Good morning to all Freedom Challenge followers. A quick update early on what looks like being the final day of the race for the 2 race leaders, Martin Dreyer and Alex Harris.
The race office was set up at Montagu for the night, and Glenn had the chance to see both the riders on their way through. Martin Dreyer reportedly left at 01h15 this morning after sleeping for 2 hours. Alex Harris, who needs to do something big now, slept for 1 hour at Montagu and left at 06h50.
Dreyer's lead, as at departure from Montagu, therefore, was about 5 hours and 35 minutes.
With regard to record pace. In 2011, Harris left Montagu after 11 days, 13 hours and 50 minutes. By comparison, Martin has left after 9 days, 19 hours and 15 minutes. As at departure from Montagu, therefore, he was 1 day, 18 hours and 35 minutes ahead of record pace. Although this has dropped back slightly from yesterday's "lead" he held over the record-breaking pace, a sub-11 day winning time is still very much on the cards.
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