Eastern Cape Mountain bikers and trail runners have an “amazing opportunity” to enjoy the very best of the Zuurberg and Addo wilderness at the BDO Hayterdale Classic MTB Race & Trail Run later this month.
That is the opinion of BDO’s managing partner Mark Willimott, who is a seasoned cyclist and adventure sport enthusiast.
The Gqeberha tax, auditing and advisory services firm has stepped in as the new title sponsor, with a tacit commitment to support it for three further years.
Willimott, along with several colleagues, will put in the hard yards during the weekend of August 27 and 28 and urged riders and runners to take full advantage of the impeccable trails, which include several sections of the former South African XCO Championships course.
Competitors also use singletrack sections that are usually reserved for the Great Zuurberg Trek and Great Zuurberg Trek E-edition – both three-day boutique events.
“The trails are amazing and the Hayter family have invested a lot of time and effort in creating and maintaining it,” said Willimott. “They host a number of well-known events and it is really great to be associated with the family in this way.”
With less taxing options in both disciplines available, he felt it was the perfect opportunity for first-timers to experience something new while enjoying exercise in the scenic vistas of the Zuurberg mountains.
“If you haven’t been, come have a look,” said Willimott, who simply describes it as a “beautiful part of our region”.
He said the format made it easy to combine the races with a night away and to add excursions to a variety of activities – such as a drive through the Addo Elephant National Park – to one’s itinerary.
Willimott has cycled the trails on numerous occasions and said a longstanding friendship with race owner Trevor Hayter had led to their investment.
“We were onboard at their very first event and this is also a great opportunity for us to be involved with members of the community and to entrench lasting relationships.”
The company was founded in 2006 and have seen “incredible growth since its inception”, according to Willimott.
“As a founding partner of BDO Gqeberha, we started the office with the ambitious goal of becoming a fully-fledged professional services firm, within the brand of BDO and their trusted support.
“Now we have 125 professionals in the local office, and over 2 000 staff nationally.”
He said BDO employees described the environment as a “family with focus”.
“It is a positive work environment that promotes employee wellbeing, productivity and growth, which dovetails with lifestyle activities such as mountain biking and trail running.”
Nato Oosthuizen, a partner, said the company’s focus was to provide services to high-profile clients and to nurture young talent.
“BDO Gqeberha’s vision has been to create a base for local professionals to have the career they hope for through providing local and international exposure,” he said.
The BDO Hayterdale Classic MTB Race & Trail Run is supported by Investec, Nutritech, Engeli Enterprise Development, Pam Golding Properties, Hayterdale Trails and Mountain Events.
The trail run – which offers 18km, 12km and 6km route options – starts proceedings off on the Saturday. The mountain bike event, which takes place on the Sunday, has 40km, 40km e-bike and 25km choices.
The event takes place at Hayterdale Trails just outside Addo and online entries close at midnight on August 24.