Pietermaritzburg – The race for mixed team title at the 2015 BSi Steel dusi2c has taken a fascinating turn with renowned endurance athletes Jeannie and Martin Dreyer confirming their entry for this year’s race from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Durban’s Blue Lagoon on 20 and 21 June.
The husband and wife combo are both distinguished athletes in their own rights with Jeannie (USN/Hi-Tec) currently regarded as KwaZulu-Natal’s top female marathon mountain biker while her husband Martin soaked up much limelight during his reign as ‘Dusi Duke’ en route to victory in the iconic Dusi Canoe Marathon no fewer than seven times between 1999 and 2008.
A return to the Valley of a Thousand Hills – where his rise to the top of the country’s paddling community began – is one Dreyer is looking forward to immensely, particularly when he gets to share the occasion with his wife.
“There is just so much magic in the valley for me and I’m sure everything from my incredible time competing in the Dusi Canoe Marathon is just going to come flooding back during these two days in the saddle!” says Martin.
With countless ultra-distance mountain biking feats already under their belt, it is little wonder that the pair have opted to take on this year’s dusi2c together.
“We just love racing, love a challenge and love spending time together so it will be such a fantastic opportunity for us to combine all of these in an environment that means so much to us.
“Being the top female mountain biker in KZN, Jeannie could’ve chosen any of the top male riders to pair up with for dusi2c but we just love being on the sports field together and we have such a blast when we ride together.
“I don’t think Jeannie quite realises just how full her hands are going to be though carrying this baggage though!” laughs Martin.
Given the history the ‘Dusi Duke’ enjoys with the region, the cycling adventure from KZN’s capital to the Indian Ocean ought to be a significantly sentimental one for the duo.
“Going down the route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban through the valley really should be such a romantic two day trip for both of us; myself especially.
“I would love to take the time to go past the various points of the Dusi route during our dusi2c ride and relive the host of different memories that I have at each one of them with Jeannie and tell her all the fascinating little stories that happened there.
“The only snag is that I’ve chosen my wife as my partner!” laughs the founder of the RMB Change a Life MTB Academy.
Sharing a strong sense of competitiveness is one of the Dreyers’ keys to success both individually and as a pair however this same strength may well prove to be the undoing of Martin’s dusi2c reminiscing hopes as he looks to keep up with his super-powered wife as she takes on Valencia Cycles’ pair of 2014 mixed race winner Eugene Botha and former national marathon champ Samantha Saunders.
“Knowing the competitor that Jeannie is and how she just loves grabbing any opportunity she gets to get one up on me on the bike, this could well become a sufferfest of note from start to finish for me!” cringes Martin.
“There’s no pressure on us to do well at all but when that gun goes and there are a couple of other teams in the mix then Jeannie definitely tends to get caught up in the red mist of racing and so I’ve just got to somehow try hang onto to her tail and go with her!
“So, whilst I’d love to chat along the way, I’ll probably be so out of breath just trying to keep up with her that I won’t be able to get a word out!” he chuckles somewhat nervously.
More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za