One of Malawi’s all-time favorites has to be this event. On the 16 June 2018 we will be celebrating 15 years of riding the Luwawa International Mountain Bike race. The event is run in aid of the Luwawa Environmental trust, which protects the forests surrounding the Luwawa lodge.
The long route is a tough but very enjoyable 53km while the short route is only 20km of beautiful forestry surroundings. The race starts off on jeep track, through the pine plantations and into the distant mountains with spectacular views down towards Lake Malawi. After around 20km, competitors branch off and head into indigenous forest on single track.Your concentration will be competing between keeping your bike on the technical track and sneaking a quick peak at the scenery. The last 20km of the long route will separate the “boys from the men” as you climb an estimated 1000 meters. This is a great event and a fantastic weekend of camp fires and red wine in the beautiful mountains of Luwawa.
On Saturday 16th June, the 15th KIA - Luwawa International Charity Mountain Bike Marathon Race took place from Luwawa Forest Lodge Sponsored By HTD/ KIA Motors. The race has been run under UCI rules since 2011 as a full International event.
The tough circular route of the race follows the mountain ridges around the South Viphya Forest Reserve covering a distance of 53 km and passing through some of the most beautiful and challenging mountain biking country in Malawi with superb views looking out towards lake Malawi
It was a beautiful sunny morning in the mountains at Luwawa Forest Lodge as the competitors did last minute adjustment to their mountain bikes and enthusiasm and excitement ran high amongst competitors and organizers alike. There were teams from Blantyre Cycling Club, Lilongwe FOB'S, Luwawa Forest lodge, Mzuzu Cycling Club.
The previous winner from last year Steven Nazombe of Blantyre Cycling Club was there and had entered hoping to maintain his title as the fastest man over the course.
With 32 competitors registered for the race, at 10.00 am the race got underway with Steven Nazombe , Lenard Soyo and Missi Kathumbi all of Blantyre Cycling club in the lead pack with Blessings Kumwenda in close contention of Mzuzu Cycling club. By half way Lenard Soyo had managed to draw out a good lead ahead of Steven Nazombe and Blessings Kumwenda.
This lead was maintained throughout the race but the other two elite cyclists where never far behind. A very tight and well fought race with Lenard Soyo Finishing first in 2hrs 4minutes and 45 seconds and new course record, with Steve Nazombe second in 2hrs 7minutes and 45 seconds with Blessings Kumwenda of Mzuzu Cycling club in third place in 2hrs 8minutes and 40 seconds. In fourth place was Missi Kathumba of Blantyre C.C meaning that Blantrye Cycling club won the Selmar Gassen Memorial Team Trophy having the first three team members to finish.
The first lady to finish Amy Stenoien who finished in a time of 3hrs 13mins 25 followed closely by Sibongire Shaba in a time of 3hrs 17mins 55seconds.
Thirty one Competitors managed to completed this tough mountain and forest course with only one person retiring.
The trophies and monetary prizes were presented at 16:00 hrs in the beautiful gardens of Luwawa Lodge By The KIA motors representative. The First three men's & First three Ladies Prizes where donated by HTD Limited / KIA Motors who have shown serious commitment in the long term sponsorship of this International event.
Mr George Wardlow the Race Director thanked all the sponsors and Particularly KIA motors, his staff and volunteer helpers who had helped to make this year’s Fifteenth event a great success.
Short route winners:
1st Faye Yu
1st Isaac Masiska
2nd Mphatso Mphande
3rd Kenneth Chikazunga
Long route winners:
1st Amy Stenoien
2nd Sibongire Shaba
1st Leonard Tsoyo
2nd Steven Nazombe
3rd Blessings Kumwenda