Early bird entries to the 2019 36ONE MTB Challenge, which will take place from the 17th to the 19th of May next year, will open at 12:00 midday on Thursday the 26th of April. Only 100 entries, to the full 361 kilometre, distance will be made available at this time – but general entries will open later this year.

For riders wanting to secure their spot early for next year’s 36ONE the benefits – aside from the advantage of having a full year to mentally and physically prepare for the demanding race – include a bumper Biogen goodie bag.

The eagle eyed readers will note that the event has shifted a month later for the 8th edition. The decision to shift the event back to May brings the 36ONE in line with many of the other ultra-endurance events on the South African mountain biking calendar; which predominantly take place in winter. The rational for this, as Dryland Event Management’s Henco Rademeyer explains is two-fold: “It can, and has in the last two years, get very hot in the Klein Karoo in April. With many riders riding throughout the Saturday we felt that shifting the event a month later will reduce the risk of dehydration and provide a more pleasant experience for the slower riders. Secondly, despite the warnings from our side that the temperatures can plummet well below the predicted minimum during the early hours of Friday morning many riders trust the weather forecast and do not dress warmly enough. With the race taking place in May next year we expect riders will realise they have to prepare for cold temperatures overnight and dress accordingly.”

Riding through the night and experiencing a Klein Karoo sunrise from your bike is one of the unique appeals of the 36ONE. Photo by Oakpics.com

The 2019 36ONE MTB Challenge will also feature a slight adjustment to the route, to avoid passing through Dysselsdorp. Full details, including the change in distances between check points and an updated route profile, will be published in due course.

In honour of seven-time finisher Fred van Zyl 36ONE Asset Management and Dryland Event Management have decided to make entry to the full, 361 kilometre solo, race free to all riders over the age of 70. Since turning 70 last year Van Zyl has completed two 36ONE MTB Challenge races and that achievement cannot be overstated. It is the event’s hope that the initiative casts a light on other inspirational septuagenarians.

In honour of Fred van Zyl, who has finished all seven previous editions of the 36ONE, all would-be entrants – to the full race – over the age of 70 will receive a free race entry. Photo by Oakpics.com.

To secure an early bird entry to the 2019 36ONE MTB Challenge please visit www.the36one.co.za.

The 36ONE MTB Challenge will take place from the 17th to the 19th of May 2019 in an attempt to ensure the day time temperatures do not exceed the high 30’s like they did during the 2017 and 2018 events. Photo by Oakpics.com.