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Community at the heart of Eston MTB Challenge

2018 Timber Plantation

Eston Farmers Club on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg will again host the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride, as the community comes together for another memorable event on Sunday, August 4, 2019.

The KZN sugar cane belt is a popular destination for mountain bikers and trail runners, as they take on the district roads and single track that surround the Eston Farmers Club. However, a major pull of the event is the opportunity to ride and run alongside impala, zebra and wildebeest in the Tala Collection Private Game Reserve.

Every level

With four different mountain biking events to choose from, the 60km Illovo Marathon, 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride, there is something for every level of rider.

From a trail running perspective there are two different distances, an 18km or 9km run. With two years of trail running at this event, the growth in this market has been vital.

Early morning starts give runners brilliant conditions to take on the trails through the Tala Private Game Reserve. Pictures: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

“Trail running has become a big part of the event because the numbers seem to continue to rise,” Marc Smith, chairman of the event organising committee said.

“We want to try to make a few changes but we won’t make drastic changes because the feedback has been good over the past few years.”

The 60km MTB marathon has previously drawn some of the country’s best mountain bikers and with the pristine trails and exciting single track it remains a must-do on the list of one-day classics in KZN.

The 18km STIHL Family Ride and the 10km Omnia Kids Ride are great opportunities to get the little ones involved in mountain biking. Pictures Anthony Grote

Harnessing the power of community is what the Eston MTB Challenge does enviably well.

“We must have well over 100 volunteers helping out over the weekend,” Smith added.

“All subsections of the club, the hockey club, squash, cricket all get together because it is the major fundraiser for us and they know the benefit to the club.

“We also support one of the local schools in the area, so the money we can get in benefits them hugely.

“It’s a great way for people in the area to come together and get to know one another, so the event is hugely beneficial for all of us!”

More information:


Date: Sunday, August 4, 2019
Venue: Eston Farmers Club, KZN
Start Times, Distances & Entry Fees:
06h30 – 18km Trail Run (Pre-entry – R140, Late entry – R160)
06h45 – 9km Trail Run (Pre-entry – R100, Late entry – R120)
08h30 – 60km Illovo Eston Marathon (Pre-entry – R220, Late entry – R250)
09h00 – 40km aQuellé Eston Half Marathon (Pre-entry – R180, Late entry – R210)
09h30 – 18km STIHL Tala Family Ride (Pre-entry – R140, Late entry – R160)
10h00 – 10km Omnia Kids Ride (Pre-entry – R70, Late entry – R80)
Entries: Enter via the ROAG website. Pre-entries are open and will be accepted until July 28, 2019.

Registration: At Eston Farmers’ Club on Sunday, August 4 from 05h30-09h30.

Giveaways: Race garments will be available to the first 1000 people who pre-enter. Late entries will not receive a race garment.


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