Record field for St Johns kick starts popular Bundu Bash series

Pietermaritzburg - Strong winds did not deter eager adventure racers of all ages as the popular St John's DSG Bundu Bash saw entries almost double as the multisport race kicked started the 2012 triangular series on Sunday at the Baynesfield Estate just outside Pietermaritzburg, with numbers for the mountain bike and trail running event rising dramatically from 450 in 2011 to 780 this time around.

It was a colourful scene on Sunday, with brightly coloured, mismatched, hooped long socks proving to be the fashion statement of choice, and while the sun shone the wind became progressively stronger, which made the biking component of the events pretty testing.

It was also somewhat ironic, given the way the wind whipped things up, that two of those events went by the name “the Dustbuster”. Everyone, though, seemed to have a fun time. From children on push bikes through to those of more advanced year and sporting greying hair, it proved to be an excellent day out for the family.

“That’s fantastic,” smiled St John’s DSG head mistress Linda Stoffberg about the big increase in entries. “We held a big drive to improve numbers because we held it earlier this year than before."

Candice Wortmann of the headline sponsor, Stihl, was happy with the big turnout. “That growth helps influence our decision to sponsor this event,” she said.

“We’re about outdoor events and encouraging the family and schools to get involved,” added Wortmann. “It’s good to know the event is increasing in size and people are enjoying it.”

The series offers a wide variety of events, both team and individual, featuring trail running and mountain biking in combined events or alone, while for those up for a lesser challenge, the 5km walk is a popular draw card. On Sunday, it was the best supported event.

Organiser Stu Berry of Impi Concept Events said the trail running component of the Bundu Bash offers fun at a low cost. “It’s for all ages, it’s safe, features some great single track and is family-oriented,” he said.

St John’s uses series as a fund raiser, which is used to assist the school’s parents and provide funds for the school’s social outreach programme. One of this year’s beneficiaries of the money raised at the Bundu Bash will be the Ashburton Primary School.

Treverton, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, will host the next round of the Bundu Bash Series on 8 September. The series concludes on 20 October in Newcastle, where St Dominic's are the hosts.

More information can be found at

Photo: Entries for the St Johns Bundu Bash powered by Stihl on Sunday 12 August increased by 75% year on year. Brad Morgan/ Gameplan Media