Every year thousands of South Africans who shouldn’t even think of looking at a mannequin wearing running shoes line up for ultra distance events. Almost every weekend, there are running, cycling, swimming or mountain bike events where Average Joes challenge themselves, sometimes for a good reason, and sometime because it’s there. South Africans love a tough day.
In joberg2c, South Africa also boasts a 900km mountain bike ride, possibly the longest in the world, certainly the only one where the beer runs out due to rider excitement after each day of riding (thankfully stocks are always replenished).
Currently on its seventh day, there are over 800 people at joberg2c all riding their bikes, all for a variety of reasons. Today riders enjoyed the 82km cycle from Glencairn in Underberg to McKenzie Club in Ixopo. Characteristics of the route included forest trails, floating bridges and inquisitive cows.
In the front, there are the racing snakes – or in the case of Mike Posthumus, the racing rhinos (just look at those immense meaty thighs!). These guys and girls are here to win, but also to enjoy the unique nature of the event.
Posthumus and his partner in the Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category, Amy McDougall, still lead comfortably in their race for R100 000. In the men’s race, Matthys Beukes leads HB Kruger by a few minutes, while in the ladies race, Dutch rider Sandra t’Hart is leading the way.
In the men’s team category Andrew Hill and Shaun-Nick Bester have been dominant all seven days; the same is true of Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill in the women’s team race.
HB Kruger, in fact, was meant to ride with Sam Sanders in the mixed race, but Sanders fell ill just prior to the race starting. Instead, he’s now riding for fun, and enjoying every minute of it. “I’ve had a great time just riding,” says Kruger. “We’re riding hard, but it’s great being able to sit up and look at the scenery”.
McDougall also takes the time to appreciate the surroundings. “This is a special event,” she says. “The trails are amazing, but in general it’s just the overall atmosphere that does it for me. People are so happy here – even after a long day of riding, everyone is smiling and happy to be in the race village.”
Amongst the main field, there are friends riding together, partners riding together, married couples riding together (and some apart – the wives mostly beating the husbands!), groups of friends riding together and solo riders tootling along looking at the view. Others make friends as they go, like young Brett from Winterton who needed a grizzled mountain bike veteran to see him over the line on day seven.
If you ask the friends why they’re riding joberg2c, they’ll generally look down at a beer and say, “this”. As in, they had too many beers too many months ago and ended up entering. Others are here celebrating milestone birthdays, milestone anniversaries, or simply looking to share in a unique experience with a loved one.
Then there is the Surgeons for Little Lives gang, one of the largest groups at joberg2c. These are riders – some of them doctors, but generally everyday people – who have entered the event and raised money that will go towards improving paediatric wards in state hospitals in the Gauteng region.
Be it prize money, a good time, a break from the office, or a romantic getaway where the lube is freely available, there are 900 reasons – and more – to ride joberg2c.
Results day seven
Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category
1 Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 03:21:48
2 Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 03:30:02
3 Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 03:49:48
1 Matthys Beukes 03:02:07
2 HB Kruger 03:13:36
3 Kristof Sterckx 03:21:22
1 Sandra ‘t Hart 03:37:02
2 Monica Glover 03:45:54
3 Yvette Roberts 04:05:35
1 Andrew Hill and Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 03:02:43
2 Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 03:16:23
3 Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 03:16:51
1 Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 03:34:57
2 Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 04:14:26
3 Sandra Lippert and Heather Craemer (Crazy Nam Girls) 04:47:13
General Classification after day seven
Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category
1 Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 28:40:53
2 Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 31:35:04
3 Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 32:53:00
1 Matthys Beukes 26:58:00
2 Hendrik Kruger 28:21:32
3 Kristof Sterckx 30:11:00
1 Sandra ‘t Hart 31:44:41
2 Monica Glover 33:24:24
3 Yvette Roberts 35:03:58
1 Andrew Hill and Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 27:14:48
2 Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 28:30:18
3 Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 28:39:42
1 Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 30:23:08
2 Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 35:55:34
3 Sandra Lippert and Heather Craemer (Crazy Nam Girls) 40:54:49