2017 Illovo Eston MTB
17 July 2017
Written by: Nick Tatham
Trail running to enhance Eston MTB Challenge’s appeal
Eston – The popular Illovo Eston MTB Challenge has added another string
to it’sr bow as organisers have included two trail running events to the
exciting list of events on offer, with an 18km and 9km the options for
runners when the event takes place on Sunday, 6 August.
The Eston MTB Challenge has been consistently one of the most popular
one day classics in KwaZulu-Natal and for race organiser Andrew van
Rensburg, trail running is an obvious inclusion as they look to cater to
for the growing new market.
“It’s a natural progression to move into trail running,” Van Rensburg
“We have seen through the inclusion of trail running at our other events
that it is increasing in popularity and we feel that it makes our events
even more appealing for the whole family.
“All you need is a pair of takkies to run along the trails and with it
being cheaper than the mountain biking races; it is a great alternative
for those who aren’t riders.”
The Illovo Eston MTB Challenge offers riders four different options
ranging from a 60km marathon to a 10km fun ride, and Van Rensburg
believes that trail running and mountain biking complement each other
“Over time we have seen a lot of people opt to take part in both a trail
run and then follow that with one of the mountain biking events.
“It’s brilliant cross training for people to do both and with the trail
runs starting so early people have the option to do both,” he added.
Through the years the Eston MTB Challenge has attracted the country’s
best mountain bikers with Olympians and MTB World Championship stars
taking part and winning with high profile event.
Rio Olympian James Reid took home the title in 2016 ahead of Brendon
Davids and fellow Olympian Alan Hatherly in second and third
respectively showing the race’s appeal to the cream of the mountain
There are a number of factors that influence the nation’s elite riders’
decisions to take part in this event.
“It’s one of the longest running races and so it has a fair amount of
prestige about it. The race has a long history and the top guys all want
to win the Eston MTB Challenge.
“The fast-paced nature of the race is also a massive draw card because
it is basically an all-out sprint for 60km which is exciting for the
riders and spectators.
“It also appeals to the cross country riders and they seem to excel at
“I also think for the average rider the race offers brilliant scenery
and some exciting single track,” Van Rensburg explained.
Riders from KwaZulu-Natal are often attracted to the Eston MTB Challenge
due to its close proximity.
“I have always thought that Eston is so popular because it is between
Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
“It’s accessible for riders from all parts and provides riders with an
exciting day in the saddle,” added Van Rensburg.
The 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge provides runners and riders with a
wide selection of events to take part in. From a mountain biking side
there is the Illovo 60km Marathon, the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the
STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride.
From a trail running perspective the events offers an 18km and 9km run.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Illovo Eston MTB Challenge
Logo - GIF
Along with famous MTB trails,
the 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge will introduce trail running to
their exciting list of offerings when the popular event gets underway at
the Eston Farmers Club on Sunday, 6 August.
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