The Renova Foundation sponsors the largest mountain bike marathon in Latin America
On September 17 and 18, 2016, the historic town of Mariana (MG) hosted, for the fourth consecutive time, the 24th edition of Iron Biker Brazil, considered the largest mountain bike marathon of Latin America.
A record-breaking amount of over 1,700 bikers confirmed their presence to the competition, with registrations selling out in less than 30 minutes. Apart from Brazil, participating athletes came from countries like Switzerland, Colombia, the United States, South Africa, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Ireland and Australia. The Renova Foundation’s contribution to Iron Bike Brazil 2016 is part of its tourism, culture, sport and leisure stimulation program.
For the first time, Ponte do Gama, subdistrict of Mariana, was the main service point of the event for refilling water, isotonic drinks and maintenance of the competitor’s bikes. Some traditional routes like the Camargos district were also part of the race. “The event had a positive impact on the community, using sport to unite the residents even more and to warmly receive all the passing tourists. There are even those who have already bought their bikes to train, and who knows, can compete next year”, says Milton Manoel De Sena, president of the Ponte de Gama Collective Association of Residents and Friends. The Renova Foundation’s contribution to Iron Bike Brazil 2016 is part of its tourism, culture, sport and leisure stimulation program.
“It was good to see the Iron Bike passing through our town this year, especially after the dam collapse. It’s a way to bring back positive energy to the community. We hope that next year will even be better and that more people will participate”, says Silvânia Aparecida de Souza Coelho, ex-community leader and resident of Camargos, district of Mariana, traditional route of the event. Even though it was not impacted directly by the sludge, its access was affected and the number of tourists dropped.
During the days of the event, several concerts and shows were organized at the Minas Gerais Square and the Gomes Freire Square. Moreover, on Friday evening (16), the choirs Vozes de Santa Catarina and Doce Melodia sang at the steps of the São Francisco de Assis church. Iron Bike Brazil also promoted the fundraising and distribution of 3,500 kilos of food which will be given to organizations supporting children and elderly in need. As part of the registration fee, each participant makes a donation of at least 2 kilos of non-perishable food. The Brazilian Robson Ferreira and the North American Larissa Conners won the race that covers almost 160 kilometers.