Sappi Karkloof Classic
Trail Festival Media Release
25 May 2023
Embargo : None
Written by : Nick Tatham
Stars align for an exciting Karkloof Classic weekend
Karkloof - The 2023 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival will once again
provide trail runners and mountain bikers with adrenaline-pumping trails
and typically friendly KZN Midlands hospitality for the two days of racing
The trails around the Marriott Karkloof Club have become famous amongst
riders and runners over the years and this weekend the network is primed
to offer an exciting mix of technical and free-flowing routes that will
have something for everyone, from novices to elites.
Saturday's action gets underway with the popular 21km and 9km trail runs.
Trail running has become a staple in the Karkloof region and the
ever-popular Karkloof forest routes will once again attract a large entry
for the two events on Saturday.
From a competitive perspective, as it stands there is a past champion
returning, however with late entries open there is a good chance that some
of the past years' champions will be on the start-line this Saturday.
In the men's race, Nomore Mandivengerei is back for a chance to win back
the title that he last won in 2018, however, he has consistently over the
years been in the top five so a shot at the top step of the podium is on
The women's race sees 2021 champion Sarah Gray emerge as the early
favourite for the title. Gray finished second in 2022 behind Chantelle
Pennicott which added to her handful of other second placed finishes at
Gray will be hoping to go one better this weekend and add to her Quattro
ROAG Series points tally that sees her top of the pile with two wins and
second so far in the series.
The 60km mountain bike marathon will be the clear focus on Sunday from an
elite racing perspective, and the younger guard seem to be dominating the
entry list for the race.
This year's field hasn't attracted the same prestige as 2022, when the
event hosted the SA Marathon Championships, but from a local racing
perspective it's drawn in the best.
Young Michael Foster will be on the start line along with another
youngster in Daniel van der Watt as well as Keegan Tullis.
The experienced campaigners Tyronne White and David Low will also provide
a significant threat to the top step of the podium over the 60km of racing
As it stands the women's race in the 60km marathon will be the most
exciting race to watch with quality across the top five title contenders.
HH Women's Racing's Sarah Hill will be the favourite for the women's
title, however, she will come under pressure by a few of the local KZN
Hillcrest resident and Sandton City Cycle Nation's Joanne van de Winkel is
coming off a double win in both the MTB and road race at the recent
aQuellé Tour Durban, so she is in good form, while Bell Equipment's Hayley
Smith is another rider to watch.
Smith finished first in the mixed category at the recent KAP sani2c so her
form is evident and the Durban North resident is eager to add the Karkloof
Classic to her list of wins.
Ballito's Rouxda Grobler is another rider that will be fighting for the
title and will be eager to win the title she last won in 2021.
Registration will take place at the Marriott Karkloof Club on Saturday
from 06:30 to 08:00 and then 06:00 to 09:15 on Sunday.
can be found at https://www.karkloofclub.co.za/events/sappi-karkloof-classic-trail-festival-2023/
Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival 2023
SATURDAY 27th MAY
07h30 - 21km Trail Run
08h00 - 9km Trail Run
SUNDAY 28th MAY
07h30 - 60km MTB
08h15 - 40km MTB
08h45 - 9km Trail Fun Run
08h50 - 20km MTB
09h15 - 10km MTB
Click to download the hi-res
Impressive local MTB star
Michael Foster will be keen to add the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail
Festival 60km marathon title to his list of wins when he races on Sunday.
After recently claiming the
aQuellé Tour Durban MTB Powered by CycleLab title, Daniel van der Watt
will be hoping to add the overall Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival
60km marathon title to his list of achievements on Sunday.
Bell Equipment's Hayley Smith
is in good form and will be eyeing the overall women's title at this
weekend's Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.
After winning the overall
women's crown in 2021, Ballito resident Rouxda Grobler will be back in
2023 to try and claim another title at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail
Festival at the Marriott Karkloof Club on Sunday.
Former champion Nomore
Mandivengerei is amongst the entries for the 21km trail run at the 2023
Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival at the Marriott Karkloof Club on
Trail runners will converge on
the Marriot Karkloof Club for some entertaining action across a number of
distances at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival at the Marriott
Karkloof Club on Saturday and Sunday.
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