Hill looks to finish season on a high note

2012-12-07 00:00

DURBAN — KwaZulu-Natal’s adventure thirst is about to be quenched as mountain bikers and trail runners from throughout the province prepare for this weekend’s first Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure, which takes place at Summerveld Estate in Shongweni on Sunday.

While organisers are focusing on creating a fun, family-type atmosphere through a variety of different activities throughout the day one of KZN’s top elite riders, Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance), is looking forward to using this weekend’s event as an opportunity to top what has been a memorable season for the local star.

Having recently been crowned victor of the inaugural ROAG Series and after earning some impressive results both nationally and provincially, the Hillcrest-based athlete will give it one last push before putting his feet up over a well-deserved festive break.

“It has been a really good year for me. I’ve tried to just be as consistent as possible throughout and so, while I wasn’t really chasing the ROAG title, it all just worked out for me in the end and it was a great reward at the end of the season,” said Hill.

“This definitely will be a one last big push for me, though, and I’ll be looking to give it a good go on the day.

“Most guys are usually gearing things down a bit at this time of the year, but it will be nice to finish the season off with one last good performance on Sunday.”

The race is also an event close to Hill’s heart, having added his local and elite riders’ perspective early on in the track development process.

“I ride this area quite a bit with a couple of others so, when Stu [Berry, the race director] and the guys gave me a call, it was great to be able to help put things together and try create some exciting new trails and routes to explore,” said Hill.

“One of my suggestions was to incorporate the climb up to the white lookout tower above Giba Gorge and I know they were also looking at including the waterfall and using a couple bits and pieces of single track to link things all together so it should be really good.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see what the guys on the ground have been able to produce at the end of it all,” he added.

Hill is full of praise for the day’s family-oriented approach, which includes events such as the 10 km Family Ride, twop kilometre Family Ride, an exclusive Sunday staging of the renowned Shongweni Farmers’ Market and top-class live entertainment throughout the day.

“It’s perfectly located on the calendar, as many kids have just started their holidays and everyone is getting into that relaxed, holiday mode.”

Adventure enthusiasts can take part in either the 40 km or 19 km MTB Half Marathon or 18 km or nine kilometre Trail Adventure.

Families are encouraged to bring along their picnic blankets and braais and soak up the day’s atmosphere under the shade of the Summerveld trees after the day’s activities, in the company of legendary Sharks mascot ‘Sharkie’ and some of the Sharks’ rugby stars.

Entries can be submitted at www.roag.co.za. Details available at www.sharkstrailadventure.co.

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