Barberton event kicks off marathon season

The MTN Barberton Marathon will kick off the South African Marathon Series on Saturday, January 28. Since the inception of the national marathon series in 2001, the MTN Barberton mountain bike event is the only race in which more than 70 percent of South African mountain bikers have competed at least once.

The race is organized by Fritz Pienaar and Wessel van der Walt, who aim to provide riders with unique challenges in each event. When it comes to singletrack sections, their motto has always been "more is better".

All the entrants, whether they compete in the 120km, 70km and 40km races, will get the opportunity to race through the Mountainlands Nature Reserve, which provides 14 river crossings in one race. It is not only one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in South Africa, but it also has some of the most exciting single and jeep-track sections.

The reserve, established in 2000, derives its name from the geological reference to Barberton Mountain Land. It is at the core of a new World Heritage Site and central to the Archaean Greenstone Belt in which some of the oldest preserved rocks and earliest forms of life on earth can be found.

"The 2012 MTN MTB series promises to be yet another riveting experience for the riders who will be participating on January 28th and throughout the year. MTN is optimistic that the Barberton race will give riders an exciting start to the season," said Desiree Pooe, Senior Manager, Sponsorship and Events at MTN SA.

In 2011, Max Knox and Eszter Erdelyi won the Barberton marathon.

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