Mountain bikers brave cold and rain

JON HOUZET

ABOUT 50 cyclists and runners braved an icy wind and muddy terrain in the Shaw Park Pineapple Mountain Bike Endurance race and trail run on Sunday.
 
TOUGH CONDITIONS: Riders competing in the 43km category of the Shaw Park Pineapple Mountain Bike Endurance races shortly after setting off from the start at the Shaw Park Club on Sunday. There were fewer entrants this year due to the cold and wet weather Picture: JON HOUZET

Poor weather conditions resulted in fewer entrants in the popular annual off-road race, which goes through scenic pineapple farms and forests in the Shaw Park district.

 
The race, which begins and ends at the Shaw Park Club, features three mountain bike routes – 63km, 43km and 18km – and a 10km trail run and walk.
 
The event is a major fundraiser for Shaw Park Primary School. This year, HP Auctions Livestock and Land was the main sponsor.
 
After a rain-delayed start, the first group of cyclists, the ones doing the challenging 63km route, headed off from the start at 8.50am. After 10 minute intervals, the 43km riders and 18km participants also set off.
Skies partially cleared as the morning progressed but an icy wind added to the challenging conditions.
 
“The weather’s been atrocious for races this year,” said Brad Jackson of Port Elizabeth-based Mountain Events, the official time-keepers for the race.
 
He said a number of entrants who pre-registered did not show up for the race, probably due to the rain.
“The mud makes things difficult,” he said.
 
In addition to the lower turnout of participants and spectators, the start/finish gantry was humbler than in past years. According to Mountain Events, inflatable gantries are no longer permitted at cycling events due to Cycling SA and International Cycling Union regulations.
 
While serious cyclists and runners of all ages were tackling the endurance races, there were also fun activities for the younger ones at the Shaw Park Club, including a 5km cycle race, a scooter dash and a short run around the field.
 
Spectators escaped the elements in the club house and made good use of the bar and food stalls.
 
Results:
 
63km MTB race
1 Kyle Bradford 02:53:44
2 Adam Smith 02:58:45
3 Marco Joubert 03:03:40
 
1st woman (7th overall) Janine Steyn 04:04:13
43km MTB race
1 Malcolm Robinson 02:33:50
2 Shannon Bradford 02:36:35 (and first woman)
3 Neil Currie 02:37:59
 
18km MTB race
1 Brandon Morton 00:58:11
2 Nicola Clayton 01:11:26 (and first woman)
3 Guy Snyman 01:12:50
 
10km run
1 Xola James 00:50:24
2 Vivien Newton-Challis 00:51:21(and first woman)
3 Hal Snyman 00:51:46
 
10km walk
1 Diana Challis 01:51:40
2 Heather van Harmewen 02:06:20
3 Maureen Moffat 02:07:22

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