All set for 2019 Karkloof Trail Festival

MTB riders, trail runners limber up for June 1 and 2

The popularity of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival, a weekend of mountain biking and trail running, is being reflected in a steady stream of entries for the events being held over June 1-2.

Now in its 26th year, the trails developed through the event, that wind through the plantations and countryside of the Karkloof, have earned an enviable reputation.

Known to mountain bikers across the country as fast and flowing, they offer rewarding views at the end of each tough climb while being technically challenging enough to make for memorable rides.

The renowned trails of the Karkloof region make for plenty fun and challenges to thrill enduro riders. Pictures: Anthony Grote

The decision to open the trails to trail runners in 2016 has paid dividends as the numbers have mushroomed over the past three years.

The Karkloof Club is also the hub of the province’s Enduro community, and has been responsible for the creation of some of the most thrilling descents that are linked for this unique race format that attracts the gravity thrill-seekers.

The 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon has previously seen the class of Max Knox, Brendon Davids and last year’s champion Julian Jessop gracing the top step of the podium.

Challenge

Intermediate riders find enough of a challenge in the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, which course designers are taking to new corners of the trail network that boasts more than 200km of managed trails, jeep track and single track.

To keep it a family affair the club always lays on the very manageable 20km and 10km aQuellé Family Ride to allow everyone a shot at the action.

Zimbabwean Nomore Mandivengerei being shadowed by Mthobisi Mzolo at the front of the men’s 18km trail run on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival last year.

Some of the best trail runners in the region will stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the start line for the 18km Karkloof Trail Run that gets under way early on the Saturday morning, followed thirty minutes later by the 9km option.

Camping

Camping at the Karkloof club remains an option for athletes and their families keen to make a weekend of it, while others opt for B&B accommodation in the area.

The event always underscores the parallel support for the local community through its involvement with local farm schools and crèches. Last year riders and runners donated books and toys to the nearby Hawkstone Primary School, and specifically the new Karkloof Early Childhood Development project that was started there last year.

Dates: Saturday, June 1-2, 2019
Venue: Karkloof Country Club

Schedule:
Saturday, June 1
7am – 18km Karkloof Trail Run (Normal Entries – R150, Late Entries – R170)
7.30am – 9km Karkloof Trail Run (Normal Entries – R110, Late Entries R130)
12 noon – STIHL Karkloof Enduro (Normal Entries – R180, Late Entries – R220)
Sunday, June 2
7.30am – 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon (Normal Entries – R230, Late Entries – R270)
8.30am – 40km aQuellé Half Marathon (Normal Entries – R190, Late Entries – R230)
9.20am – 9km Karkloof Trail Run (Normal Entries – R110, Late Entries R130)
9.30am – 20km aQuellé Family Ride (Normal Entries – R140, Late Entries – R180)
10am – 10km aQuellé Kids Ride (Normal Entries – R70, Late Entries – R90)

Normal entries are open and close at midnight on May 26 while late entries will be taken until midnight, May 29. Registration will take place at the Karkloof Club on the following days: Saturday, June 1 – 5.30am-11.45am; Sunday, June 2 – 5.30am-9.45am.

More info available here