2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Media Release

 No: eston1706

31 July 2017

Written by: Nick Tatham

Tala & Eston’s relationship a win-win

Eston – As the 2017 edition of the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge edges closer, hundreds of enthusiastic riders will be looking forward to their annual foray into the Tala Collection Private Game Reserve on Sunday 6 August, a day that the reserve finds enormous value in.

Increasing awareness for their operations as well as spreading the word of conservation is high up on the list of priorities for the Tala staff during the Eston MTB Challenge and they appreciate the knock-on effect that the event provides for them.

“Starting with the obvious, the more people coming through the gate, the more exposure Tala receives,” Reserve Manager Jean Naude commented.

“We always see a rise in revenue, occupancy rate in the lodges as well as an increase in day visitors, after the MTB race.”

The event provides riders of the STIHL Tala Family Ride and runners of the 18km and 9km trail runs in 2017 with the chance to get close to the wildlife in Tala, which stimulates people’s interest in nature, and in turn allowing Tala to benefit from this curiosity.

“It also gives people the opportunity to get hands on exposure from the close-up interaction with our wildlife which also puts people in a more positive frame of mind towards Tala as well as conservation.

“Once people experience the thrill of being close up to our wildlife, it makes people want to be more involved.

“Almost every year, after the race, we receive numerous emails from people, who want to find out more about the operations at Tala and if there is any way they can help or get involved,” Naude added.

The Eston MTB Challenge attracts riders of all abilities, from all walks of life, something that Tala believe is a positive element for them to attract people from a variety of backgrounds.

“We have a massive diversity of people with different occupations that will be taking part in the MTB race,” mentioned Naude.

For Tala, there are many different entities involved in keeping their professional operation running, and with the various backgrounds that mountain bikers and trail runners come from there is a long term benefit for them through partnerships stemming from the race.

“We have made numerous alliances with local farmers, doctors, veterinarians, neighbouring reserves, business owners and many more.

“This is a big plus point from a conservation stand point, as the modern day threats such as poaching, wild fires, theft and disease, are very real. When it comes to conservation, you can never have too many friends that are willing to help you,” he said.

The 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge provides runners and riders with a wide selection of events to take part in. From a mountain biking side there is the Illovo 60km Marathon, the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride.

From a trail running perspective the events offers an 18km and 9km run.

More information can be found at www.illovoestonmtb.co.za

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2017 will see more people enjoy the trails through the Tala Collection Private Game Reserve when the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge introduces trail running to the list of events this year. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

The STIHL Tala Family Ride is a huge drawcard for the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and the Tala Collection Private Game Reserve enjoy the knock-on effect of the ride through their reserve after the event. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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