Sani Spoors TTT – DrakDescent 2019


Dear Euro Steel Drak Descent , Eurosteel MTB Challenge and GWK trail run participants,

As a result of an overwhelming number of requests coming in from potential entrants for the 2019 Drak Descent we would first like to offer our faithful previous entrants a preferential entry period.  To those of you that have heard the hype, but have not had an opportunity to enter in the past, never fear, there may still be a spot or two available when the entries open to the public. Jump in and enter in order to be placed onto the waiting list for entry allocation once the preferential entries close!

Remember, while called the Descent, it is not an easy ride – and to our surprise that is what most riders of reasonable fitness and skill really enjoy. They have called it “real mountain biking”. We are happy to announce that for 2019 our founding sponsorEurosteel is again involved with the MTB race and GWK will be our sponsor for the trail run.

Having listened to your feedback, we once again promise much more of the same for the 2019 edition of the Drak Descent – i.e. exclusivity, route that is physically challenging but not too far, value for money and a phenomenal weekend of music and fun for the entire family.

We encourage you to take up your invite early and encourage some friends to enter and join you for a fun filled weekend.

Some important dates:

  • Drak Descent 2019 : 19 and 20 January 2019Preferential entries, for previous entrants are opening on 01 August at 14H00 to 30 September 2018.

Entries to the public open 1 October 2018. For the 2019 Eurosteel Drak Descent we plan to limit entries to either 400 riders (i.e. 200 teams or teams plus solo riders = 400). Entries for the main race will run separately from the Eurosteel MTB Challenge and the all new GWK “Run the Rivers Trail Run”. We have added a GWK Run the Rivers Lite where the distances are shorter and more manageable for those that may not have prioritized their training over Christmas! Follow the same link to the entry page on then click on the icon for the particular race you would like to enter.

Eurosteel Drak Descent = Team R 1500= Solo R 750 (substitutions at a cost of R200)

The Eurosteel DrakDescent is classified as a Mini Mtage Race and therefore riders of the age 15+ in December are allowed to ride.

  • Eurosteel MTB challenge and GWK Run the Rivers trail run

Cost for this event is R400 for both days.  Entry willinclude a garment this year.
Riders who enter the Eurosteel MTB challenge or GWK Run the Rivers Trail Run can only enter for both days (i.e. can’t enter for one day or the other)
There is currently no closing date for the Eurosteel Challenge and Run the Rivers Trail Run at this stage.

Approximate Distances:

Eurosteel Drak Decent                                 Day 1 = 41   Day 2 = 43

Eurosteel MTB Challenge                            Day 1 = 25   Day 2 = 18

GWK  Run the Rivers Trail run                 Day 1 = 25   Day 2 = 16

GWK  Run the Rivers Lite                            Day 1 = 12    Day 2 = 10  


Ride safely through 2018.  The Sani Spoors Team is really looking forward to hosting you all again at the EuroSteel Drak Descent 2019.


The Sani Spoors Team



Euro Steel Drak Descent and GWK Run the Rivers Final Newsletter

16 January 2018

The Spoors Team have completed the preparation for what is surely one of SA’s most spectacular MTB and Trail races. The single tracks are sure to challenge and thrill the most widely travelled cyclist and runner.  Whilst the distances of the days are not huge, the single track will traverse terrain that is spectacular and challenging! You are guaranteed to feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach the finish!


The Euro Steel Drak Descent has reached the 400-rider cap and entries are now closed.

The shorter MTB Challenge and two Trail Runs still have entries available and can be entered online until Thursday or on the day.



Our principal sponsors, Euro Steel have been absolutely amazing in their support of this event and thus mountain biking in general in our area. We as the Sani Spoors team and the Euro Steel organising committee would really like again to thank Colin and David Wilson for assisting us in making this event a possibility.


To all our other sponsors, we would like to thank the following:

GWK – for their involvement in the Trail Run as well as for all the wine for the riders

Spar – assistance with the coke and water for the water tables

Goodersons Leisure – sponsoring teams and accommodation prizes

Kalbo – prizes

Pyga – roving mechanics and draft beer

Berg 100 – for the free entries into their race

Ola Ice creams – sponsorship of ice-cream for all competitors at end of Day 1 as well as ice creams which Pevensey Place sell to raise funds.



