How do you make the best mountain bike and trail running events in the world…
Almost 17 years ago, the potential of the striking Ladismith landscape was realised and a dream to uncover the beauty of this area was born. This is how the Ladismith Cheese 7Weekspoort Mountain Bike Challenge came to be – an event that has captured the hearts of South African adventure seekers.
Next weekend, 5 October, close to 1000 cyclists will jump at the opportunity to traverse the Seweweekspoort– one of the most awe-inspiring and spectacular of all the mountain ravines in the country. The 85km route with ascend and descend the Poort – one of only two natural pathways (along with Meiringspoort) through the majestic Swartberg Mountain range. On a truly unique route, riders will start the event in the Klein Karoo, ride into the Great Karoo and then back into the Klein Karoo.
A 43km and 29km route is also in store, which will take riders through the blooming October orchards that this area is renowned for. Both routes will feature the popular Ladismith Cheese 7Weekspoort School’s Mountain Bike Challenge – a race that awards the top five students from local primary and high schools with winning hampers, a cash prize and a floating trophy.
Adding extra excitement to the event this year is the addition of a new and improved trail run. In 2018, the directors of Dryland Event Management decided to open the event up to trail runners with a 10km loop the night before the mountain bike race. In addition to the shorter event on Friday night, this year a 29km route has been made available to trail runners on Saturday too.
Runners will now get the chance to encounter the iconic Hoeko Valley – a secret piece of countryside that defies time and begs you to explore. With breathtaking views, lush vegetation and fresh farm air, the route is ripe for the adventurous at heart.
“After many requests from runners all over the country, we at last are presenting them with the opportunity to not only share the magical route through the Hoeko Valley, but to be a part of the whole vibe and Klein Karoo hospitality. With already over 150 pre-entries on the 29km trail run, I do believe that this event could soon become one of the most popular in the Western Cape,” said event director Carel Herholdt.