Underberg – The beautiful Southern Drakensberg will once again become the focus of sportsmen and women on January 27-28 when the Euro Steel Drak Descent and Euro Steel Run the Rivers events draw hundreds of mountain bikers and trail runners to Underberg for their annual endorphin fix.

Dwarfed by the imposing Drakensberg mountain, trail runners and mountain bikers can once again enjoy their “runner’s high” at one of the most spectacular venues for any multi-sports festival in the country.

The Euro Steel Drak Descent is a two-day mountain bike stage race which gives cyclists two options to enjoy the superb trails in an around the Underberg region. The longer Drak Descent routes are 42km and 45km on Saturday and Sunday respectively, while the shorter Drak MTB Challenge allows the weekend warriors to be part of the action with more manageable 25km and 20km distances.

For the trail runners, there are also two options for their two-day festival of fun. The fitter and faster runners able to tackle the longer event over 21km and 18km distances, while the 14km and 8km routes are more manageable for those looking for a less challenging test.

The annual two-day Drak Challenge canoe race also takes place over the same weekend, giving families and friends a wide range of options to ensure nobody is left out from enjoying their favourite activity in a weekend of wall-to-wall fun.

“We have received a lot of positive feedback about the routes for both the running and cycling events over the past two years, so we are confident we are on the right track to giving participants what they want,” said Pierre Horn, a member of the race organiser committee.

“We are always looking to tweak things, but the aim is to only make changes if they are going to improve something, so hopefully participants are constantly getting a better experience each year.

“Last year we adapted the shorter Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB Challenge and made the entire event more streamlined and appealing, and a lot more user-friendly. The feedback we had is that it was a good change, so once again we are starting and finishing at the Olde Duck.

“Our mantra for all the events is that we want to offer riders and riders the best value for money for a two-day event in South Africa, and that hasn’t changed. That means that we will once again cap our numbers so that every entrant feels they are getting value for their money.

“That value-for-money incentive, the scenery and the hospitality are the driving forces behind our event, and we look forward to welcoming riders and runners to the Southern Drakensberg in January.”

Entries for both the Euro Steel Drak Descent and Euro Steel Run the Rivers events are available on the MyActive entry portal, while more information can be found at the Drak Descent website and the Run the Rivers website respectively.