Can you introduce yourself and let our readers know a little bit about you?
I’m Jac Marquis (also known as “Stracky Jachan”, “Jackie Strachan”, “Jac the Minx” or “One of our Tailenders” depending on who’s doing the commentating). As well as riding and racing cross, I also ride endurance MTB, singlespeed and enduro as well as just mucking about on my bike in the woods!
How long have you been involved in cyclocross?
I’ve been involved in cyclocross for almost 10 years now (pretty much since I started riding to be honest).
What got you into the sport in the first place?
I decided to try out a cross race at Mugdock to figure out what all the fuss was about…the rest is history!
Can you remember the first CX race you went to, and how did it go?
My first CX race was at Mugdock Country Park. It was actually my first ever bike race. I think I managed to podium, but given that only Fiona Walker, Ruth Fraser Moodie (or McGavagin at the time) and Christine Allen raced CX at the time, I had a good chance of podiuming as long as they didn’t all turn up!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a cross race?
Phil the Horse’ nacked lap at Glengorm. I think that might have been partly my fault for encouraging him!
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done at a race, on or off the bike?
A few of us went to the World CX Masters in Mol a few years ago and after my race was finished, I decided to have a hot ginever from one of the stalls (loads of Belgian races have wee ginever stalls). I’m not a gin drinker and it went straight to my head, so when I was running across the paddock to grab Davie Graham’s jacket before his race started, I fell flat on my face in front of a big Belgian crowd. No more gin at races for me!
Do you have a favourite course, either to ride, or to spectate?
The course at Glengorm Castle holds a special place in my heart. The weekend trip up to Mull for the last race in the series each year is always a great weekend and a great way to finish off the series. The views on the course from the front of the castle are pretty amazing too…as long as it’s not so windy that all you are focussing on is keeping your bike upright!
Are there any riders you particularly admire?
I think we’re lucky to have an amazing range of riders in the Scottish CX scene. In any race we can have absolute beginners to seasoned experts, but they all ride and race together. To pick one from all of those riders just isn’t possible for me. I think the fact that we get a great turn out regardless of what the Scottish weather throws at us, means that all the Scottish CX riders get my respect!
Any particular highlights from last season?
Unfortunately I’ve had a run of very bad luck for the last 4 years and have ended up being out due to injury for each of the last 4 CX seasons (yes! I’m a bit clumsy and have a reputation!). I think, though, the lowlight of the season was Jammie taking ill - it was a horrible shock. But like the trouper he is, he was back up and at ’em in no time at all.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most this season?
I’m really looking forward to actually being able to race this year! I’m being super careful not to break myself between now and then.