‘I got to the 10km to go sign and I’d already done over 100km. That’s bullshit’ is a reasonably regular refrain from riders in the Full Fling (less so now than early years perhaps). The Full Fling has never been and will never be 100km long which, due perhaps to other events using the 50/100km distances, too many who did not read the race details would presume.
Each year the Full Fling, the Blue Riband distance, will be somewhere between 105 and 115km. We tell you beforehand of course! The Full Fling takes in what have become known as the Ground Effect Stage, the Shimano Stage and the GU Stage.
The Half Fling is not 50km and nor is it necessarily half of the Full Fling. Traditionally the Half Fling is around 55 to 60km and is the most popular distance in terms of participant numbers in the event. The Half Fling does the Ground Effect Stage and the GU Stage.
The 100Mile Fling was introduced in 2006, the second year of the Highland Fling, thus making it Australia’s oldest imperial century MTB marathon. Initially the 100Mile (approx. 160km) distance had pretty severe cut-offs but as we’ve mellowed with old age (just like fine wine) so have the cut-offs. That said it is still a massive undertaking that relatively few people attempt; around 20-30 each year, and many still don’t complete. Finish times run from less than 7 hours to more than 11. Katrin Van der Spiegel was the first woman to complete the 100Mile Fling then in 2012 6 women completed the distance with the podium split by a mere 90 seconds. The 100Mile Fling does the Ground Effect Stage, The Shimano Stage (twice!) and the GU Stage.
The ménage a trois of mountain biking; a Flinging Threesome offers a relay style opportunity with one rider doing each of the 3 stages that make up a Full Fling, transitioning at Bill O’Reilly Oval in Wingello village. For those more traditional couples, you can also do it as a Twosome where one rider does two of the stages and the other does one.
The Casual Fling
In our mind there is nothing more satisfying than a Casual Fling. Relatively short (around 15km) requiring less commitment, it is designed for those who don’t want to be timed in a race but want to be part of the atmosphere that is a Highland Fling weekend. After many years, in 2015 the Casual Fling was caught out and replaced by the more zippy Some Fling. Like all pleasurable affairs, it might return one day…….
The Some Fling
Sick of the little whippets lying about their age and sneaking into the Half Fling and recognising we needed to offer more particularly for the 12-15 year old racers, we introduced the Some Fling, a 23km course taking in the first 7km and last 15km of the Half Fling. Whilst it is our shortest distance and thus suited for less fit riders too, be warned it does feature some of the more technical aspects of the course.
The Dark Side
Usually prefixed by the words ‘The World Famous’ the Dark Side are the people who keep the wheels and gears of Wild horizons events rolling along smoothly and with a sense of fun and professionalism. Many Dark Siders started off taking part in our events and then either due to perhaps an injury or a desire to ‘put something back’ put their hand up to help. Many Dark Siders who did that find they’ve never escaped to ride again. For some this has gone on for 15 years or more…