The top riders upped the intensity while others savoured the natural beauty of the forest during the Ingeli MTB Ride and Fun Run on Sunday.
As the sun rose, cars and bikes started making their way to Ingeli Forest Lodge, situated in an indigenous forest at the foothills of the Ingeli Mountains, for registration for this year’s third leg of the South Coast Fever MTB and Trail Run Series.
Just under 250 athletes registered for the 40km, 25km and 10km fun run/walk, and were joined by families and supporters for a beautiful day out in the country.
Many of the top male and female riders were getting themselves ready for the forest part of the series, which started and finished at Ingeli Forest Lodge.
The route carved through the beautiful indigenous forests that surround the lodge. There were long, fast downhills and about 1km of hard uphills to contend with. The finish was an uphill sprint to the line and racing was highly competitive.
Reinhard Zellhuber (01:19:29) edged Andrew Hill (01:19:43) to win the 40km men’s race, while Bianca Haw (01:32:05) won the 40km race convincingly.
Brent Richter (01:10:03) and Sally Neave (01:39:04) won the 25km races while Goodwill Nhlumayo from Margate won the 10km fun run.
“It couldn’t have been scripted any better,” said series organiser Michael Bester.
“With set up the previous day, some mist and cold air started to roll in towards late in the afternoon and I thought the race weather was going to be a chiller, but how wrong was I? It turned out to be the most beautiful day at the perfect location.
“27 degrees in the forest with all those hills to contend with wasn’t an easy task, but all finishers got an ice cold Powerade and medal when they crossed the finish line. Hibiscus Insurance Brokers also handed out ice cold water and Hollard drinking bottles to the parched riders.
“There were also, like always, some very nice general interest moments. There was a mother who did the 10km run together with her son by pushing him all the way in his pram.
“There was also a lady whose bike broke at the jockey on her back wheel and luckily for her, Dr Freek Coetzee and his wife, with their tandem bike, came along and he ‘operated’ on her bike with a screwdriver and cable tie, and she was able to finish the race!
“There were also many first timers who took on the challenge as couples and friends and finished together, showing the amazing sportsmanship at these events.
“There was a delicious food court that had some amazing country home cooking thing going which was run by Westbury Prep school as a fund-raising opportunity, which was very well supported by all the people at the race. There were raffle tickets for sale for some half lambs and weekends away at Ingeli Lodge and Spa up for grabs as well as a beautiful kids’ zone.
“The music was festive and created an amazing atmosphere. All in all, it was a very successful day and another special race in a very special area, organised by Westbury Prep School, a very special school. All the teachers, parents and headmaster were involved in some way with this event.
“Thank you to all the event sponsors concerned with this very successful event and a huge thanks also to all the series sponsors – Tiago’s, Hibiscus Insurance Brokers, Hollard Insurance, South Coast Fever, Powerade, Ugu South Coast Tourism and One Way Productions.”
The fourth and final round of the series, the Lake Eland Classic powered by the Burry Stander Foundation, takes place at Lake Eland Game Reserve on 7 October. Register on www.bundubashers.org or www.roag.co.za.
1st Place Reinhard Zellhuber 01:19:29
2nd Place Andrew Hill 01:19:43
3rd Place Jedson Tooms 01:24:37
1st Place Bianca Haw 01:32:05
2nd Place Nataschka Mowat 01:45:03
3rd Place Debrah Thomas 01:45:47
1st Place Brent Richter 01:10:03
2nd Place Xolile Mhlekude 01:28:25
3rd Place Kiera Booker 01:30:12
1st Place Sally Neave 01:39:04
2nd Place Kristin Thornton-Smith 01:41:44
3rd Place Debbie Malcolm 01:51:06
10km fun run/walk/ride:
1st Place Goodwill Nhlumayo
2nd Place Mbongeni Ngeleka
3rd Place Nkmluleko Mpisane
Photos by Liberty.