Business picked up when Harding Country Club hosted the third and penultimate round of the South Coast Fever MTB and Trail Run Series on Sunday.
It couldn’t have been scripted any better, with many of the top male and female mountain bike riders all getting themselves ready for the forest part of the series.
It was the most beautiful day at the most perfect location, situated in an indigenous forest at the foothills of the Ingeli Mountains. As the sun rose, the cars and bikes started making their way to the venue for registration, where just under 250 bikers registered for the 40km, 25km and 10km fun run/walk.
Andrew Hill and former South Coaster Hayley Smith were both in a dominant mood and comfortably won the 45km men’s and ladies races respectively, while Tayne Rudling and Anna Stapleton secured the spoils – which included prizes from Coastal’s – in the 25km races.
“This was the first year that this race has been moved from its previous venue at the Ingeli Forest Lodge to coincide with the very successful and popular Ingeli Country Show,” explained series organiser Michael Bester from One Way Productions.
“It was a brand new track designed by local mountain bike enthusiasts, and the only word we could get out of them before the race was ‘it was very fast’, and boy was that the truth!
“Every rider commented on how challenging, well-marked and marshalled the new track was, so to [show organiser] Craig Belbin and everyone involved in the new track – wow, wow, wow! You guys did a fantastic job and were excellent hosts. It looks like the event has found a new home.”
Bester added, “Because the event was part of the Ingeli Country Show, there was an amazing food court that had some real country home-cooking and fast foods available. Anything from chips on a stick, mini donuts, breyani, samosas, Tiago burgers and chicken, pancakes, coffee to name but a few…it was packed with goodies!
“As this was also part of Westbury Prep’s annual fund-raising, the race was very well supported by all the people in the community. There were raffle tickets for sale for some value for money hampers and some cash prizes. Hibiscus Coast Insurance Brokers brought some free water and Hollard water bottles and every race goer was lucky enough to get one.
“The music was festive and created an amazing atmosphere. All in all, it was a very successful day and another special race in a very special area, organised by Westbury Prep, a very special school as part of the Ingeli Country Show. All the teachers, parents and headmaster were involved in some way with this event.
“Thank you to all the event sponsors concerned with this very successful event and a huge thanks to all the series sponsors as well.”
The fourth and final round of the series will take place on 22 September at Lake Eland, where the 2019 champions will be crowned and will walk away with the biggest prizes in KwaZulu-Natal mountain biking.
The series is sponsored by South Coast Fever, South Coast Tourism, Tiago’s, Sign Master, Hollard Insurance, Hibiscus Coast Insurance Brokers, Powerade and One Way Productions.
45km Male Overall:
1st Place Andrew Hill 01:44:48
2nd Place Brennan Anderson 01:55:29
3rd Place Grant Lavers 01:55:30
45km Female Overall:
1st Place Hayley Smith 02:07:27
2nd Place Shelly Higgo 02:18:03
3rd Place Debrah Thomas 02:24:03
25km Male Overall:
1st Place Tayne Rudling 01:22:18
2nd Place Tom Mackenzie 01:22:35
3rd Place Jon Mackenzie 01:22:42
25km Female Overall:
1st Place Anna Stapleton 01:34:42
2nd Place Elam Kruger 01:41:59
3rd Place Asher Beckett 01:47:03
Photos by Thobani.