Kingfisher MTB Marathon, Southern Cape Enduro Series #1
It’s been a long time since I went to a mountain bike event and just had a really good time. The kingfisher Marathon, hosted at Hoekwil Primary school was the first leg of the Southern Cape Mountain Bike Series, and it was great to be back racing with all the familiar faces and people who really support me in the area where I started my MTB career.
The event kicked off after a night of heavy rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of the riders, or the number of people who turned up to the event. The race headed from the small town of Hoekwil, through some dairy farms and straight into Bergplaas, well known in the Cape-Epic from stage 1. Needless to say the ride was fairly tough, the long route, 70km, had over 1600m of vertical climbing in it. But absolutely spectacular, the scenery up there was amazing, with the sun coming through the mist and the roads nice and wet from the rain, it was incredible to race through this pristine area and actually appreciate it.
Back to the racing, soon after the first climb, the split consisted of a three way mix, a junior, a veteran and an elite. I was out front with Gary Marescia (Cyclelab Cape Town) and the local junior racing for Coimbra, Derek Taylor. As we rode deeper into the Bergplaas plantation, I rode a very consistent pace in front, not wanting to spend the day out in front on my own, I made sure the guys were able to ride with me. It was amazing how much I enjoyed myself and it made the tough going seem so much easier. Just after halfway, Derek Taylor, not accustomed to racing marathons, dropped off the pace as Gary and I continued along the route. I was counting on the tough finishing climb to the line to be able to ride away from him, and as we hit it, I went hard, testing the legs and condition. I felt good and quickly opened up the winning gap to the end.
The route was very well marked with ample water points, which even had Lunch Bars (my preferred riding food) for the riders. Like I mentioned before it was great to be able to give a little back to the Southern Cape who really appreciated me taking the time to be at one of their events as usually my busy schedule doesn’t allow for it. It’s great to chat to the youngsters and see the SC has such a strong field of upcoming riders.
I’m not sure when the next race in the series is, but if I’m free, have no doubt I’ll be there to support it. Thanks to the organizers for having me there and the great support you always give me.