Name: Rich Rothwell
Hometown: Morpeth, Northumberland
Favourite riding experience to date? Completing the Highland Trail 550 with my 11 year old son James in April 2023. He is the youngest rider to complete the route and conditions were definitely 'Scottish'! It was such a great experience to do this specatcular ride together and spend all that quality time with each other. I also loved Further Elements in the Cairngorms in October. But my Colorado Trail Race a few years ago was special and still has me wanting to return to the Rockies.
What are your plans for 2024? My season starter will be the Dales Divide in March. I have some other shorter targets marked out for the summer but the year is likely going to revolve around a trip to Arizona with my son James, to take on the Arizona Trail Race. Lots of singletrack, very rough ground and a hike a bike through the Grand Canyon. It's a bucket list trip that we are both super excited about.
What does riding or ultra racing mean to you? It's all about the adventure! I love being out in wild places and seeing spectacular scenery. Not knowing what is round the next corner is also a huge appeal in ultra-racing. That could be the unexpected and new view or the next problem to solve. I also love pushing myself mentally and physically and there is nothing better than that feeling when everything clicks and the riding flows.
Favourite ride snack: Whatever I can find and I like surprises! Something savoury always tastes so good when you are really hungry. Chicken kebabs in Morocco earlier this year were the dream and came at just the right time! (I'd had enough omelettes by then!). Whilst not a snack, I'm a big fan of high carbohydrate drink mix. So convenient and easy to get the calories in quickly. .
Soundtrack to your ride: I've always been a fan of atmospheric electronic music and it's usually the kind of stuff I listen to when riding. I usually have a good stock of Sasha's Last Night on Earth podcast sets loaded from Soundcloud, along with some John Digweed and Hernan Cataneo. If I want something to make me laugh, I might include some DJ Yoda.