PHOTOS: Sardine MTB Race and Trail Run Weekend lives up to lofty expectations

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The South Coast Fever MTB and Trail Run Series got off to an exciting this past weekend.

The Sardine MTB Race and Trail Run Weekend marked the opening round in Port Edward on Sunday and truly lived up to its high standards as one of the most popular races on the South Coast calendar.

The weather was fresh and clear with a mild wind blowing, but the setting was as if it was scripted down at The Port Edward Holiday Resort.

There was 400 to 500 cyclists and adventure runners that took part in the trail run over 10km and 5km and mountain bike races over 45km, 25km and 5km fun ride.

Registration opened at 05:30 for the trail runners, while they were sipping some local brewed coffee. The 10km trail run was the first race of the day at 07:00. After a briefing by Dixx, they got going, followed by the 5km fun run at 07:15. The trail run cut-off was 08:45.

Then it was the turn of the adrenaline junkies of cycling. The 45km classic got underway at 09:00, followed by the 25km at 09:15 and the fun ride for kids at 09:20. Dixx once again made the briefing fun, while complying to all the CSA rules for the event.

The winning time in the men’s 45km race was Brennan Anderson’s 01:52:20 and the winning time in the women’s 45km race was Hayley Smith’s 02:05:26.

Brent Richter, the 2018 25km series champion, has moved up to the 45km group this year, which leaves the 25km championship race open for a brand new champion.

The new rising star performance came from Kyle Osbourne, who clinched the men’s race in a time of 01.20.56. The top overall 25km female finisher was Anna Stapleton in a time of 01.37.20, while the 10km trial run winners were Peter Greystone and Lelethu Namkwe.

“The series is off to an amazing start and the challengers are many, pushing for the winning spot and to be crowned 2019 South Coast Fever MTB and Trail Run champion,” said series organiser Michael Bester from One Way Productions.

“John Bainbridge and his team pulled out all the stops to make it an amazing event like always. The route was amazing, very well and professionally marked and got lots of compliments from all the top riders in the series. Well done to all the people involved with this very tedious task.

“There was a substantial food court available to suit everyone’s taste. Delicious Tiago’s kept the tummies fed, while Beaver Creek and Great Railroad Brewery quenched the thirsts.

“There was lots of snacks…from Villa Dore selling their amazing green banana crisps and macadamia nut products, to the kidz zone hosted by Mark and his amazing team from Gymbo kids.

“Even the local Pro Deo group was present and well supported with their bike raffle to raise funds for the wonderful community work they do so selflessly.

“There was truly something for everyone. Dura Cycles assisted with last-minute cycle emergencies and it proved to be a day of fun for the whole family.

“A big thank you also to all the owners of the different properties that gave permission for this great route to pass through their property.

“A huge thank you to the SAPS, NSRI and Traffic services that are always willing to help, KZN Ambulance Services for their assistance and assisting with the crossings and to all the amazing sponsors,” he added

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.

The second round of the series, made up of the Funky Pants Trail Run and The SAPPI Scottburgh MTB Race, takes place on 20 and 21 July.

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