MTB Dash to be part of 2014 Mandela Day Marathon Festivities
uMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Bhamjee has launched the mountain biking race, a major event that would now be an integral part of the flagship Mandela Day Marathon scheduled for the weekend of the 30th and 31st of August 2014.
Mayor Bhamjee added that “Due to the fact that major running and cycling events are staged in the region, it makes sense that one of the first creative addition of the Mandela Day Marathon would be a MTB race. Since 2009, a total of 4 UCI MTB World Cup events and 3 UCI MTB World Championships have been staged in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality”. He added that “this is a huge feather in the cap for the region and shows the trust that the international federation shows in the local organisers of these events as this is the same core team that will be staging this event.”
The competition distances have been set at 42km and 21km so as to mirror the running marathon the following day. There will also be a 10km family event so as to encourage as many people from all over the region to be part of the process and to be touched by the magic of the Madiba’s magic, Mayor Bhamjee added.
The prize money of R100 000 makes it the richest MTB event of its kind in the country and will attract all the top names to compete. This exhibits the uMDM’s commitment to staging events of immense status and excellence. Part of the course design will allow for a permanent track to be in place at the Capture Site and form part of the Legacy initiatives that are so important within the region. This announcement was made by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Bhamjee and its partners this week.
“Since the hosting of the very first Mandela Day Marathon in 2012, the plan has always been to increase the activity footprint around the marathon and with the success of the various cycling events in the region and the popularity of the sport of mountain biking, it makes perfect sense that a MTB event should be included in the events week,” said Johan Van Staden, Race Director for the Mandela Day Marathon.
The MTB Dash will be managed by Alec Lenferna who is responsible for many of the large international cycling events that have been staged in and around Pietermaritzburg over the years and the highly experienced team from KZN MTB. Lenferna stressed that this is not the sole focus of the event, “we want as many MTB enthusiasts as possible from the region and beyond to come and be part of this new event and not just the pro-riders”. He added, “the focus of the event is on everyone so that we can all be part of what is set to become an extremely important festival of events going forward to celebrate the life of a true international icon that has deep roots here in KZN and its great that MTB has been included in the programme”.