At 05h57 this morning, Alex Harris arrived at Diemersfontein, cutting it fine but just sneaking in under the 11 day mark. His official time of 10days 23hours 57minutes makes it only the second sub-11 day finish in the history of the event. He also managed to shave more than a day and a half off his previous best finishing time. He's tired and soggy after a long trip up Stettyn's Kloof in the dark but happy to finally be finished and satisfied with his efforts.
The Freedom Challenge
The Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa is an "unsupported" non-stage mountain bike race of approximately 2,300 km across South Africa. While recent winners have won in around 11 days, the race cut-off is 26 days. The race starts in Pietermaritzburg in early-to-mid-June, and ends in Paarl near Cape Town. Temperatures are known to drop as low as minus-10 deg. Celsius. While there are periodic "support stations" which will feed and accommodate riders should they require, the race is unsupported in the sense that riders must carry their own clothing and equipment, are responsible for their own maintenance and navigation (without the aid of GPS), and there are no marshalls or safety officials on the course (Race monitoring is done by satellite tracking). Estimates of cumulative ascent are around 37,000 metres, and the highest point on the route is approximately 2,700 metres above sea level. See the following link for an introductory slideshow by Mike Roy - http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2010-02-04-extreme-endurance-the-freedom-challenge