A tough, but rewarding experience – The Mountain Bike and Trail Run Event at Klein-Aus Vista
The Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge was held for the 10th time. Photos: Klein-Aus Vista
More than a hundred riders and runners gathered at Klein-Aus Vista on 20 and 21 March this year to participate in the 10th Standard Bank Klein-Aus Vista MTB Challenge & Trail Run. This cross country style marathon race with incomparable vistas and world-class trails pushed the participants to their limits.
“For some participants, the event might be tougher than for others, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted,” event organiser Piet Swiegers said. “Many riders realized that there is still plenty of room for improvement on skills and fitness, to master all the tough and technical trails in the Aus Mountains.”
The winner of the 23 km Trail Run, Thomas Miller demonstrated impressively how hard training can pay off. He completed the course 6 minutes faster than last year, when trail running was included in the programme for the first time. Anja Schroeder won the Ladies’ Category of the running event.
The winner of the 23 km Trail Run, Thomas Miller in action.
The Standard Bank Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge offered an 11.7 km Time Trial reserved for the Ultra Marathon riders only; 27 km MTB Half Marathon, 64 km MTB Full Marathon and a 97 km MTB Ultra Marathon.
The Time Trial took place on the Saturday afternoon. Greg Chase recorded the fastest time for the men in 00:44:16; and Courtney Liebenberg in 00:55:55 for the women. Some riders said afterwards that it was the most technical route that they have ever ridden. The Time Trial results for each rider was added to their marathon time on Sunday for an overall end result.
The 27 km MTB Race was claimed by the youngsters Roger Suren and Ada Kahl, who was five (5) minutes faster than last year. Distances remained unchanged from last year.
The 64 km MTB distance was won by Greg Chase followed by Marcel Suren and Stefan Böhlke. In the Ladies’ section, Irene Steyn, a three- time winner of the KAV MTB event had a technical mishap in the Time Trial; despite a strong performance in the marathon she could not make up enough time to beat Nicole Fester and Elanor Grassow, who took the first two places on the podium after two days.
Lilly Anggreny, a three-time Para Olympian from Germany, awarded the medals to the overall winners of the mountain bike event, Mannie Heymans and Nicola Fester.
Mannie Heymans returned to the KAV Race with a bang. 10 years after his last participation, he dominated the Ultra Marathon distance in 05:57:08, beating top riders like Hans Du Toit and Ian Grassow (both 06:42:29). Hats off to Courtney Liebenberg, the only woman to enter the 97 km distance. She was riding well before she experienced a technical problem with her bike 12 km before the end. She pushed her bike for 7 km before she received outside assistance and could complete the race in 10h08 minutes.
Lilly Anggreny who was a three-time Para Olympian from Germany, winning 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze in 1500 mm, 5000m and 10 000 m, honoured us by awarding the medals at the prize giving ceremony.
Klein-Aus Vista would like to thank all the participants as well as the loyal sponsors Standard Bank Namibia and Maerua & Grove Super Spar as well as Gondwana Collection Namibia and Namibia Breweries for their support in respect to marketing and equipment. Klein-Aus Vista sponsored three development riders from Aus, Sagues Boois, Keven Haraseb and Angelo Witbooi.
For the detailed race results 2021, please click here.