Ntuli captained the Change a Life Academy Mountain Bike Team until March this year, when he attained his own personal sponsorship from Merchant. “This will be my second time doing the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash,” he said.

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Merchants' John Ntuli (third from the right) and Change a Life Academy's Mazwi Msimango (centre) are ready for the 2016 edition of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, which takes place at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site (R103) KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday 27 August 2016

Speaking about the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, Ntuli said: “This race is a very important race for me. It’s important because it shows that South Africa is free, and we get to race under the Mandela name. It’s just brilliant. It is extremely important in my life.”

Ntuli, who has succeeded in not only mountain biking but in many multi-sport events too, is referred to by his peers and Dreyer as “Ngwenya” (crocodile) because of his sheer toughness and resilience. “Mountain biking is my career and my life now. I do it full time, and train six days a week. I train mostly on weekdays and race on weekends, but if there’s no races, I still train,” he said.

“I am looking forward to the MTB Dash and I am just going to show up and try my best,” he concluded.

RMB Change a Life Academy’s Mazwi Msimango from Inchanga said: “I have been with the team for two-and-a half-years now, if I’m not mistaken.”
Msimango began riding only three years ago. “I just began riding normally and then I joined a team and I started training properly. I then got a good bike to race on. I started racing my bike in August of 2014,” he said.

24-year-old Msimango chatted about his dream of being able to take part in the MTB Dash: “This is really good for me. It was always a wish of mine to be able to ride a bicycle and to race with other people – it’s a great experience and a really good achievement. If I wasn’t in the Academy, these opportunities would not be available to me as mountain biking is too expensive, and traveling to races and equipment costs money. So for me – this is such a good thing because I’m achieving a lot and experiencing a lot. I talk to people and learn about their experiences and their thoughts – we share everything, and it’s really good.”

The start and finish of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash is at the well-known Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands – a reminder of the struggles endured by our former president and leader.

Online pre-entries for the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash are open, and close on Wednesday 24 August. Late entries will be accepted at registration, which is at Olympia Hall, Royal Showgrounds, Pietermaritzburg from 11:00-17:00 on Friday 26 August, and at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site from 06:00-07:30 on race day, Saturday 27 August.

Race Start Time Pre Entry Fee Late Entry Fee
10km Fun Ride 08:30 R 80,00 R 100,00
21km MTB Intermediate 08:15 R 100,00 R 120,00
42km MTB Classic 08:00 R 130,00 R 150,00

For information on the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, visit the official website – http://www.mandelamarathon.co.za/
For more information on KZN MTB Commission, visit – http://www.kznmtb.co.za/
For the online event entries, visit the ROAG website – http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1735