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Tru-Cape Eselfontein Festival is October 14 to 16 this year.

This three-day event, held on Eselfontein Farm in Ceres, is a community fund-raising initiative that can accommodate 300 entries for the multi-stage event. 

On Friday, October 14 there is a 30km ride beginning at 18:00 while day two, on Saturday October 15, begins at 07h30. Day three, Sunday, October 16, is a 40km-ride which also begins at 07h30.

On Saturday there is also a 15km trail run. Entry costs, amongst the lowest in terms of multi-stage events according to organiser Janene Malherbe, will support local schools and charities for the aged.

Malherbe says that Friday’s 30km will be a day/night ride starting at 18h00 so the correct lights will be required. “We expect the average rider to do the last 15km in the dark. This section of track has been part of our normal night race of the festival over the past few years and has a total elevation gain of 690m. It will be a bunched start but there will be plenty of passing opportunities. The results from Day one will be used to seed the riders for the next day which will be a 55km race with approximately 30km single track,” she says.

Malherbe says that Day two includes Death Drop and Dead Man Walking. “This will be the ride of your life with a single track combination that will blow your mind and give you an all-over body workout from counter balancing your bike. The route is a combination of our trails that are open throughout the year that will include two famous climbs, “Death Drop” and “Dead Man Walking”. The last 25km will have no big climbs.. Total distance is 55km with a 1400m elevation gain and 30km of single track.

“For day three we go up to the Bo Swaarmoed area. It is situated close to the famous Matroosberg mountain. Most of your climbing will be done in the first 15km before starting with a single track which is mostly downhill all the way to the finish covering a distance of 39km and an elevation gain of 968m. There will be one water point,” she says.

According to Malherbe, there will be free camping grounds for all entrants and Glamping can be arranged via or 028-4252729.

“Food, beverage and coffee vendors throughout the whole weekend, use of the swimming pool, bike shop and bike wash will be available along with a secure bike park and many other attractions,” she ends.

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, a sponsor of this event and the largest exporter of South African apples and pears, markets the apples and pears that Eselfontein produces and are processed at Ceres Fruit Growers. 

Tru-Cape Assistant Accountant DG Malherbe (no relation to the Eselfontein Malherbe’s) will be competing in this event with his father David. “Eselfontein is always a challenging, yet exciting race to take part in. The tracks are quite technical and rocky but well-maintained with beautiful surroundings. This is the second time that my dad and I will be taking part in this race and we are looking forward to it.”

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