The fifth annual Fedhealth MTB Challenge will take place on 7 and 8 September 2019 at Boschendal in the Franschhoek Valley. The routes for the various distance events are incredibly scenic, challenging, rewarding and memorable. Here are three important strategies that will help you conquer the routes like a boss!
Start steady, finish strong
The 60km marathon event has 1900 metres of vertical ascent and the 30km half-marathon has 800 metres of climbing. That’s some gradient to be climbed, which of course means there’s just as must gradient to be descended, offering great balance. No matter which event you’re doing the first big climb needs to be tackled at a sensible pace because there’s plenty more climbing to come. The temptation to push hard early on is high because you are still fresh, but you need to keep something in the tank for the latter part of the race. Measure your effort with a steady early pace so that you can finish strong.
Don’t forget to fuel-up
In the 60km and 30km events there is a high percentage of singletrack. While singletrack is stimulating to ride, it requires consistent concentration. Some tend to get so caught up in the singletrack and maintain control of the bike that they forget to drink, which comes with the risk of running low on fuel for later on in the race. Be mindful of your energy levels and whenever there’s a wider section of trail that’s not technical, use the chance to take a sip or two.
Look ahead, not around
The irony of the Fedhealth MTB Challenge is that it’s one of the most scenic mountain bike events in the country. But trying to take in the scenery while riding needs to be done carefully! Fast, flowy singletrack is a dominant feature of the world-class trails in the Boschendal and Banhoek region, but in order to ride this smoothly, you need to be looking ahead at the trail, not around at the scenery.
The good news is that if you’re not chasing a podium place, you can do both. Every now and then, when the trail allows, take a moment to ease up your pace or stop briefly. This not only offers you the chance you to take in the stunning scenery, but also gives you an opportunity to have a drink, a gel or a bite of an energy bar.
There are still a few spots available for those that haven’t yet entered. In addition to stimulating 60km and 30km events, the Fedhealth MTB Challenge also offers a 15km Fun Race, and kiddies events over 500 metres (0-5 years), 1.5km (6-9 years) and 5km (10-13 years). These take place over two days to ensure that all family members can enjoy the event, both on the bike and off it. Why not stay overnight at Boschendal’s highly-rated ‘farm accommodation’? Details here: https://www.boschendal.com/farm-accommodation
All entrants will receive a complimentary commemorative event t-shirt and all finishers will receive a medal. There’s a free post-event massage for all entrants at the Fedhealth Massage Zone, while Falke will treat all entrants to a free leg and foot massage once they’ve crossed the finish line. A Ybike obstacle course will keep the kids entertained too. ; . Fedhealth members get a free event entry and access to the Fedhealth VIP Zone.
Entries close on Tuesday 3 September. To enter, or for more information, head to http://www.stillwatersports.com/event/fedhealth-mtb-challenge/