“No one said it would easy, but we definitely know it will be worth it.” organisers. Well, you do climb a mountain on a bike – literally! Yip, the popular, incredible, delicate and not-so-delicate mountain bike challenge in the heart of daisy country is back – the Rotary Club’s 23 rd annual Barberton XCM Mountain Bike Challenge.

We know that whether it is the scenery, the camaraderie, hospitality or medals that keep riders on their bikes, there’s one thing they all love and that is a charity challenge. Set to take the little Lowveld town by storm on 26 January, the Barberton XCM Mountain Bike Challenge is the Barberton Rotary Club’s main fundraising initiative for the year and it has never failed to impress with the sheer volume of interest and support the event gets.

Entries grow every year and are now well over 1 500 annually.

Expect incredible landscapes and terrain as you traverse the De Kaap Valley and its beautiful Makhonjwa Mountains.

Local and international riders from all walks of life have descended on Barberton over the past 22 years to experience this “little” race with its big heart for charity.

What makes Rotary’s Barberton XCM Mountain Bike Challenge unique is it has the feel of a small race but gives riders all the big-race benefits, like prizes, water points and excellent route markers.

The hospitality in and around Barberton has also been lauded as excellent, with guest houses, hotels, restaurants and local attractions all putting their best tourism foot forward to give riders an unforgettable Mpumalanga experience.

About Rotary

Rotary is an international organisation with a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who take action on sustainable projects.

The club is doing incredible work in Barberton with outreaches into their community with projects that include:

  • The distribution of books, blankets and stationery.
  • Sponsoring and distribution of wheelchairs, walking frames and food.
  • Supporting other non-profit organisations.
  • Assistance at the old age home.
  • The Rotary exchange student programme.
  • Annual National Rotary Health Day, in association with the National

Department of Health, every September or October. Rotarians and healthcare professionals go to rural areas with the main objective of educating,
counselling, screening and testing for hypertension, diabetes and HIV/Aids.

The Barberton XCM Mountain Bike Challenge has become known as one of the toughest mountain bike races in the country – if not the toughest! They are not kidding when they say this race is “not as delicate as a daisy”!

For those who haven’t taken on this incredible race before, let’s do some proper introductions.

All races start and finish at Barberton High School and registration, briefings, prize giving, stalls, beer garden and other activities also take place at the school.

The race caters for all shapes and sizes and all fitness levels. It’s also a great family day out with stalls, a beer garden and entertainment.

It’s an absolute treat for ultra-marathon riders but … will be a wake-up call for those who choose to overindulge and under train this festive season.

Pre-entries close on 20 January at 11pm.

Race categories:

  • “Very delicate” 20km Fun Ride (R85)
  • “Delicate” 30km Half Marathon (R110)
  • “Not so delicate” 48km Half Marathon (R170)
  • “Not so delicate” 77km Full Marathon (R225)
  • “Not so delicate” 110km Ultra Marathon (R265)
  • First 300 entrants will receive a goodie bag

Late entries (at Barberton High School):

  • Friday, 25 January from 3pm to 9pm.
  • Saturday, 26 January from 5:30am to 7am.

There’s ample time to pre-enter … but if you don’t please note there are late-
entry fees:

  • R15 for the 20km Fun Ride.
  • R50 for the 30km Fun Ride.
  • R50 for the 48km Fun Ride.
  • R55 for the 77km Fun Ride
  • R55 for the 110km Fun Ride

Temporary licences can be purchased for R50 at the registration table.
Ensure that you have the latest RaceTec technology in order to be timed.
Pre-entries close on 20 January at 11pm. Late registrations start on Friday afternoon, 25 January, at 3pm and close at 9pm.

Come be inspired by Barberton, mountain biking and a real sense of small town community.

Find more at www.barbertonxcm.co.za or Facebook: barbertonxcm