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 -

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Sweepers are home

The last group of riders in this year's Freedom Challenge are finally at Diemersfontein - the Sweepers have been together since Willowmore and true to form, arrived together at the end.

Chris and Julia Fisher have had a wonderful honeymoon, making the most of their time out on the trail together and loving every minute of it - they rode well, navigated well, ate really well and slept well on their way to Wellington. They probably would have gone on for another week if it were an option but the adventure has finally come to an end after 20days 9hours 48min. Friends and family welcomed them home and there were smiles all around as they received their blankets - well done guys on a great ride.

Chris and Julia at the finish.

The other two members of the group were Leon van der Nest and Andries de Villiers, they also finished in 20days 9hours 48min. Although they also had a large group of supporters to welcome them home, there were no blankets for them, at least not yet... as the only two entrants in the Extreme Triathlon this year, Leon and Andries still have to paddle the Berg River Canoe Marathon to complete their challenge. With the trail run and mountain bike legs now complete, they were at least allowed to enjoy their pizzas with the others. Tomorrow its off to trip the river before they start their four days of paddling on Wednesday - and only then their blankets. Well done so far guys and all the best for the final stretch.

David gives Leon and Andries some encouragement for the final paddle.

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