Hundreds of runners, bikers adventure in the mist

2009-10-17 00:00

THE MTN Amashova National Cycle Classic takes place tomorrow, starting in Pietermarizburg at 6.30 am and finishing in Durban.

“The event is now in its 23rd year, which makes it one of the most enduring cycling events in South Africa. Known as KZN’s safest race, the Amashova is fully endorsed by the various Durban city departments, which ensure full road closure takes place,” says race organiser Annie Batchelder. “We’re looking forward to another thrilling cycle classic that brings thousands of enthusiasts to our beautiful city.”

Adding another dimension to the Amashova event is the MTN Asishove mountain bike challenge at Midmar Dam today, covering distances of 10 km, 35 km and 70 km.

Durban Metro and the KZN traffic authorities will close the roads for a limited time to ensure the safety of cyclists, spectators and motorists during the main events.

Road closure along the route will start at 4 am in Pietermaritzburg until 9 am; then follows Umlaas Road, closed from 5 am to 10 am. Cato Ridge will close between 6 am and 11 am, in Drummond and Botha’s Hill both areas will close at 6.30 am and open at 11.15 am and 12 pm respectively.

From 5.30 am the following roads will close, but Fields Hill to Pinetown will open at 1 pm: M13 Durban-bound and 45th Cutting will re-open at 2 pm, N3 outbound to Sherwood opens at 2.30 pm with Pine Street and Masabalala Yengwa Ave (NMR) both re-opening at 3 pm. Around the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World cycle route, roads will be closed between 4 am and 4 pm.

For more up-to-date details on Shova road closures and alternative routes, visit www.mtncycling.co.za or call 031 312 8896 (office hours).

Adventure in the mist

The question on everyone’s lips in the lead-up to the Energizer Corporate Adventure Night Relay was: what if it rains ? That question was answered on Friday, October 9, when, after a beautiful start to the day, the predicted cold front arrived in the afternoon and the Hilton mists rolled into the green landscapes of Hilton College, creating an eerie yet energised atmosphere as over 600 athletes lined up with Energizer headlights a blazing for the fifth running of this unique event.

Ikhwezi AC (Khulelani Ngubane, Sandile Zuma, Lindelani Zuma and Sbonelo Duma) made their intentions clear from the start, setting a record split of 18 min 17 sec on the first lap and continuing the cracking pace.

Following nearly 1 min 30 behind were the Groundcover team (Xolani Mabida, Perfect Dlamini, Masende Nbele and Sboniso Sohela) with multi-sporters TriA4some (Lance Chapman, Andre Booyens, Aiden Nugent and Craig Carter-Brown) claiming third. The women’s category was won by The Jeep Fillies (Jean Hackland, Kerry Koen, Abbie Adie and Hillary Pitchford) in an impressive time of 1h36,59, just outside the top 10 overall, while Team Jeep (Darren Goddard, Craig Turton, Sean Jones and Carry-Anne Smith) were winners of the Mixed category.

The conditions certainly added a new dimension to the mountain biking relay as riders faced slippery tracks and poor visibility. Leading the field were Team Jeep SA (Craig Paul and Brandon Davids), who broke the tape in 1h31min43sec. However, they were kept under pressure by the mixed team of Candice Neethling and James Reid (Mr Price / DCM chrome), who finished second overall less than three minutes back. Third place went to Team Jeep’s Matthew Goetsch and Per Lofstrand. Eszter Erdelyi Cluer and Amy-Jane Mundy (Team Jeep) took the honours in the women’s category.

Far from dampening spirits, the organisers were amazed at the 98% arrival of the pre-entries (aside from the late entries submitted on the day) and the remarkable vibe of everyone out there relishing the seemingly miserable conditions. Full results, photos and YouTube on www.nightrelay.co.za

RESULTS

RUN Relay, Men’s Teams: Ikwezi AC 1h15.29, Ground Cover 1h16.58, Tri A 4 some 1h26.24. Women’s Teams: The Jeep Fillies 1h36.59, Pink Ladies 1h42.04, aQua Bodyworks 1h47.00. Mixed Teams: Jeep Mixed 2 1h27.29, Mr Price Mixed 1h36.54, Team Spunk 1h44.52.

MTB Relay, Men’s Teams: Team Jeep SA 1h31.43, Team Jeep 1h38.31, Jeep 41 1h46.50. Women’s Teams: Team Jeep Ladies 2h03.25, ChitChat 2h58.24, Benchwarmers 3h44.07. Mixed Teams: Mr Price / DCM chrome 1h34.40, Wsquared 2h06.26, aQua Bodyworks 2h10.10.

MULTISPORT

NCT Forestry will host its sixth Schools Adventure Race this year. The event attracts teams from as far a field as Pretoria and Lydenburg. This year’s event sees a combined high school boys and primary schools race that takes place on October 24 and 25 at Baynesfield.

This race follows a course through indigenous and commercial forests, open grasslands and water features. It is organised by Willows Adventure Sports, and competitors are assured of great biking, rafting and hiking.

“The race not only tests the various disciplines required to compete, but also the competitors’ team efforts, leadership qualities, motivational skills, tenacity and perseverance. This is the time when life skills are tested (and learnt),” says race organiser Les Willows.

In line with its social development programme, NCT Forestry is committed to providing sustainable opportunities wherever possible. In addition to the main sponsorship, NCT will also sponsor a development team from the Zakhe Agricultural College at Baynesfield. A portion of the entry fee will go towards a worthy community-based project in the area. This year, the Nelsrust School at Baynsefield is the nominated beneficiary.

The adventure race is open to boys from high schools and the primary school event caters for boys and girls in grade 4 to grade 7.

For more details, call Les Willows at 082 809 7923 or e-mail lwillows@epworth.co.za

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The MTN National Marathon series boils down to the final event at Grace College, Hilton, on November 8. This is an ideal opportunity for local riders to test themselves against the top riders from around the country, while riding some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Traversing 12 privately owned properties, the riders in the marathon and half-marathon will experience sublime wattle and pine forests, sugar-cane fields, indigenous bush, farmland and bushveld.

Once again one of KZN’s choice races plays host to SA’s top riders fighting it out for honours in the MTN National Marathon Series, with over R50 000 in prize money. Enter now at www.entrytime.co.za

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