A reservist Lance Corporal in the Royal Military Police (RMP) is on the verge of becoming a national champion in the motorsport of Extreme Enduro.
But what exactly is it?
Lance Corporal Stuart Mack, of 243 Provo Company 1 RMP, explains: “Extreme Enduro is basically a multi-lap format. So the British Championships can be fifteen to twenty-minute laps, and we’ll race for two-and-a-half to three hours, a lot of the time it’s three hours. And it’s basically a multi-lap format. You just start and then it’s whoever can get the most amount of laps.
“But the reason it’s called Extreme Enduro is because it’s pretty extreme – there can be a lot of big hill climbs, rock gardens, big rock steps, the massive logs, you have to have a very good technical ability but obviously the distance you have to have really good endurance and then strong as well.”
Lance Corporal Mack has been riding trials motorcycles since he was a boy but has more recently switched his attention to higher speed competition.
He continued: “Trials is quite a niche sport and it’s quite hard to get to the top level. There’s a lot of technique and a lot of fighting and stuff to get to the top ranks in trials. There’s only sort of the top five or ten in the world make a wage out of it, really.
“In the British Championships I was fighting to get into the top fifteen and could never really just break that top fifteen. My sponsors mentioned do I want to go into Enduro so I got an Enduro bike and then it just sort of went from there.”
Lance Corporal Mack's journey has come with challenges. Earlier this year he suffered a literally eye-watering groin injury in competition, requiring crucial surgery.
However, he won the third British Championship event last time out.
The sport is popular in the Forces with the likes of Tom Ellwood – trailblazers in the sport.
This weekend, Lance Corporal Mack is looking to get some experience with higher speed work at the Scottish Enduro Championship.
A good result next weekend, in the final race of the curtailed extreme season, could see him crowned British champion.
He said: “So yeah, literally every day during lockdown I’d be training twice, maybe three times a day.
“Doing big cycles in the morning, weights in the afternoon and then a lot of ab work and then a lot of work on my back because I’ve found being a tall, I’m six-foot-five, so being a tall rider I get a lot of problems with my back and have quite a sore back towards the end of the race and it can let me down so I worked on a lot of that problem and then at the weekend it paid off”.
Lance Corporal Mack's already been handed a TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) by the Army which will give him access to high-class training, fitness and nutrition, but to take his riding further he will need sponsorship.
For now though, he is aiming to be the ‘Best of British’ in this toughest of motorsports.
Cover image: Lance Corporal Stuart Mack on his motorbike (Picture: Lance Corporal Stuart Mack).