South Coast MTB and Trail Run Series a major tourism drawcard for the region

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This September, Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) will be celebrating Tourism Month with a varied programme of exciting events that promote the region’s unique tourist destinations.

One of the calendar highlights is The South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series, a four-part cycling race which will conclude on Sunday, 22 September at Lake Eland Game Reserve.

A uniquely contested race, The South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series gives riders and trail runners the chance to challenge themselves across four diverse terrains – the beach, the desert, the forest and the game reserve.

This year’s South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series started on 7 July with the Sardine MTB Race at Port Edward Holiday Resort, which takes riders across the world’s smallest desert, the Red Desert; the Sappi Scottburgh MTB & Trail Run Weekend on 20 July at Scottburgh Beach; the Ingeli MTB & Trail Run on 28 July at Harding Country Club; and finally the Lake Eland Classic at Lake Eland Game Reserve.

USCT CEO, Phelisa Mangcu, said the series, which is now in its fourth year, has grown to become one of the country’s most popular cycle challenges: “The incredibly diverse terrain of the South Coast makes it one of the most exciting cycling and trail running destinations. It has been the final stop on both the JoBerg2c and sani2c mountain bike races, and now we are cementing this outdoor adventure position with the fantastic South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series.”

The event attracts some of the country’s biggest names in cycling and this year is no different. In the men’s division, former champion, Andrew Hill (Kloof), is competing alongside Brennan Anderson (Amanzimtoti), Darryn Purtell (KZN South Coast), Lindani Shusha (Durban) and Tyronne White (Ballito). The 2016, 2017 and 2018 Junior Champion, Brent Richter (KZN South Coast), is now competing in the Open 45km Classic Category which leaves Tayne Rudling (KZN South Coast), Caleb Sweetnam (KZN South Coast) and Kyle Osbourn (KZN South Coast) nipping at each other’s heals for the 2019 Junior Champion title.

In the women’s division, there are a number of former champions looking to take the 2019 title including 2016 winner, Nataschka Mowat (KZN South Coast); 2017 winner, Hayley Smith (KZN South Coast); Natalie Bergstrom (Ballito) series podium finisher and race winner several times; and last year’s champion, Deborah Thomas (KZN South Coast).

In addition to maximising on the South Coast’s glorious spring weather, the race gives visitors the chance to experience the region’s outdoor adventure tracks, cultural hinterland excursions, and the many other holiday activities on offer.

Event organiser, Michael Bester, explained that the series was a way to unify the four individual races for a bigger impact: “The race also provides larger exposure to the KZN South Coast destination, while keeping alive the Burry Stander legacy of developing cycling in the region. It also attracts an increased number of amateur and professional sports’ people, as well as holidaymakers.”

Alongside the South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series, USCT has a number of exciting tourist-centric activities on the programme this September. Some of these include:

·        The Matat2Pont endure race running 20 to 22 September.

·        The Cancer Pinkathon 5km run/walk at Park Rynie Beach Campsite on 21 September.

·        The Heritage Day Fundraiser and Potjie Competition at Port Shepstone Country Club on 24 September.

·        The Mardi Gras Fleamarket at Margate Main Street on 25 September.

·        The Margate Kennel Club Open Show-Agility & Dog Jumping at Borough Sports Ground, Port Shepstone from 27 to 29 September.

·        The KZN Drags at Dezzi South Coast Raceway on 28 September.

·        The Spring Fling.

·        The South Coast Carnival from 27 to 29 September.

For more information, visit www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za or visit the Facebook Page: South Coast Tourism.

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