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 -

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Six more arrive at Diemersfontein

A bit of a nip in the air today at Diemersfontein but nothing the riders would have noticed - not long after they rolled across the finish line, they were wrapped up warmly in their blankets.

The first to arrive today were Andy and Peter, their finishing time was 24days 10hours 10min, well within the 26-day cut-off but maybe some evidence of a bit of loafing at the end there... Who can blame them, they decided there was no need to rush and too much good trail food to pass up on in the last few days so they took their time and really enjoyed it. Well done guys, you finished in fine style.

The remaining riders arrived as a group of four, although they hadn't started out that way. Philip Kleijnhans started in batch E and finished in a time of 20days 10hours 10min, tired after Stettynskloof but glad to be finally done. The father and son pairing of Ted and Shaun Adams arrived with their travelling cohort of many days, Guy McKechnie - all notching up a finishing time of 21days 10hours 10min. They've had a fun and eventful ride, with much laughter along the way.

Shaun, Ted, Philip, Guy, Andy and Peter.

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