Several obstacles were overcome by the organisers and riders at the annual Foxborough Endurothon at Sible Hedingham.
On Saturday morning the work party to set up the course was greeted with running muddy water coming down the access road.
Not to be deterred, they set up the course, only then for the rain to come down, making the parking and paddock very difficult to negotiate and putting the meeting under threat of cancellation.
But a determination to stick to a Sudbury Motorcycle Club motto of ‘we don’t do cancel’ saw a phone call to Steve Finch of G & B Aggregates help to ensure it got the go ahead.
But that was only after a period of three hours which saw three lorries with earth plus a roller to make an earth road work on the site.
Thirty minutes before the start of the five-hour marathon on Sunday the rain came again, making the course even muddier and wetter. But three hours later the rain stopped and at times the sun shone. Unfortunately, from a rider’s perspective, the damage was done and they inevitably found the going very difficult and challenging.
Of the 36 teams which started, only 21 finished, while in the Ironman Class only eight finished out of 34.
The action in the Championship Class was between Craig Roper and Jack Berry (Sudbury), Jason Morland (Halstead) and Ben Clark (MX Nationals) with the lead swapping constantly.
But towards the end of the event, which was reduced to four hours, Morland/Clark got the upper-hand to take the chequered flag first, having completed 30 laps with Roper/Berry second on 28 laps.
Braintree’s Richard Penfold and James Yearley took third place on 22 laps and the Woodbridge pair of Toby Morley and Craig Page Baker were fourth on 19 laps.
Dave Roper’s team-mates Ryan McDonnell and Jack Nicolaou (Sudbury) won the Expert Class, completing 26 laps and pushing fellow Sudbury members George Eustace and Chris Hart into second place on 24 laps.
Halstead’s Joe Marsh and Mark Mitchell secured third place on 21 laps, while father-and-son pairing Martin and Nathan Greenaway (Sudbury) finished fourth.
It was a win for Sudbury’s Tommy Clarkeand Myles Saunders in the Clubman Class, completing 25 laps with Michael Wyatt and Tom Morris (Woodbridge) second on 22 laps, pushing into third place Liam Philips and Adam Jordon (Army) by one minute 27 seconds, also on 22 laps.
Fourth place went to James Hockey and Steve Finch on 21 laps, with Kevin Webb and Ian Head (Sudbury 21 laps) fifth.
In the solo class, the machine of Harry Clark (Sudbury) would not start and it took several minutes to get it going.
By that time the whole field had disappeared into the distance and as it was his first Endurothon he was determined to ride to the finish line.
Slowly he made his way through the field, completing 20 laps which was one short of the winner Maciej Berdysz (Sidcup).
Sudbury riders filled the next four places with Darren Nicolaou third, Rob Clark fourth, Gary Vines fifth and Eldon Jackson sixth.