A healthy sense of competition keeps Rich Marshall and Julie Perkins pushing to be better and that extra motivation has led the couple to achieve some excellent results in the Kootenay Rockies Enduro Series races.
Marshall works as a mountain guide year-round and is fresh off a win in the Masters (40+) category at this past weekend’s Enduro race in Golden, adding to his collection of victories that also includes races in Canmore and Kimberley. Perkins, a backcountry chef, was working and unable to participate this past weekend, but earlier this season she took home the top prize for women in Canmore and Penticton.
Marshall has lived in Golden his entire life and took up mountain biking when the sport was still taking off. Perkins is newer to biking and has been riding for about 10 years, but both athletes get a similar satisfaction from the sport.
“To me it’s similar to skiing, it’s a gravity based activity, it’s fast, exciting and it allows you to travel through terrain really quickly,” Marshall said.
“I got into it because it was something you can always do by yourself. I used to climb a bit more and you always needed a partner…(I enjoy) the simpleness of getting on your bike and going for a ride by yourself,” Perkins said.
The friendly competition between husband and wife was evident earlier this season when Marshall got off to a slower start with his training.
“At the start of the season, I didn’t get started super early with training and Julie was really strong and had just got a new bike and was really doing well with that. She pushed me quite hard…that push was really nice to have,” Marshall said.
“We push each other, it’s like chasing each other up and down,” Perkins said.
Both Marshall and Perkins are new to the idea of competing in actual races and happened to be in Penticton the day of one of the Enduro Series races. The feeling of organized competition turned out to be rather addicting.
“It’s a really neat state of mind that you get into,” Perkins said. “You get into this really cool zone of just pushing yourself to the absolute limit.”
“The intensity of the focus steps up to a different level,” Marshall added. “You want to ride smooth and flowy but you also want to push it to the edge.”
Marshall used his knowledge of the trails in Golden to his advantage over the weekend and will hope to do the same when he competes in the Transrockies’ Single Track 6 race beginning on July 26 (stages 4 and 5 will be in Golden.)
For Perkins, she’ll be working during the Single Track 6 race and the next Enduro Series race in Rossland, but hopes to compete in the season finale in Revelstoke.