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2016 Marriott Dargle Trails Festival promises to be a highlight in the trail running and MTB calendar

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On Sunday 14 August the Lions River Club will once again host the popular Marriott Dargle Trails Festival; a day packed with a variety of trail running and Mountain Trail Bike events to suit all fitness levels.

Following on from the success of previous years, the Fifth Marriott Dargle Trails Festival promises to once again offer some of the best trails in the Midlands area and an exciting family day out.

The course is prepped by local landowners and will take participants through natural forest, protea fields, plenty of farmland and offer exquisite, unobstructed views across the Dargle. With the course not usually open to the public, it will be a completely new experience for MTB and trail running enthusiasts. Events promise participants a unique perspective of the Dargle Valley that most will never get to see. Ewan Cochran, who was recently placed 4th in his age group at the SA MTB Champs, as well as being involved in trail building for the Marriott Freedom Race, amongst others, has been assisting with the route and trail preparation this year. “I’m excited about this unique and new trail – it certainly adds a great option to the calendar for both social and competitive riders alike. The landscape is spectacular!” said Cochran.

The 2016 Festival will include three trail run events (6, 12 and 21kms), three MTB events (6, 21 and 40kms) a social horse outride and a 3km bike ride and dog walk for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds from the bike ride and dog walk will go to the SPCA, and a portion of the proceeds from the horse trail will go to the KZN Coastal Horse Care Unit. Pre-entries for the trail running and MTB events are open on ROAG (www.roag.co.za), with registration for the horse outride and the fun family and dog walk happening on the day.

An exciting addition to the 2016 Trails Festival is an opportunity for enthusiastic trail runners and pet owners to have their dogs accompany them on the 6km and 12km routes.

The event will also host an exhibition polo match on the grounds at lunch time and besides the many sporting events taking place on the day, there will also be a market, where some of the best Midlands wares will be on offer (amongst other things). A “Kids Corner” (complete with activities and child minders), food tent and bar will also be available.

 “The great appeal of the Dargle Trails Festival is the wonderful trails and family atmosphere,” said Simon Pearse, CEO of Marriott Asset Management. “Serious mountain bikers and trail runners will find that this is one of the best events on offer, in terms of routes and views. Bring your family along and enjoy a great day out exploring the beautiful Dargle Valley,”

The Marriott Dargle Trails Festival, only 60 minutes’ drive from Durban, will undoubtedly be the highlight of the 2016 Dargle and Hilton events calendar. For more information on the event and how to enter, please visit www.dargletrailsfestival.co.za.

Caption:  Photographs from last year’s Marriott Dargle race.

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