2011 Freedom Challenge Dates

Tuesday, 07 September 2010

“This has to be the holy grail of mountain biking” was the response of one of the finishers in the 2010 Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa. “Don’t change anything” was the response of another. In keeping with these sentiments there is little that will change with the 2011 version of the Freedom Challenge flagship event.

The Race Across South Africa will again take place in the heart of the South African winter with weather that ranges from heavy snowstorms to warming sunshine. There will only be minor modifications to the 2300 km race route which includes a 1000 metre ascent up the face of the Drakensberg escarpment on Lehana’s Pass, following the route of Smuts and his commando through the Stormberg and riding through the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area and the Cape Fold Mountains.

The event will continue to be non stop and unsupported with no GPS permitted Riders will again leave Pietermaritzburg in small batches spaced a day apart. The first batch will start on Saturday 11 June 2011. In order to retain the sense of isolation that is central to this event, batch sizes will again be limited. However, in order to accommodate the growing demand for places the event organizers have provided for additional batches. The last batch will start on Tuesday 22 June 2011. Riders must reach the race finish at Diemersfontein Wine Estate outside Cape Town within the 26 day cut off.

Leaving Pietermaritzburg with those doing the Race Across South Africa and making up part of each batch will be those mountain bikers participating in the 6 day staged Ride to Rhodes. Limited support is provided to those doing the Ride to Rhodes. However, it remains a very testing event. In the course of traveling the 500kms from Pietermartizburg to the remote village of Rhodes at the southern tip of Lesotho, riders climb 17000 metres. On most days they ride from sunrise to sunset. As a result, the Ride to Rhodes serves as a sound introduction to the Freedom Challenge generally and the Race Across South Africa in particular.

About 30% of the starters in the Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa fail to finish and with the demand for places exceeding the availability, completing the 2011 Ride to Rhodes will afford automatic qualification for a future Race Across South Africa.Finally, rounding off these winter races, will be the Duzi Trail Run. Hosted in partnership with the Duzi Umgeni Conservation Trust, the 85km run follows dirt road and footpaths from Durban up the valley of the Umgeni and Umzimduzi Rivers to Pietermaritzburg. Now entering its third year, the Duzi Trail Run will take place on Saturday 18 June 2011.Amongst those lining up for start of the Duzi Trail Run are likely to be a hardened few who hope to complete the run, leave Pietermaritzburg the following morning to cycle the Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa and arrive at Diemersfontein within 23 days in order to immediately go on to participate in the 50th Berg River Canoe Marathon. They will be participating in the Freedom Challenge Extreme Triathlon which is possibly the holy grail of endurance racing.To enter the 2011 Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa, Ride to Rhodes, Duzi Trail Run or Extreme Triathlon enter online at http://www.freedomchallenge.org.za/

I am looking for a sponsorship for next year. I know 13 Days is possible, maybe a new record and I can promise the sponsor that I will be riding as hard and fast as possible. Feel free to contact me.

No comments:

Post a Comment