Total Distance: 40.0km, 1hr53
First ever Sharks Trail Adventure a major success
Durban – Top performer Andrew Hill set the newly cut trails of the Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure ablaze on Sunday 9 December as he cantered to victory in the 40km MTB Half Marathon race.
Against the magnificent backdrop of the Summerveld Estate in Shongweni participants of the inaugural edition of the inaugural edition of the event received the blessing of the weather gods as the persistent rain of the recent weeks clearly and they set off in warm and dry conditions and enjoyed the wide variety of activities of the inaugural edition of the event.
2012 has been a year to remember for Hill (TIB Insurance) and, despite the MTB season gearing down towards the fast approaching festive period, he sounded the closure of his year with yet another impressive result and enjoying a hard fought tussle with training partner and fellow local rider Leeroy Emslie.
“Both Leeroy and I rode well today,” said Hill. “After we got away early we were able to sit up a little bit and have some fun which was really awesome.”
“It’s always good to get the win but it was just such a great day all round,” he added.
The pair, along with the rest of the field was treated to some great sights and scenery throughout the challenging yet exceptionally well received route with both competitors even taking an unscheduled stop midway through their contest to take in their surrounds better.
“Both Leeroy (Emslie) managed to have a tumble each and so got absolutely soaked,” chuckled Hill afterwards. “I’d just gone down quite a steep descent before we got to the river crossing which is just a rock based crossing.”
“With Leeroy just behind me I decided to stay on my bike but I hit a patch of moss and my front wheel slipped out and before I knew it I was in the water on my bum.”
“The course was fantastic though and, having lived nearby my whole life and hence have spent our lives riding in the area, it was awesome to ride some trails I’ve never ridden before.”
“The guys did a great job with the course and the whole event all round. The track was a great mix of single track and cane roads, technical sections and fast flowing stuff and the event is perfectly situated on the calendar. It’s definitely an event that will continue to just grow and grow in years to come,” he added.
Emslie, a still relatively new MTB convert from motocross, worked hard to stay with his current mentor and walked away very content with his second place finish after an enjoyable day out on the bike.
“There were some great climbs, especially the one up to the lookout tower was pretty cool, the trails were well cut and it had a little something for everyone,” said Emslie.
“Andrew’s (Hill) been training me recently so I had to try hang onto his back wheel, just as I have done every day of my life recently. It felt a little like just another training ride trying to stay with him,” he chuckled.
The exclusive Sunday staging of the popular Shongweni Farmers Market saw hundreds of spectators and other local community members getting some last minute Christmas shopping in and enjoying the highly praised The Meditators jazz band which set the perfect atmosphere to ease the crowd into holiday mode.
More info can be found at www.sharkstrailadventure.co.za
RESULTS|MTB 40km – Men
1st Andrew Hill 1:53.32
2nd Leeroy Emslie 1:53.33
3rd Blake Gutzeit 1:58.33
(Game Plan media Writes)
Picture credits (Game plan media)