Businesses in Pietermaritzburg have stepped up to the plate and volunteered to help at water tables for the upcoming 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships on Sunday 29 June.
In sharp contrast to the recent UCI MTB World Cup, held entirely on the compact layout of Cascades MTB Park, the men and women’s UCI MTB Marathon World Championship titles will be decided over 95 and 74 kilometres of track respectively, starting and finishing at Cascades and encompassing vast tracts of the land to the west of the city. With a network of marshals in place, the organisers needed extra hands to assist at the seconding tables at key points on the route and made the appeal to businesses in Pietermaritzburg to join the event team by managing and staffing a seconding point. Immediate response came from a number of local businesses, eager to roll up their sleeves and assist to ensure the smooth running of the event.
“We have an interest in cycling so, when the call for volunteers came through the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business to be involved, we jumped at the chance,” said Lauren Truter of Rawson Properties in Townbush Road. “It’s good for local business to support events happening on our doorstep and this provided the ideal platform. It also gives us an opportunity to get out of the office as a team and have a good day of fun.” Varsity College encourages students to live a balanced lifestyle, which is made up of sport, social and academic,” said Bianca Bouwer of Varsity College. “This is an opportunity for us to support the sport aspect of Varsity College.”
“We got involved in the Marathon World Champs simply because we love the action and love to give back to cycling! We are a local cycling club that supports road, track, downhill and mountain biking,” said Time Freight Burg Wheelers chair Gill Bure. “We are excited at the prospect of Pietermaritzburg hosting these champs and look forward to energising the riders as they stop at our watering/feeding point. It could also be because our red and white blood cells are made up of millions of little bicycles!”
“This really does show how the city has embraced the concept of being Africa’s ‘Bike City’,” said Event Director Alec Lenferna. “There is a lot of pride from residents and businesses alike in having all these recent mountain biking internationals hosted in their city and the response to our appeal for volunteers to take ownership of a seconding table was really encouraging.” Lenferna added that there were still spaces for other businesses to join the event by staffing a seconding table, and urged them to contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org. The UCI MTB Marathon World Championships takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on 29 June 2014.