13 August 2015 – After a successful first instalment last year, the second annual Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash will be back again this year and has once again attracted the interest of South Africa’s great cyclists, including the 2014 women’s winner Jeannie Dreyer, at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday 29 August 2015.
Dreyer (USN/Hi-Tec) is set to compete and although another win in the bag would be a bonus, it’s the pure love for the sport that brings her back. “Every race I do is always for enjoyment, I absolutely love riding. So regardless of the event, I just go out there and have a really great time,” she said.
Jeannie and her husband, Martin, recently returned home from a tough 900km Colorado Trail MTB race in the United States, where she was the first woman across the finish line setting a new record as well. “It was incredible, well when I look back it was,” she laughed. “The scenery and experience was unlike anything I’ve done before, but it was tough.”
The Dreyers are well known for their mountain biking adventures together, and when asked what the significance of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash means to her, she said: “There are a lot of different types sporting activities on offer at the festival. It creates an environment for as many people as possible to get involved because there’s something for everyone. Having added mountain biking to the event brings another exciting dimension to the weekend.”
Although a large total prize purse of R120000 is on offer for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, Dreyer is more excited to be on her bike taking in the atmosphere on the day. “It’s such a momentous occasion, and to have the start and finish at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site is so special. It’s a truly iconic venue, and although most people know where and what it is, many people don’t actually take the time to absorb the beauty and history that it offers,” she said.
With equal prize money up for grabs in the men and women’s races, the event organisers have gone a long way to recognise the efforts and commitment from women, particularly during Women’s month in August.
Being a mother herself, Dreyer sees the importance of making this event a family affair: “The venue is a great place to hang out in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and it is safe off the highway. The children can picnic on the grass there in the beautiful setting with mum or dad whilst the other parent competes, if the youngsters don’t take part themselves. It’s just a really good day out.”
The Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash offers route variations, with the full 42km MTB Classic, a 21km intermediate and a 10km fun ride for family and friends.
Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 26 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Greg Minnaar Cycles, Town Bush Road, Pietermaritzburg from 12:00-17:00 on 28 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:30-08:00 on race day, 29 August.
For information on the 2015 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/
For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/
For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1599