Martin Dreyer is the next of the pre-race favourites. He appears to be playing his cards close to his chest, and little seems to be known about how his training has been proceeding. He’s a relative unknown in the sense that he rode the Freedom Challenge in 2011 as something of a recce, didn’t ride the race too seriously, and took 18 days. But you don’t have to know much about his RASA preparations to know that he will almost certainly be another formidable opponent. His sporting history says it all. After Graeme Pope-Ellis, Martin would probably be the next contender for the title of “Dusi King”, having won South Africa’s premier canoe race, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, 7 times. And it doesn’t stop there. He’s a winner by nature, and showed this subsequent to his Dusi career, winning the Landrover G4 Challenge, the global adventure competition. These days, he’s also known as a top adventure racer, and now runs the Martin Dreyer Change A Life Academy, a development academy for canoeists in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, KZN. Many of his “pupils” are now achieving top positions in SA’s major canoe races.
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