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 -

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Two more arrivals

Eric Tollner and Gaeren Wilkinson arrived at Diemersfontein at 17h45 this afternoon. Eric started in batch D and claims a finishing time of 24days 11hours 45min while Gaeren started in batch F and finished in 22days 11hours 45min. They only joined up right near the end and hiked through Stettynskloof together but clearly they both enjoyed each other's company.

They both had their fair share of hardships along the way - Eric falling victim to a tummy bug which slowed him down for a few days and Gaeren struggling with knee issues and later sleeping out in Karoopoort - all of which made the going hard for them. But they both soldiered on and today they proudly wrapped themselves in their new blankets - well done!

Eric and Gaeren at the finish

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