It all began in 2016 when Josie Wilcox was in the USA on a track and Cross County runner scholarship. That year she began mountain biking, then brought her first pair of cleats in 2017 and stormed onto the female mountain bike scene in New Zealand winning a whole bunch of big races including
This week we spend 10 minutes chatting about the Whaka100 with Josie.
Q: Why do you return to this event?
A: The challenge of the Whaka brings me back this year. 100km on a bike doesn't seem like much, but 100km of single track in the Redwoods is a long way! Also, Tim has added some more hills (Tim- Maybe, we are just waiting on some new trail development) - so that too draws me back! Oh yeh, then there's the chance to race alongside Jolanda!! Maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Q: You’ve won the Whaka100 in 2017. What does it feel like to win this race?
A: It felt surprising yet rewarding to win the Whaka 100 last year. I'm very much a goal driven person and Whaka was always going to be the hardest race of the season for me especially since I had never raced a MTB marathon event before. I know a number of woman in the field last year had some experience with longer mtb events so it was a surprise to me that I managed to take the win.
Q: What has inspired you to race in the Whaka100?
A: I raced all 3 rounds of the Winter MTB Series last year and had a wicked time on every occasion! Whaka seemed like the next biggest challenge after that! I am always motivated by a challenge. The Whaka100, one of the hardest single day mtb events around, is certainly that.
Q: How would you describe this course?
A: The course was challenging last year - now there's more elevation ! sounds awesome, I love hills. It's a really undulating course, some big climbs on both single track and forestry roads and some longer descents. The trails used are mostly grade 2-4, so nothing super technical and unrideable but grade 4 trails when fatigued are challenging enough. The course is spectator friendly and it's always nice to see supporters at the checkpoints.
Q: What sets the Whaka100 apart from any other event?
A: The Whaka100 is a true test of endurance. Where else can you race for 100km, with 4000m elevation and all virtually on single track?! The event is the pinnacle of single day mtb marathon racing.
Q: Do you have any top tips for riders racing in the 100km for the first time in 2018?
I would say my 3 top tips would be: