Sappi Karkloof Classic
Challenge Media Release
Embargo : None
Written by : Dave Macleod
Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge three week window opens with elite race
Karkloof - Perfect weather and a selection of new trails will greet the
first intake of athletes for the innovative Sappi Karkloof Classic
Challenge when the three week window opens this weekend for trail
runners and mountain bikers eager to enjoy the popular trail festival
that was put on ice during the hard lockdown in May.
While the relaxed format created is to ensure the event is fully
Covid-19 regulations compliant, the event has been honed to allow the
elite men and women to compete for the 2020 titles, one of the most
prestigious one day marathon titles contested on the national MTB
Elite racers have been contacted individually to make themselves
available for one of two timed races over the upgraded 60km course, with
the first being on the opening day of the festival window on Saturday
With the Illovo Eston Challenge elite race on Sunday, many of the top
men and women can be expected to pitch up to contest the Karkloof
laurels on Saturday morning, taking on the iconic 60km marathon route
that includes some brand new changes to the route to accommodate current
harvesting of the Sappi plantations.
The 40km route specially laid out for the three week window shows a
marked departure from the traditional 40km route and shares much of the
60km trials. The manageable 20km route will once again take riders into
the uMngeni valley to see the Karkloof Falls, but with the trail
reversed for the route used last year.
The organisers have added an intriguing twist to the elite race as they
will be staging a second elite race on the closing weekend of the three
week window, and will allow any elite riders keen to improve on their
opening round performance to race again to try and better their time
over the 60km layout.
There is a buzz of excitement in the competitive enduro community as the
window includes two days of enduro competition where fans of the gravity
discipline can time their runs down some of the fabled Karkloof enduro
On Saturday the festival will include two enduro options, a 36 km leg
taking in five timed descents for the serious enduro competitors, and an
easier 24km enduro linking three timed sections.
For the rest of the recreational riders and runners, they will be able
to arrive at the Karkloof Country Club start venue on a date and time
that suits them to register for the event and ride or run the trails,
and then, if desired, the athlete can upload the GPS log recording of
their outing to the ROAG website.
“The feedback we are getting is that the window format is being well
received and most runners and riders will wake up, look at the weather
and then decide to come and do the Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge on
that day,” said Andrew Nicholson, chairman of the Karkloof Country Club.
“That fits well with the drive to make sure the Karkloof trails are a
viable and sustainable business model year-round,” he added.
“While this three week window format was necessitated by the Covid-19
lockdown, it serves our Shared Values philosophy really well in the way
that it sustains our ongoing commitments to the local communities,” he
Nicholson reminded runners and riders planning to converge on the
Karkloof Country Club on the weekend to be well prepared for the hot
weather that is expected.
“These routes specially set out for the Challenge are not serviced and
there won’t be any water points,” he said. “Athletes will have to make
sure they take their water or juice requirements with them,” he added.
Entries for the 20km and 10km runs and the 60km, 40km and 20km MTB rides
can be done through ROAG or directly at the club registration desk on
the day, and all participants will be required to comply with the full
The Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge
Starts Saturday 24 October and ends on Sunday 15 November
MTB Routes : 60 (R150), 40km (R120), 20km (R100) and Enduro (R250)
Trail Running : 10 (R100), 21km (R120)
Enter through www.roag.co.za
or by electronic payment scanned at the Karkloof Club on the day.
Times uploaded at www.roag.co.za
can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
The three week window for the
Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge starts this weekend, giving MTB riders
and trail runners a chance to enjoy the fabled Karkloof trails at a time
and date that suits them.
Trail runners will have 10km
and 20km route options to choose from during the three week window of
the Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge.
Trail runners and mountain
bikers heading for the Sappi Karkloof Classic Challenge that starts this
weekend can take on the easy 20km route that takes in the famous
Karkloof Falls on the uMngeni River.
The innovative Sappi Karkloof
Classic Challenge that replaces the annual event cancelled in May will
offer a variety of routes for mountain bikers and trail runners to use
over the next three weeks, including the iconic 20km route that skirts
the Karkloof Falls.
The Sappi Karkloof Classic
Challenge window will include two enduro events on Saturday 24 October
and Saturday 7 November.
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