Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Media Release

No: eston1901

20 June 2019

Embargo: None

      Written By: Nick Tatham

Community at the heart of Eston MTB

Eston – The Eston Farmers Club on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg will once again host hundreds of riders and trail runners at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride as the community comes together to put on another memorable event on Sunday, 4 July.

The KZN sugar cane belt is a popular destination for mountain bikers and trail runners alike as they take on the district roads and single track that surround the Eston Farmers Club, however a major pull of the event is the opportunity to ride and run alongside impala, zebra and wildebeest in the Tala Collection Private Game Reserve.

With four different mountain biking events to choose from, the 60km Illovo Marathon, 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride, there is something for every level of rider.

From a trail running perspective there are two different distances to choose from, an 18km or 9km run. With two years of trail running under the belt at the Eston MTB Challenge, the growth in this market has been vital for the event.

“Trail running has become a big part of the event because the numbers seem to continue to rise,” Marc Smith, chairman of the event organising committee said.

“We have had a look at the trails and we want to try and make a few changes but we won’t make drastic changes because the feedback has been good over the past few years.”

The 60km MTB marathon has been known to draw some of the country’s best mountain bikers and with the pristine trails and exciting single track it will remain another must-do on the list of one day classics in KZN.

Harnessing the power of community is what the Eston MTB Challenge does enviably and with such much to gain it doesn’t take a lot to convince the community to get involved.

“We must have well over a hundred volunteers helping out over the weekend,” Smith added.

“All subsections of the club, the hockey club, squash, cricket all get together because it is the major fundraiser for us and they know the benefit of the event to the club.

“We also support one of the local schools in the area so the more money that we can get in from the event benefits them hugely.

“It’s a great way for people in the area to come together and get to know one another, so the event is hugely beneficial for all of us!”

More information can be found at


Sunday, 4 August 2019
Venue: Eston Farmers Club, KZN
Start Times, Distances & Entry Fees:
06h30 - 18km Trail Run (Pre-entry - R140, Late entry - R160)
06h45 - 9km Trail Run (Pre-entry - R100, Late entry - R120)
08h30 - 60km Illovo Eston Marathon (Pre-entry - R220, Late entry - R250)
09h00 - 40km aQuellé Eston Half Marathon (Pre-entry - R180, Late entry - R210)
09h30 - 18km STIHL Tala Family Ride (Pre-entry - R140, Late entry - R160)
10h00 - 10km Omnia Kids Ride (Pre-entry - R70, Late entry - R80)


Enter via ROAG ( Pre-entries are open and will be accepted until 28 July 2019.

Late entries will be accepted online from 29 July to 1 August until 24h00 or at the venue on the day.

Each race is limited to 800 riders so make sure that you get that entry in ASAP!

At Eston Farmers' Club on Sunday, 4 August from 05h30-09h30.

Race garments will be available to the first 1000 people that pre-enter. Please note that late entries will not receive a race garment.


Photo Caption Photographer
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Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Logo - JPEG  

Local mountain biking talent Stuart Marais won last year's 60km Illovo Eston Marathon and could well be back to defend his title at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

The various mountain biking races cover vast areas that surround the Eston Farmers Club and will again at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

The 18km STIHL Family Ride and the 10km Omnia Kids Ride are great opportunities to get the little ones involved in mountain biking at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Early morning starts give runners brilliant conditions to take on the trails through the Tala Private Game Reserve during the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

With the growth of trail running, the 18km and 9km options available are going to be another popular choice for runners at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and Tala Fun Ride. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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