Exciting 2021 Karkloof Classic on the horizon

Howick – With the country showing signs of emerging from the third wave of the pandemic lockdown, mountain bikers and trail runners are excited to learn that the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival will be staged on the weekend of 9 and 10 October with a strict cap on the number of participants to ensure that the event is run safely and in full compliance with the prevailing regulations.

In 2020 the event paved the way for the safe enjoyment of mountain biking and trail running during the early days of the pandemic by hosting a successful three week-long festival on its popular network of trails, with one formal batch allowing the invited elite riders to tussle for the title – one of the most prized on the domestic MTB calendar.

This year the event will be staged over two days, and staggered to limit the number of athletes allowed at the Karkloof Club race site, spread between a 45km MTB route, a 20km MTB route, as well as an 18km and 9km trail run.

“The beauty about riding and running the trails of the Karkloof valley is that it ranks as one of the safest activities to get involved in as we navigate our way through this pandemic,” said club committee head Andrew Nicholson.

“While riders and runners use our network of trails year-round, the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival is the jewel in the crown, and for many athletes it is the high point of their sporting year.

“The numbers will be very strictly limited and it will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so the message to regulars is simple – enter now to avoid disappointment,” said Nicholson.

“By now recreational and elite athletes know what is expected of them at events that have permission to be staged, and we are confident that the drill of sanitising, social, distancing and mask wearing is almost second nature,” he added.

The elite riders and runners will once again be hosted in a special staging of the 45km MTB race and the 18km trail run on Sunday 10 October to decide the names that will carry the 2021 titles.

The Karkloof Club that manages the extensive network of trails through the Karkloof valley has continued to develop new trails and combinations of popular trail segments led by Hylton Turvey and the club’s trail building team.

It will be the 29th anniversary of the trailblazing MTB event, while the trail running element, while the trail running element which was added in 2016.

The weekend is also a standout occasion for the endure riding community, and the well-loved endure descents will host the regions adrenaline-lovers on the Saturday afternoon.

The 2021 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the Karkloof Country Club on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October 2018. More info can be found at www.karkloofmtb.co.za or at ROAG.org where you can also enter the event. Entries are strictly limited.

Saturday 9 October
07h00 18 km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
07h30 9km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
08h00 45km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
09h00 20km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
13h00 Stihl Karkloof Enduro

Sunday 10 October
07h00 18 km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
07h30 9km Sappi Karkloof Classic trail run
08h00 45km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB
09h00 20km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB

Exciting 2021 Karkloof Classic on the horizon
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