Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival Media Release

 No: kc2301

18 May 2023

Embargo : None

Written by : Nick Tatham

Sappi Karkloof Classic returns in 2023 with exciting line-up

Karkloof - One of the country's premier one-day MTB marathon events the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival will return and once again will offer something for everyone with the popular trail running events also on the cards over the weekend of 27-28 May.

The event will incorporate the trail running aspects on the Saturday with the 21km and 9km trail runs and once again will give runners the opportunity to take in the splendour of the Karkloof with views of the Karkloof River, Albert Falls Dam and the Karkloof Valley.

"The trail runs are going to follow very similar routes to last year and the 21km route is almost identical to 2022," route builder at the Karkloof Club Nick Stubbs said.

"For the 21km run, runners will be running through grassland, dairy farmland and pastures into a beautiful section of indigenous bush, back onto the farm land, across the Karkloof River again and then back to the club.

"In the 9km race you cross the Karkloof River and meander along the river to the main Crammond Road where it carries along the river all the way to the club."

Sunday's MTB racing feeds riders' adrenalin fix as they take on the famous Karkloof trails over various distances. There are four different rides to choose from that will test and entertain riders from beginners to elites.

The main, flagship event is the 60km marathon and this year the race is expected to once again attract some of the top mountain biking talent around to battle it out for the coveted title of Karkloof Classic champion.

"The major changes to the 60km route for this year is that we have taken Colby's Crunch and Rockward's Angel out of the route with the focus on decreasing the amount of boring, long gravel sections," Stubbs added.

"We are trying to add more single track which makes it more technical and a lot of fun."

There is a shorter 40km race and this will be an exciting ride for riders that are not ready for the full marathon or are looking for something more manageable.

"With the 40km route we've tried to make it a little bit more accessible for riders who found the 40km route a little too technical in the past.

"We've decreased the rocky, technical single track and increased the more flowing, fun single-track for the every-day rider.

"It's a very easy route and the riders will get a good view of the Karkloof Falls on their way back to the club."

The 20km ride is an easy ride for anyone with very little single-track and riders will be able to see the famous Karkloof Falls as they enjoy a drink at the water table.

The shortest ride is the 10km which is ideal for anyone starting out on a mountain bike and for those youngsters that are eager to test themselves. The 10km route remains a kids favourite at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

The Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival 2023 will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May. More info can be found at

Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival 2023
07h30 - 21km Trail Run
08h00 - 9km Trail Run

07h30 - 60km MTB
08h15 - 40km MTB
09h00 - 20km MTB
09h20 - 9km Trail Run
09h30 - 10km MTB


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival Logo


The 2023 Sappi Karkloof Trail Festival will see the best mountain bikers converge on the famous trails of the Karkloof for the various MTB races on Sunday 28 May.

Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

The 2023 Sappi Karkloof Trail Festival will kick off with the ever popular trail runs with a 21km and 9km option for runners on Saturday 27 May.

Gavin Ryan/
Quick Pix/
Gameplan Media

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