Seen here (from left to right): Michael Wright and Edwin Kgaswe crossing the finish line at the 2018 FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic.
Photo Credit: Jetline Action Photo
The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic (taking place at the ATKV Buffelspoort on Saturday, 01 June 2019) has become a yearly ‘must do’ event for friends, Edwin Kgaswe (Kensington, Johannesburg) and Michael Wright (Kensington, Johannesburg).
“The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic has to be one of the best mountain bike (MTB) races in the world,” says Kgaswe. “It holds a special place for me, because it was my first ever race when I started mountain biking. The Monster climb itself is what brings me back each year. The goal is to reach the top without putting your foot down! Sometimes it works, sometimes not. That’s what brings me back every year, to achieve all these little milestones in the race. If I am not mistaken, this will be the 7th year that I partake in the event.”
Each year Kgaswe takes on the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic with long-time friend, Michael Wright.
“It’s always nice to laugh at Mike, especially when he’s pushing his bike up the Monster climb! I tend to have to wait a lot for Mike,” laughs Kgaswe. “We encourage each other, compete a little and inspire one another as a team (even though this is an individual rider event). I haven’t always finished the Monster, but that’s a story for another time. We have loads of fond memories. The one year Mike and I crashed into each other on the descent of Breedt’s Nek. I broke my wrist, but looking back, the war scars bring back fond memories for me, especially when comparing injuries with other riders. I would definitely recommend the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic to other mountain bikers. It’s the ultimate MTB race in Gauteng. There’s no other ride that challenges you as much, in a short distance (65 – 70km). It’s packed with everything a rider could wish for on an MTB route. The only goal that I have as a weekend warrior is to stay upright on the bike!”
“The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic is just that, a classic, tough, push you to the limits race,” says Wright. “It’s not called ‘The Monster’ for nothing. It’s not easy trying to tame this one, but it is worth the try. The toughest aspect is climbing ‘The Monster’. There are very steep gnarly bits with lots of rocks and stones. The Magaliesberg is also quite hot at that time of year (June), so hydration is very important.”
“Edwin and I ride together for entertainment value,” laughs Wright. “He keeps me going because he has a crazy sense of humour. We have been trying to tame ‘The Monster’ for years. Every year it’s tough and we swear that we are going to train harder for the next one. The event must not be underestimated. Even once you have crossed the halfway mark (that’s over the highest point) you still have a long way to go over rough terrain before you get to cross the finish line. My strength as a mountain biker is to never give up. There are times that you dislike your bike (it happens, like in any marriage). Just keep pushing through. At times it can be demoralizing being almost the last rider in, but at least there is no DNF (did not finish) to your name. At least you made it and got the medal. We try to avoid the ‘bakkie of shame’. We all know what it is, when you’re taking too long and are either diverted to a shorter route or told that you’ve missed the cut off. Just keep your head down and keep peddling.”
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic
|Date:||Saturday, 01 June 2019|
|Distances & Entry Fee:||Marathon / +-65km / R430.00|
|Half Marathon / +-33km / R325.00|
|Fun Ride / +-15km / R200.00|
|Kids Event / 2.5km / R100.00 / Kids 6 years and older|
The first 1000 mountain bikers to enter (and pay – Marathon/Half Marathon/Fun Ride) will receive an official event t-shirt. All event finishers will receive a medal (Kids Event included).
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Platinum Trail Run
|Date:||Sunday, 02 June 2019|
|Venue (start & finish):||ATKV Buffelspoort|
|Distances & Entry Fee:||Long / +-24km / R340.00|
|Medium / +-12km / R240.00|
|Short / +-8km / R150.00|
|Kids Event / 2.5km / R100.00 / Kids 9 years and older|
The first 1000 trail runners to enter (and pay – Long/Medium/Short) will receive an official event t-shirt. All event finishers will receive a medal (Kids Event included).
About the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic and the FNB Platinum Trail Run:
FNB is proud to once again be the title sponsor of the annual FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic and the FNB Platinum Trail Run.
This sponsorship forms part of FNB’s ongoing strategy to support local and community events that focus on healthy lifestyle activities and family involvement. We pride ourselves in creating memorable experiences that exceed expectation, for all participants and spectators along with their families with the aim of creating enduring rewarding relationships
Issued by: NEWSPORT MEDIA
On behalf of: STILLWATER SPORTS