As at around 15h00 on Tracker, the order was still Martin Dreyer, Alex Harris and Glenn. We;ve lost Garth on Tracker for now. Martin was well-through Donnybrook into the forestry areas between Donnybrook and Centocow, Alex Harris a little and Glenn moving through the town of Donnybrook. Still not much separates them. Martin may be at Centocow before 16h00 at this pace. Mike Woolnough and Trevor Ball left Centocow at around 19h00 the other day, so this lot look to be setting a pace not yet seen in the race. Now perhaps we can start to speculate on arrival time at Ntsikeni....well-before midnight? Will someone move on past Ntsikeni without stopping to sleep??? Personally I suspect so.
Glenn did mention that he'd play the first days by ear, having had flu in the build-up to the race, and if it hampered him he may start less aggressively than originally planned, and pick up speed as the race continued. So far not bad though, and not far off the pace.
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