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 -

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Glenn checks in from Rhodes

Sitting in front of a warm fireplace in Rhodes was never part of any race plan for me this year but that's exactly what I'm doing.... My race is over for this year. After escorting Andre Visser safely to Ntsikeni  in the darkness early yesterday morning, I reluctantly called it quits and waited for a lift to pick me up. That lift came in the form of David Waddilove who fast-forwarded me to Rhodes, where I'm now resting.

I started the race after 3 weeks off the bike due to flu. A week before the start I was still in bed wondering if I would be starting at all! Rest and optimism had me feeling strong enough to line up on the 19th with the rest of the guys but I wasn't sure how strong I'd be on the bike once we set off. The first few hours went well and I felt strong but unfortunately it wasn't to last - the wheels came off going up Hela Hela and everything was a struggle after that. I soon realised that my body was still too weak from the prolonged illness.

It's really disappointing to be sitting here watching the action and not being a part of it, especially after all the preparation that went into this year's race attempt. Right now recovery is the priority though so that's what I'll focus on.

I'd like to thank everyone for all their support this year, it's been overwhelming. From before the start, during the build up and during my (brief) race, I had a constant stream of messages coming through wishing me well.

Thanks to John Loos, this blog has also become a regular source of race info for anyone trying to follow the action and that will continue. We'll both be following what's going on closely and giving updates as things happen.  

1 comment:

  1. Sorry that you are out as we were following you closely and cheering you on.
    Thank you for this blog as it really keeps us updated on the FC happenings!
    Look after you body and you will come back fighting fit in 2013!