We are proud to have FNB Business on board as a sponsor and encourage you and your families to support an afternoon of top class music entertainment at the Underberg Country Club on Saturday 20 January 2018.  Glen Haw, of Sani2C fame, has donated a prize of 1 free entry into the 2018 event. The winner of the lucky draw prize will need to be present at the Saturday concert in order to receive their prize in person – no substitutions are allowed.




15h00 – 15h30:      Seb Goldswain

15h40 – 16h20:      The Kickstands

16h40 – 17h40:      Georgetown

18h00 – 19h15:      Matthew Mole



All participants in the N3TC Drak Challenge, Euro Steel Drak Descent and GWK/Sani Spoors Run the Rivers Trail Run will get free entrance for themselves and one seconder/family member. Please remember to take your own blankets and camping chairs to sit on.

Public tickets will cost R30 and can be purchased at the gate on the day.



Some important news regarding the 2018 Euro Steel Drak Descent, MTB Challenge and GWK Run the Rivers Trail and Lite:


Race Information



Registration for the MTB and Run:
Friday 19 January

12:00 – 20:00

Olde Duck Café (1 Km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)
This will be followed by a meet and greet with local landowners and Sponsors at the Olde Duck.

Braai packs and bar facilities will be available from 18:00.

Emergency Registration: – if you REALLY could not make it to normal registration!!

Saturday 20 January

07:00 – MTB – at Restmount Children’s Home (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

05:30 – Trail Run – at Rainbow Farm (7km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)


Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB:

(Please follow links below to download the race map)

Day 1 Drak Descent ..

Day 2 Drak Descent..

Day 1 – 42km – Start @ 08:00

Saturday 20 January
Restmount (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)
Day 1 Finish

Swartberg Bridge (at the R617/Drakensberg Gardens Road turn off intersection)

Day 2 – 40km – Start @ 08:00
Sunday 21 January
Olde Duck Café (1km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)
Day 2 FinishAt Early Mist Farm/Umzimkulu River Lodge, along the second Coleford Road
Euro Steel MTB Challenge:
Day 1 – 25km – Start @ 09:30

Saturday 20 January
Restmount (23km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

Day 1 Finish

Swartberg Bridge (at the R617/Drakensberg Gardens Road turn off intersection)


Day 2 – 18km – Start @ 07:30

Sunday 21 January
Glenhaven Camp along the first Coleford Road

Day 2 Finish

At Early Mist Farm/Umzimkulu River Lodge, along the second Coleford Road

GWK  Run the Rivers Trail and Lite Runs:

Day 1 – 25km or 12km – Start @ 06:00

20 January
At Rainbow Farm (7km along the Drakensberg Gardens Road)

Day 1 Finish

Swartberg Bridge (at the R617/Drakensberg Gardens Road turn off intersection)


Day 2 – 16km or 8km – Start @ 06:00 (and Finish)

21 January
At Early Mist Farm/Umzimkulu River Lodge, along the second Coleford Road

Cut – Offs:

Day 1 – 12:30 at the Euro Steel waltzing bridge

Day 2 – 12:30 at Glenhaven

We request that riders who are stopped or re-directed onto the shorter course respect the decisions made. It will be for your own health and safety.




Route and Final Distances

The final routes, elevations and distances will be posted on Facebook and on the Sani Spoors website shortly.


Friday 19th January – 6.00pm: “Meet the Sponsors” and Landowners Evening

“Meet the Sponsors and Landowners” evening will be held at Sani Spoors (1km on the Drakensberg Gardens Road) on Friday 19 January at around 6.00pm. It is hoped that after Registration (which is at the same venue), riders and runners will stay and mingle with our sponsors, landowners and other riders and runners and enjoy a few drinks and food that will be on sale at the Olde Duck Restaurant.

You will be able to select your meat from our local butchery, Underberg Meat Supplies, who will be present, and then braai it yourself on the fires provided.



S A Seeding will be doing the batching for Day 1.

Batches will go off at 5 minute intervals.

Should you feel that you are batched incorrectly please will you bring proof to substantiate your claim, to the registration on Friday so we can consider your concern. NO changes will be made on race day.

