40km: 1hr34min, climbing: 1000m
Media Correspondent writes:
The 2013 Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure proved to be another memorable day in the countryside for hundreds of outdoor adventurists, local community members and The Sharks squad with Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) narrowly edging out good friend and regular training partner Tyron Bird (X10siv/Sound Mechanix) to claim victory in the day’s feature event, the 40km MTB race.
As the year winds down and everyone readies themselves for the festive season, the packed family-orientated programme attracted hordes to Summerveld Estate in Shongweni for a final dose of adventure with Hill giving the event an unqualified thumbs up.
“The Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure is a really great event and this year things have improved even more. It’s a brilliant day at the end of the year and really ends the year off perfectly,” said Hill.
“The Shongweni Farmer’s Market, the mountain biking and the trail running taking place at the same event, the music, it all creates a really awesome atmosphere and everyone really does get festive,” he added.
Hill and Bird enjoyed a close, hard-fought battle up front throughout the 40km clash as they capped off a tough week of training and brought the curtain down on their seasons in perfect fashion.
“Tyron, David (Low) and I managed to get away from the rest of the field early on and then Tyron and I kept the tempo high which gave us a bit of a gap on David,” said Hill.
“We’ve done quite a bit of riding these past few days so Tyron and I could both feel it in the legs quite a bit, especially on the climbs, so we went at a pace a little quicker than marathon pace but slower than the normal Classic sort of pace.
“We both kind of knew it would come down to a bit of a sprint at the end and it was nice to be able to get the win.”
Despite having narrowly missed out on victory, Bird was satisfied with how the day unfolded and his effort overall.
“I felt pretty stable on the climbs and Andrew and I were quite evenly matched on the day so we kept things pretty steady throughout,” said Bird.
“It was great to come up (from Kokstad) and take part in the event for the first time. I’ve ridden the area quite a bit before so it was nice to see how they linked up all the trails.
“I’m happy and stoked to have gotten a close second to Andrew,” he added.
More info can be found at www.sharkstrailadventure.co.za
Result: 40km MTB Men
1st Andrew Hill 1:34.13
2nd Tyron Bird 1:34.13
3rd David Low 1:37.16