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

Friday, 22 June 2012

Race Across SA - Glenn's summary of the day's riding


Lot’s of action out on the trail today.

-  Backmarker Steven Kellerman has taken 4 days to get to Ntsikeni. (new record) He left early this morning and was last tracked at 9am, still in Ntsikeni. He’s been M.I.A since then with Sheila at Glen Edward reporting no visitors the whole day. At 7:30pm, he walked into Masakala! (having successfully found it in the dark) He has 4 days left to get to Rhodes to avoid the 9 day cutoff.
    
-  Full house in Vuvu tonight: Roman+Katarina, Phillip, Shaun, The Gautrain (Gawie, Ezanda, Charl, Casper)   Shaun and Phillip went as far as the start of Lehana and then turned back to Vuvu.

- Garth made it over Lehana by last light and stopped at Tenahead – his ITB problems seem serious as he    really struggled today. He will drop into Rhodes in the morning to hopefully see a doctor.

 - Andre, Jody and Dino had an exciting time on Lehana – they made it up to the container after dark in gale force winds and freezing conditions. After trying in vain to find the track down from there, they went back to the container where they found blankets, a mattress and a burner – safe and warm, they are spending the night up there and will only move on at first light.

- Tweet arrived at Chesneywold at 17h20 and succumbed to the pancakes he was offered – he’s spending the night with plans to leave around 3am.

- Martin and Alex raced hard again today, ;eaving Chesneywold early - they are currently still riding to Kranskop (8pm) and could still go past to Brosterlea. They shared a hut on the Bontehoek for a brief snack break, currently Martin is riding about 30 min ahead of Alex.

Update: Martin just arrived at Kranskop (8:20pm) his muddy bike may need some attention….
- At Moordenaarspoort we have Tim, Peter Stephens, John Exley, Allen+Richmond who all left from Slaapkranz this morning – the going over the 2 portages has been treacherous through the sticky black mud. (Average time Slaapkrans to Moordenaars - about 8hrs).

-  At Kanskop we have Hugh, Theo, Peter O’Farrel, Johan Baard and Mike and Trevor (who have been there since midday) Most riders opted to stop, rest and sort their ailing bikes out, with no intention to continue. Mike + Trev were taking strain after a long night in the mud to Moordenaarspoort.

-  Brosterlea Dave+Dawn, Chris Morris – got in at midday from Kranskop and didn’t go on – too muddy.
-     Rory is having a braai at the farm Groenfontein, on the other side of Aasvoelberg. He walked through black mud most of the day, having left from Romansfontein.
 
  -  Gerrit+Brian were heading to Van de Venterskraal but not confirmed their arrival yet.

 Today most riders stopped short and rested for most of the afternoon or worked on muddy bikes.
 More rain forecast in the area for next 2 days and then set to start clearing.

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