For the past two decades, 24-hour racing has captured the committed mountain biker’s imagination because it’s a form of racing that asks for – and delivers – more. More energy, more concentration, more time on the bike, more fun, more reward. But why stop at 24 hours? Introducing the 36ONE MTB Challenge, a 361km race with a 36.1-hour time limit.
Not surprisingly, the 36ONE MTB Challenge is a South African mountain bike event. Endurance sports are a way of life in South Africa where vast, varying countryside and good year-round weather make it possible to organise long-duration events. South Africa hosts some of the world’s most famous endurance sports events, including the 89km Comrades Marathon, the 120km Dusi Canoe Marathon, the 120km Triple Challenge offroad triathlon and the 2300km Freedom Challenge mountain bike race across South Africa. Hence the inherent intrigue with sporting events that test endurance.
The inaugural 36ONE MTB Challenge will feed this intrigue, offering yet another world-class ultra-endurance test. 36ONE Asset Management is a Johannesburg based boutique asset management firm, which has thrown its support behind the new event. It takes place from 4-6 May 2012 in South Africa’s Western Cape province and is being touted as the ultimate mountain bike endurance test, appropriate since it’s the longest single-leg mountain bike race in South Africa and possibly the world.
The format of the event sees a mass start at 21h00 from Kleinplaas Holiday Resort in Oudtshoorn on Friday 4 May with the finish at the same venue on Sunday 6 May. There’s a cut-off time limit of 36.1 hours (09h06 on the Sunday). Front and rear lights are compulsory equipment, as riders will ride through approximately 21 hours of darkness during the event.
There are various categories in which riders can enter: The extreme set can tackle the event solo, while teams of two, three or four can also enter for the full distance, which has a total vertical ascent of 4 293 metres.
Because the full distance is too far for most, there’s a relay option, which breaks the 361km into four legs. Teams of two or four may enter the relay, which requires that riders must complete legs 1 and 3 or legs 2 and 4. Relay team riders may not ride two legs consecutively. There’s also provision for a tandem and a singlespeed category in the relay section.
“There are many similarities between cycling and investing. Both require focus, dedication, passion, preparation and hard work in order to achieve success,” said Steven Liptz, co-founder of 36ONE Asset Management.
“Following our successful sponsorship of the 36ONE-SONGO-SPECIALIZED team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser, who have won the past two editions of the gruelling ABSA Cape Epic, we wanted to expand our support of mountain biking in South Africa. This unique event is a perfect fit. Originally, it was scheduled to be a 360km race in 36 hours. We managed to change it to 361km in 36.1 hours, in keeping with our 36ONE business philosophy of being a degree different, going the extra distance and putting in the extra time in order to achieve success,” added Liptz.
Organised by Drlyand Event Management, the 36ONE MTB Challenge, as with all their events, raises funds and awareness to support community development of the communities through which their events pass.