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 -

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A festive day at Diemersfontein

Race office birthdays and big group arrivals - seems to be a recurring theme on this year's Freedom Challenge...

The group who arrived today included three from Batch E: Dave Bell, Janine Stewart and Doug Kennaugh. Their finishing time was 19days 9hours 15min. With them were three riders from Batch F: Coen de Bruin, Andrew Bradford and Colin Anderson who all finished in 18days 9hours 15min. The other member of the group was Avril Metelerkamp in a time of 22days, 9hours 15min - a remarkable ride by a very brave lady.

Avril, Colin, Andrew, Dave, Doug, Janine and Coen.

Half an hour later we welcomed home Martin Ciolkosz, who after hiking through Stettynskloof with the group, had decided to slow down, smell the roses and take some photos on the way down to the finish. His time was 20days 9hours 45min.

A happy Martin gets his blanket.

Today's finishers are a festive lot and the Diemersfontein Pinotage is going down well with the pizzas tonight - well done to all of you.

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