I came second in my age group and this year I'm looking forward to giving it another go and hopefully taking out the 30-39 age category."

Emma turned to mountain bike riding after she had her daughter, Adela, in 2006.

"I used to like running and competed in triathlons," she said.

"My work colleagues were into mountain biking and after I had my daughter it seemed like a natural transition from running and triathlons to mountain biking.

"Now I try to train every morning at Daisy Hill Forest with my work mates and when I'm doing shift work I'll train during the day while Adela is at school."

Emma said she would not be able to keep up her training and competition schedule if it weren't for her wonderful parents.

"I'm very lucky that they're so supportive and are always willing to help me out. My dad competes in triathlons so sometimes we train together and Adela can't wait to join in when she's old enough too."

Mr Creagh said this year's event would start and finish at Spicers Hidden Vale and the Epic would cover 75km instead of the traditional 104km.

The Epic weekend includes the 99 Bikes Mini and Minor Epics, where children can ride with their parents, as well as the 30km Spicers Chase cross country race and the 50km Merida Pursuit half marathon.
For more, go online to www.cycleepic.tailwindpromotions. com.au.

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