Rider Briefing Willo 2020

This is the rider briefing for the
10th Anniversary Edition of the Willo Marathon!

1st March 2020 at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest in Canberra


The Willo MTB Marathon has become one of the top mountain bike marathons on the Australian cycling racing calendars and an annual reminder to all riders of the joys of mountain biking as well as the impact James Williamson had on the sport. The event was founded by James’ aunt Meg Patey who handed over the reigns to Rocky Trail Entertainment this year and as the event’s patron will participate in the event herself alongside many of James’ friends and fellow racers. All of the major sponsors and supporters will be on board again as well as the core Willo crew and Rocky Trail will continue the Willo Junior Clinics initiative as well. – Watch the 2019 squad line up, more than half are already on the start list!

If you have already signed up, it’s awesome to have you on board! Still on the fence? Online registrations are open until Friday before race day! Should we be getting close to selling out, we will communicate it via our website and our social media platforms.

Are you coming with a group of riders, club or racing team? Let the events team know if you’d like to reserve a dedicated prime team spot in the Event Village? Here are the contact details –

Event Managers:

  • Bob Morris 0458 299 558
  • Jo Parker 0424 955 332


Registration Online

Online registration will close on the Friday before race day.


Weather Forecast for 1 March 2020

This Sunday is the first first day of autumn in Australia and we are expecting perfect racing conditions in Canberra! Beautifully crisp morning air and a sunny day!

Photo: OuterImage.com.au


Rider List

The rider list is now online via the Rocky Trail online results portal. Registrations are coming in thick and fast now – we can’t wait to welcome a big Anniversary Crowd at Sparrow Hill!


LIVE Results

Results will be online and LIVE during the race via this link.


Race Track & Map

The 2020 Willo will be held at Sparrow Hill in Kowen Forest in Canberra, because the original venue at Wingello State Forest has been badly affected by the bushfires over summer and not safe to ride in yet. We have been in close contact with NSW State Forests and we are hoping to return to the venue with the 2021 edition.


Track description:

We put together a really cool track at Sparrow Hill – click here for the online portal and below for the direct Google Maps link.

  • The track will be run anti-clockwise.
  • We have designed it to have a regular fire road sections so the multi lap marathon style event will work best for fast riders catching slower riders.
  • Lap distance is approximately 22km long (this may vary depending on which GPS device you use)
  • Sparrow can be rocky and a bit loose 😊.
  • ACT Forestry are logging at the moment and sections of the forest are subject to closure, so if you visit to practice please obey the signs.
  • We are working with the local trail fairies to get the best trails and track conditions for you.
  • The kid’s track is about 6.8km long so 13km riders will do two laps of the course.


Elevation profile:


Categories & Entry Fees

Lap distance is approximately 22km long (this may vary depending on which GPS device you use) – categories are for 1, 2 or 3 laps for male or female.

The kid’s track is about 6.8km long so 13km riders will do two laps of the course.

What’s included in your entry?

  • Event entry
  • Free photos – get all your racing photos for FREE!
  • Fully marked riding circuit with race marshals to look after you
  • Personalised number plates
  • On-site parking close to the event centre
  • On-site toilets
  • Caterer at the event centre all day with delicious and hearty food, coffee and snacks
  • Professional First Aiders and medical support on course and the event centre
  • Professional timing with detailed category results – LIVE results online
  • Top three category prizes including sponsor products and Rocky Trail race vouchers
  • KOM and QOM special Willo trophies
Photo: OuterImage.com.au


Venue & Accommodation

We are not allowed to camp at Sparrow Hill, however, there are plenty of accommodation options around and we secured a hotel partner who is offering a Gold Rate.




Please find below a map in regards to parking – please note that there is ‘early bird’ parking for appr. 140 cars near the event centre and then there is overflow parking along Sparrow Hill Road.

Please be careful when turning off from Kings Hwy onto Sparrow Hill Road as this is a 100kph zone. We’d really appreciate it if you could park only in the designated areas so that we can fulfill our arrangements with the land managers – we will have parking marshalls who will assist you. Please follow their recommendations – they are from our designated local charity, Pedal 4 Pierce and if you can, please donate a gold coin to support their cause, which is to raise awareness about and to cure congenital muscular dystrophy. Many of you will know our Rocky Trail racer Chris Jefferys and his dad “DJ” Nigel Jefferys – they and their racing team will help us with parking on the day. Cheers.


Catering, Water

A coffee and food van will be a the Event Centre from 6:30am and then all day to give us top quality delicious of food all day Sunday. Please bring enough water for your own needs – we will also have spare water in the event centre.


Race Info & Schedule

You can click on the RACE INFO drop-down menu on the website and here are the key bits of information:


Saturday: You can practice the course and pick up number plates on the Saturday already from midday until 5pm – check out the full event schedule on the website!

Sunday Event Times:

  • 6.30 – 8.30 am Registration open Adult riders.
  • 6.30 am Food and Coffee services open
  • 6.30 – 7.30 am Track open for practice (must register first)
  • 7.35 am 13KM riders move to start area
  • 7.45 am 13KM Start (2 Laps of 6.8km)
  • 9.20 am 66KM riders move to start area
  • 9.30 am 66KM Start (3 laps)
  • 9.35 am 44KM riders to start area
  • 9.40 am 44KM Start (2 laps)
  • 9.45 am 22KM riders to start area
  • 9.50 am 22KM Start (1 Lap)
  • 9.30 – 10.00 am Registration for Sub-Junior Race
  • 10.30 am Sub Juniors (4 – 8 years) race at Event Centre.
  • 11.00 am Sub-Junior ( 8 – 11 years) Race Start
  • from 10.15 am Presentations as per schedule online
  • 1.45 pm Cut off time for starting a lap
  • 4 pm Food and Coffee services close
Photo: OuterImage.com.au


The “Entertainment” bit

Apart from exciting racing on awesome trails, we’ll of course “entertain” you with funky chooooonz – the Redbull event vehicle & DJ will be in ‘da house’ at the event centre and our own ‘resident DJ’ Nigel from Pedal 4 Pierce will be stationed at the top of KOM producing beats in the forest.

Get ready for an action-packed day – listen to Rocky Trail Radio with our favourite playlists by DJ Nige to get into race mode! Whooop!


First Aid

The Pink First Aid will look after us all day – there will be a station out on course and a main tent in the event centre. There will be roaming marshalls on course who can help too.



We have an experienced crew looking after you and this race offers fun volunteering opportunities – “Willo Vollies” get a crew T-shirt and we will look after you with food & drinks; if you help out all day we are offering free entries to future Rocky Trail events. Spread the word & RSVP here or you can also call our event managers directly (see contact details above).








Willo Juniors

The Willo was set up in honour of James by his aunt Meg Patey and is now managed by Rocky Trail under her patronage. Proceeds from the event will still support junior development – we’re looking forward to our 2019 Willo Skills Camp Squad racing with us at Sparrow Hill!

Photo: Supplied by Meg Patey



We would like to thank all our wonderful sponsors who have supported the Willo over the years and continue to be a part of this inspiring event this year! They so generously provide products for prizes, help spread the word about the event and one racer can WIN a brand-new Giant bike – read all about it here.


Photo: jameswilliamson.com.au