Any rider moving up a batch without prior approval will have a 1(one) hour time penalty added to their team time.


Late Substitutions:

Substitutions are closed on the system and substitutions will be entertained from 16h00 on the day of registration at a cost of R200.


It is critical that should you change your partner that the substitution is done as the full race entry file containing Medical and Ice numbers are given to the medical team.


Medical and Safety:

IPSS under Doctor Grant Lindsay will be handling any medical issues.

ICE arm bands with contact telephone numbers will be issued to all competitors at registration.

If the conditions of the track are wet, we would like to recommend that riders ensure that they have tyres with an aggressive tread pattern! We cannot stress enough, the race is challenging and technical in nature and we request that riders ride at speeds suitable to their capabilities. We really do want to avoid any accidents at all costs.



We highly recommend that you all install the MySOS app onto your phones so that in case of emergency, whether it is for yourself, your partner or fellow participant assistance can be called.


How to install MySOS:


  1. Download MySOS SA emergency app onto your smartphone, by using

Google Play or the App Store

  1. Check that you see the MySOS icon on your phone
  2. Register yourself on the MySOS app on your phone
  3. After registration you should see the MySos icon


How to use MySOS during the event:


NB – Ensure that location services are enabled on your phone

  1. If you have an emergency at any stage during the race, open MySOS
  2. Clear the automatic emergency countdown timer
  3. Then press the Drak Descent Event logo
  4. Choose for whom the emergency needs to be placed from the icons
  5. Call starts (011) 123-4567
  6. Explain your emergency to the emergency coordinator
  7. After speaking to the emergency coordinator, stay where you are and keep calm.

Help is on its way.

  1. An SMS with your location and type of emergency will be sent to the emergency coordinator and your emergency contacts.

You have to download MySOS to your phone – if you only register on the website we cannot help you during the event!

For any further details or queries please contact: or Elja Van Urk on 0828570085.


Administration Issues:

Unfortunately, as with most matters in life, there are the inevitable admin issues to be handled.


Cycling SA – Day Licenses:

As the Drak Descent is a Cycling SA sanctioned event there is a legal requirement on Sani Spoors, as the race organisers, to collect CSA Day Licenses at R35 per day (or R70 for the event) from anyone who is not licensed with Cycling SA for 2018. It is up to each rider to be able to prove at Registration that they have purchased a 2018 Cycling SA license – or they will have to pay the R70 prior to us being able to issue them with a race number board.


Prizes and Prize Sponsors:

As advised on the Sani Spoors webpage there will be no cash prizes awarded. There will however be product prizes handed out at the end of Day 2 for the top Men’s, Women’s, Mixed and Junior winners and second positions.

Sani Spoors is also sponsoring product prizes to the first two men and women in both the Trail Runs.

Two exciting lucky dip prizes will be drawn registration and at prize giving on Day 2 – from all the stage race and the MTB Challenge and Trail Run entries.



The good news is that the Pyga Team will be joining us again for the race. They will have three roving mechanics to assist riders who have mechanicals during the race and will also have a limited number of bikes available should a rider have a serious issue with their bike which cannot be repaired on the day.


Emergency Spares and Bike Repairs:

Good news is that Howick Cycle and Gear, represented by Travis Boden (076 913 3879) and Sean Symons (072 454 7689), will be present at Sani Spoors from Friday afternoon/evening to assist you with minor bike maintenance and repairs. Howick Cycles will be providing the chain lube for the water tables.

Farm Equipment and Garden Centre (033 – 701 1119) in Underberg (next to the Shell Garage and KFC) also stock basic cycle spares and equipment.


Water Tables:

For the riders we will have two water tables on Day 1 and two on Day 2 (for the runners there will be one water table on Day 1 and one water table on Day 2).

We do warn that we may experience days of extreme heat and request that riders and runners take their own liquid and not to rely solely on the water tables.

The river is not only a real option for filling up water bottles if desperate, but a real way to cool down if you feel you are overheating. (Just watch out for canoeists who definitely have the right of way in the river). A Reminder, Pevensey Place staffwill be handing out free Ola ice creams to competitors at the end of Day 1 – they will also be selling ice creams for raising funds for Pevensey Place. The usual complimentary Sani Spoors Wors rolls will be available at the end of Day 1.


