The Manx 100 has been ruined by some very selfish trail marking sabotage. But Isle of Man mountain bikers vow to make it better.
The revered endurance event falls victim to disgraceful route marking sabotage. The Manx 100 is an iconic event. It laps the Isle of Man’s abundant wilderness, allowing riders to push themselves on significant endurance events without having to repeat route sections.
With the event divided into three distance options, all fitness and skill levels are welcome.
The most committed Manx 100 riders cover 160km of riding, with a 65% attrition rate. Riders who wish to not put themselves that deep into the hurt locker, can opt for the 100- or 50km versions.
Despite the negotiated approval of its routing and considered efforts to work within all relevant protocols, the 2021 Manx 100 was cruelly sabotaged.
Disappointment for all
Event organisers discovered that the route arrows had been altered. And not merely a few. Upon closer inspection, all route arrows were discovered as altered, making the event untenable.
For a saboteur to journey the entire Manx 100 route, and methodical undo its markings, would not have been the work of a moment. It would have required planning, time management and worst of all – intent.
Beyond ruining the expectation of riders who wanted to test themselves on some of Isle of Man’s terrific trails, the saboteur(s) could have caused injury and death, had Manx 100 organisers had not discovered the full extent of route misdirection.
Lisa Morris, who is involved with the event, says that despite the disappointment, the riding community remains steadfast in its commitment to hosting riders in future.
“What it has also created is an inbox full of help and suggestions, so now there is a bigger pool of helpers and the Manx 100 miles, 100km and the 50km will all be back next year. We love nothing more than seeing the elation on the rider’s faces when they finish. However, for the riders who have trained and come across for this, they have been left with uncertainty for future events.”