Help For Heroes Race at Hamsterly

Mountain Biking Magazine



Help For Heroes Race at Hamsterley Forest

A heads up for a very worthwhile race this September at the Descend Bike Park, Hamsterley Forest.

The weekend of the 29th/30th of September 2012 will play host to a charity race organised to raise funds for the UK charity Help for Heroes (H4H). The charity supports injured and seriously wounded soldiers who have been fighting on the battlefields to help keep our world a better place. So, to show our appreciation we are organising a Downhill and 4X race weekend at Hamsterley Forest.

To enter please visit one of our proud sponsors by going to

All racing categories can be found on the website and when entering your date of birth the category you race in will be determined.
All you need to do is select ‘open’ unless you are an expert rider but this is all explained on the website.
Elite riders get a free entry into the DH, just email [email protected] and your details and name will be added to the entries page. There is only 25 places to be had and everyone is to pay for a 4X place with 60 available.

Racing format is as follows:

Downhill Schedule

• The venue will be open to all people who are camping over
• No riding the track
• Course walks are permitted


• Sign on 08:30 until 10:30 in the race village for downhill riders only
• Downhill practice is on the Saturday and all riders must complete a minimum of 2 practice runs
• Uplifts will be running from 0900-1600


• Uplifts from 08:30 to 10:30 – Racing starts at 11:00
• Race category order will be displayed during Saturday at the sign-on tent
• Each rider will have 2 race runs with the best run to count
• All podium ceremonies will be in the race village after all the downhill has finished

Rippers Race

There is an under 12’s ripper race for all riders aged 10-12 years old. They will have their own separate race track marked out in the top section of the woods to ensure they have fun and do not end up under the adult riders wheels.
This will be a mixed category race of both boys and girls.
To enter for the whole weekend there will be a £10 fee on the Saturday morning at sign-on and riders will have all day to practice, again a minimum of 2 runs is required. There will be no uplift provided as its only a small push to the top from the finish area. Riders can enter on the Sunday morning – the entry fee is £10 – and they will not begin racing until around midday so still plenty of time to practice.
All rippers must be accompanied trackside by a parent.

4X Schedule

• 4X sign on 08:30 at the main cabin in the car park at the top (only 4X riders are to park here unless you are racing both the DH and 4X)


• 4X practice all day Saturday from 09:00
• Racing starts at 15:00 on Saturday
All heats will be decided by riders pulling names out of a hat during the day to build up the racing heats to keep it fair.

4X Podium ceremonies will take place straight after the 4X finals.


There will be trophies for the top 3 in each category along with an extra prize donated by our prize sponsors.

Juvenile \ Youth
Winners from male and female categories will win a coaching day with Rob Jarman at Hamsterley on a date to suit all parties with 2 random riders being selected over the weekend to make up the group of 6.

Riders will win a custom designed limited edition Help For Heroes champion race top from RSD Sports.

Seniors \ Masters \ Veterans
Will receive a prize from the sponsors along with a trophy.

Expert \ Elite
Winners will receive a £100 red letter day voucher as will the elite winner, the rest of the podium will receive other prizes.

Prize for the fastest rider on a hardtail.

Riders will also be picked at random and awarded a prize just to say thanks for coming.

Course Description

The tracks at Hamsterley are classed as some of the best and most fun in the country. The top section is fast flowing with berms, drops, rock sections and a nice table top jump. Head into the middle section with a road gap before you begin the descent on the lower sections of the course. The lower sections are steep and technical with plenty of exposed roots to catch you out. The chosen track is a one-off for this event but links up many familiar sections whilst trying remove any local advantage.
The track offers ample spectator spots and plenty of opportunities for filming and photos. In addition, there will be several professional photographers taking pictures all weekend.

The 4X course is one of the longest in the UK offering lots of variation in jumps, berms and line choices throughout. This is open all year round with regular maintenance and is available to practice before the race weekend.

Race Village and Event Details



Retail Stands

Bikanic Sam Poxon will be of service at the middle cabin to sell spare parts and provide repairs.

Don Skene cycles will be at the race village with their mobile shop and the new 2013 Specialized range on display, including the first carbon Demo 8 in the UK.
There will be a new Specialized carbon Dissident helmet as a raffle prize, tickets will be available at Don Skene and Bikanic and the draw will be made at the podium on Sunday afternoon.
Retail stands can be arranged for a small fee of £10, please contact [email protected] for details.

Also if anyone would like to get involved and help out in the running of the event or donate prizes please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Special Guests

The animal bike tour will be appearing at the event and putting on a show in the race village.

British soldiers will be trackside setting up inflatables in the race village which are free of charge to entertain all the family, so come and have a go.


There will be the usual hot food stands as well as a help for heroes cake stands and trackside BBQ. Toilets will be provided in the race village and also at the top of the 4X.

Camping is available but there may be an additional charge of £5 by the Forestry Commission if they turn up, this charge is directly to them at a cost which is out of our hands.
There are many B&B’s and hotels within close proximity for those not wanting to brave the British weather.
The racing will have a relaxed atmosphere and this is a great cause we are raising money for, so come along show your support.

A massive thank you to our sponsors below.


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