Vehicle shuttles:

We would like to encourage riders to make use of the Shuttle Service offered by Underberg Education Academy. It alleviates traffic and contributes to the the bursary fund for less privileged Learners that attend the School. Please see booking details below (R120/day).




Alien Plants:

The Sani Spoors team would like to thank all competitors who have made a contribution towards eradicating alien plants along the route. We would also like to thank Mike Streetfield at Farmers Agricare for the chemicals he has donated.



The Euro Steel organising committee would like to appeal to all riders / runners to refrain from riding or running on any of the route other than the tracks forming part of Sani Spoors.

We have got permission from landowners along the route to use the tracks on the race days only and persons using the tracks illegally are putting the whole race in jeopardy.


In conclusion:

Thanks to you all for the wonderful response to the Euro Steel Drak Descent, MTB Challenge and GWK Run the Rivers Trail Runs. Interest in the ride has been fantastic and we are sure that all will be in for a great two days of riding, running, fun and music!

If you hear that your team mate has not received an email Newsletter please ask him/her to email me their correct email address. We have had a fair amount of difficulty with some of the emails coming back “Undelivered”.

Four days to go (no festive season excuses anymore!!). We are looking forward to hosting you in Underberg for a ride and run that promises to be challenging, exciting and beautiful. Our target at the start of preparation for this year’s route was to prepare a route that we felt 90% of participants would be able to ride or run 90% of the way. We feel we are achieving this!


The Sani Spoors Team

Email :

Or, as a last resort, contact:

Derek 082 318 9995

Ed 082 299 5234


Sani Spoors encourages our cyclists to make a donation to the Restmount Children’s Home in Underberg. The Home provides opportunities for less fortunate children to spend time in the Southern Drakensberg. Many of the children have never been on a holiday. Please make donations directly to Restmount using the Account details below. Reference all donations as Drak Descent with your name.




ACCOUNT NO. 051072807


# No Cyclist or Runner Must Fall

# :(: you decide


Local Charities supported through your involvement in this event:


Noah’s Ark and Asifunde Sonke Teacher’s Training College:


Noahs Ark has been serving the Early Childhood Educational needs of the Underberg and Himeville Low-income Housing developments for 25 Years.  In this time, they have received numerous awards as ECD site and Practitioner of the Year Awards at the annual ABSA award ceremonies.  They rely on donations and support from the local community to be able to run their beautiful school of 100 students from 2 to 6 years of age.

Asifunde Sonke – Let’s all learn together – emerged from a need to provide support to local rural and township Crèches and Pre-Schools that had no chance of ever upgrading the skillset of their dedicated Educators.  A nationally recognized Teacher’s Training College was started to provide locally based, affordable, further education opportunities, of the highest standard, to aspirant Educators.  They College is run on a nonprofit basis and relies on donor support.


Family Literacy Project –

The Family Literacy Project (FLP), a registered NPO, Section 21 not for profit organization, was established in 2000 to address the concern raised by findings of research conducted by Khulisa Management Services that showed no improvement in the early literacy levels in pre-schoolers, despite training and support provided through the national Department of Education. To explore the role of families, the FLP held workshops in rural sites in southern KwaZulu-Natal for adults caring for children at home. These workshops provided opportunities for adults to discuss, learn and experiment with ways they could use every day experiences and materials to build early literacy skills in their children. A participatory rural appraisal conducted late in 2000 showed that the adults also wanted to improve their own literacy.

We support four community libraries which are open every day and run holiday programmes for children in these remote villages. We also facilitate a home visiting programme to promote child and maternal health and early childhood development.

Building on the success of our work we are now working in 15 villages in Ingwe, Mzimkulu, KwaSani and Impendle municipalities, in the Sisonke District. The Family Literacy Network was started in 2010 to encourage long standing FLP adult groups to use their literacy skills to improve their lives through income generating projects and savings clubs.


Clouds of Hope –

Clouds of Hope relies heavily on individual and trust donations. We are a registered non-profit organisation in South Africa, and a registered charity in the UK (number 1114506).

To find out how your donation is helping, subscribe to our newsletter below.

