Heart defect won’t damper spirit of Magalies Monster hopeful

Seen here:  Nathan Botha in action during the 35km FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic in 2016. 

Photo Credit:  Jetline Action Photo

North West Province – Nathan Botha, a 15 year old mountain biking enthusiast that was diagnosed with a heart defect at the age of 2, has set his sights on the 35km FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic that will take place at ATKV Buffelspoort on Saturday, 02 June 2018.

According to Nathan’s mother, Amanda Botha, Nathan was diagnosed with Coarctation of the Aorta, a congenital heart defect involving a narrowing of the aorta.  “This narrowing restricts the amount of oxygen-rich blood that can travel to the lower part of the body,” says Amanda.  “The same week of diagnosis in 2005, Nathan underwent a four-hour operation to repair the coarctation and recovered within a week of surgery. He was placed on blood pressure medication for one year to stabilise the blood flow in the repaired aorta. He has since been going to the paediatric cardiologist for annual check- ups and in October 2017, they found that he has developed a 46mm aneurysm on the ascending aorta. He is currently on blood pressure medication to prohibit this aneurysm from getting bigger.”

“The paediatric cardiologist performed a Stress ECG to establish the heart rate zones that Nathan can exercise in,” continues Amanda.  “Nathan trains with a heart rate monitor and data is sent to his training coach for evaluation. His coach is aware of his medical condition and adjusts the power zones accordingly. Mountain biking is the only sport that Nathan can do.  He has learned to listen to his body and knows when to stop training. We will ensure that he has the required nutrition before, during and after the event. We will take his training roller with so that he can warm up before his race. He also has an APP on his phone called MySOS that will alert us if he is in trouble or needs medical attention.  The App will also provide us with his geolocation.”

“I started participating in mountain bike races in 2016,” says Nathan.  “I enjoy going as hard and fast as I can on the mountain bike, pushing my bike to its limits.  For a split second on the jumps it feels like I am flying.  It’s that moment when nothing else in the world matters- it’s just between me, my bike and the gravel under my tyres.  I took part in the 35km FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic in 2016, completing the race in 03:54:19.  There are a lot of climbs that seem to never end and the down hills feature a lot of boulders.   I’m taking on the shorter distance in preparation for the Full Monster, which I will definitely do one day when I am old enough.  My goal is to complete the race in less than three hours and do all the climbs without stopping.  I want to give it my all throughout the whole race and finish it off with a spectacular sprint.”


Date: Saturday, 02 June 2018
Venue: ATKV Buffelspoort
Distances, cost & start time: +-70km / R400 / 08:00
+-35km / R300 / 09:00
+-15km / R175 / 09:30


Trail runners are invited to share in the fun by taking on the FNB Platinum Trail Run the day after the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic.

Date: Sunday, 03 June 2018
Venue (start & finish): ATKV Buffelspoort
Distances, cost & start time: +-24km /R330 / 07:30
+-12km /R220 /07:45
+-8km / R140 /08:00

For a sneak peek at what to expect watch our Teaser Video:  https://youtu.be/VSin5muSl4U

Follow us on Twitter:  @magmonstermtb /@StillwaterTrail

Like our Facebook Page:  Stillwater MTB Events / Stillwater Trail Running

For more information on the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic or FNB Platinum Trail Run contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email entries@stillwatersports.com

About the FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic and the FNB Platinum Trail Run:

FNB Business and FNB Private Wealth are 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 a healthy lifestyle and family involvement. This sponsorship affirms our dedication to providing a quality experience that exceeds expectation, for all participants and spectators along with their families, in order to continue building enduring, rewarding relationships. The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic and the FNB Platinum Trail Run are two events that are designed to provide an enjoyable outdoors family experience. The platform allows us the opportunity to engage with our clients and the broader community with the aim of creating lasting connections.


Issued by:                       NEWSPORT MEDIA

On behalf of:                  STILLWATER SPORTS 

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