The 2016 SA MTB Marathon Championships for Masters 30-and-over takes place this year on Sunday 1 May. The event forms part of the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival, taking place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April – 2 May.
Coming straight to the race from this year’s joBerg2c nine-day stage race is singlespeed enthusiast Grant Usher. “It’s my first year in Vets so I am keen to check out the very competitive field and see how I stack up. I will be completing the joBerg2c the day before so it’s effectively stage 10 for me. Whether I’ve got the legs or not, I will do my best to be on the podium, hopefully,” he said.
Usher last competed in the 2014 Rainbow Challenge held at the same venue. “I loved it. I guess my cross-country days take me back a long time now to Cascades and its surrounds. I have always loved the trails and the elevation changes,” he added.
In terms of preparation for races like this, Usher said: “I try to do some quality work from two weeks before, less volume, higher intensity and then some rest. For this race though it will be damage control after nine days of long distance racing in the legs.”
Marathon racing can be tricky for those who aren’t in the know about the sport. Usher added some advice to some of those keen marathon riders ahead of the race: “I would say that you should not get caught up in too many “numbers” – heart rate, power, distance, cadence, etc. It detracts from the beautiful places you ride through and the micro experiences that are to be had. Too many numbers make it way too serious and, lets be honest, we do this for fun in our spare time, it should make you happy, not serious.”
While the 60-kilometre marathon event is luring top-end competitors from around the country for the National Championship Jersey in each age category from 30-years-and-above, there will also be a 60-kilometre marathon for Open Men and Women (non-Championships) categories, as well as a 20-kilometre race and a 10-kilometre Fun Ride on Sunday 1 May.
Online pre-entries are now closed but late entries will be done at registration:
· Friday 29 April: Registration and late entries (all events) --> 09:00-15:00
· Saturday 30 April = Registration and late entries (Marathon and Enduro) --> 10:00-17:00
· Sunday 1 May = Registration and late entries (Marathon) --> 06:30-07:30
· Sunday 1 May = Registration and late entries (Enduro) --> 11:00-15:00
Other mountain bike events that will be held over the course of the weekend at the PMB MTB Festival are:
Saturday 30 April
UCI Junior World Series XCO
UCI Elite XCO HC
Sunday 1 May
SA Marathon Championships Masters 30+
Monday 2 May
KZN Inter-Schools MTB Series
The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and forms part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/.