Clouds of Hope is a children’s care centre in Underberg, South Africa. We are home to 64 children, the youngest now 18 months and the oldest 20. The children come from desperately poverty-stricken backgrounds, many come from circumstances of unimaginable neglect and abuse and some have compromised immune systems.  And all of them, after extensive investigation, have no-one to care for them and so are legally placed in the care of Clouds of Hope.

Clouds of Hope is all about giving these children a better start in life and hope for the future.

It is our aim to reduce the impact of the current HIV/AIDS pandemic by providing support for children affected by the virus, and through outreach work within the community.


Restmount Children’s Home –

RESTMOUNT nestles in a beautiful mountain setting on the slopes of Bamboo Mountain, 17 kilometres out of Underberg. It is a 522ha playground dedicated to the underprivileged and needy children of KwaZulu Natal, and is supported by the people of KwaZulu Natal. Here the children can enjoy the great outdoors in a safe environment in complete contrast to the heat and humidity of our crowded coastal towns. Restmount caters for children aged seven to fifteen years.

RESTMOUNT was founded in August 1942 when the late

Dr Fred Cluver told members of the Durban Rotary Club of his dream.

Drakensberg holiday resort for underprivileged children.

The club accepted the challenge and raised the necessary funds to build the first complex of thatched bungalows. The first group of children arrived on the 6th October 1945.

The Durban Mountain Homestead Association now guides this magnificent project. This is a registered Non Profit Organisation and is steered by a voluntary team of workers who form the Management Committee.  Restmount receives no Government subsidy or assistance.


A swimming pool was built with funds raised by the Sani Pass Hotel.

After a devastating fire in 2000 which destroyed much of the complex, funds were raised once more and new buildings were erected. The Homestead is fully functional again. This has all been due to the generosity of many friends of Restmount and the people of KwaZulu Natal.


Restmount has continued for seventy years and has provided holidays for well over 25 000 young guests. Restmount is able to fulfil the dream of its founder in taking children out of overcrowded and stressful environments and giving them a break amid the mountains where healthy appetites are born and wholesome, nutritional food is provided.

At Restmount there is no time for boredom and so much to see and do.


There are mountains to climb, a beautiful waterfall to splash under, a crystal-clear river to swim in and pine forests to walk and play in.

Others remember the fun, laughter and camaraderie of Restmount concerts, carol singing and other forms of home entertainment, realising television has not been missed. Still others keep in touch with the leaders of their groups, remembering the love, care and fair discipline shown to them.


The resident House Parents and farm workers are the only paid employees; all other workers and the group leaders are voluntary helpers.

To support RESTMOUNT is to invest your interest, time and money in a child, giving that child the opportunity to see life in a new dimension as well as helping to mold his future,


If you would like to help we would love to join your efforts with ours.


You can do this by:

  • adopting a project or donating cash or kind toward it
  • sponsoring a child or a full group
  • sponsoring transport for the holiday
  • becoming a member or life member of the Association
  • helping with fund raising, street collections, etc
  • becoming involved in the re-building project


Underberg Education Academy 

Underberg Education Academy opened in 2011 because of the desperate need for good quality secondary education alternatives to boarding school.The school currently has 27 students and seven educators, providing excellent tuition in all the core subjects and with a very low teacher to student ratio.

Pevensey Place –

The land on which Pevensey Place resides, used to be part of a farm owned by Ralph Hardingham. Tucked away in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, Ralph Hardingham, a local to the Underberg district and who coincidentally was responsible for establishing numerous schools in the same district, found himself mulling over what to do with some 84 hectares. Having more than enough land to do his farming, he felt this section of his land could be put to better use and so placed an advert in the local papers calling for proposals.

Round Table South Africa and the Natal Cerebral Palsy Association heeded his call and so, in 1972 Pevensey Place was officially opened with Sani 152’s chairman – Ko Egbrink – cutting the ribbon.

To this day, all that were involved still believe the project’s success was due to Pevensey becoming a national project for Round Table at that time. Remarkably, a farmer’s goodwill to an urgent need for a settlement caring for cerebral palsied adults became a reality for the whole of South Africa.

Pevensey Place has now been running for 44 years. It is testament to the invaluable work done by Round Table South Africa and the value those young men and women can contribute to their communities when they pull together.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *