Attakwas National Marathon and Kruger Park

The Attakwas National Ultra marathon is supposedly, the toughest one day mountain bike race in South Africa over a very rough, rocky 135km and 2900m of ascent.

The race can be split into 3 sections. The first 30km of jeep track and dirt roads, the next 40km of riding through the Attakwas Kloof; this is the roughest section of the race and the final 50km with a lot of climbing which really tests you this far into the event.

I went into the race knowing I would not be near my best as I had picked a stomach bug two days before and had not fully recovered yet. Anyway I decided to give it a bash.

The race started off at a steady pace with a big bunch remaining intact. The first hard accelerations proved too much for me and I could feel the power lacking as I tried to push it a bit, I backed off and rode my own race.

Photo Credit: Photo Dynamix 

I started to feel better in the kloof and started to pick up a couple of positions but was still fairly far off the pace as we started to exit the kloof, and then KABOOM I blew! Worst of all was that I had no reserves and thus was stuck in reverse.

A long arduous push took me to the finish, well off the pace but somewhere in the top 50. No fireworks.

I then travelled up country to join family for a 4 day trip into the Kruger Park where we would be doing one of the bush hikes along the Wolhuter Trail; named after my great grandfather Harry Wolhuter. Harry was a ranger in the Kruger Park and killed a Lion with only a knife as it attacked him and his horse. You can read the full story here.

Old Elly Bull

 

Lion skin from the Lion that Harry Wolhuter killed along with the knife he used.

 

A big thank you to the Kleinhans’s and Dawie van Rensburg for having me to stay in George.

Next up for me is the Cape Town Pro Classic Road League next weekend where I will return to racing with my Toyota/Cycle Lab road team.

Till then Ciao