Kalahari Challenge 2015

I entered this race last minute after I had heard very good feedback from several friends. We drove there wondering how much fun it could be riding around in sand and dry bush. Were we in for a surprise! The past 3 days have been some of the best mountain bike riding I have done and many others concurred.
– The bulk of the route is single track, lots and lots of single track, winding through the bush, I felt like a kid again, playing with my bike from one corner to the next, one challenge to the next, not a single dull moment.
– The route is carefully crafted by people who clearly understand how to make a mountain bike race that can be enjoyed by both advanced and entry level riders. Whilst it is by no means an easy race, it is suitable for all levels of riders. I did not hear a single complaint about the route, everyone was just smiling from ear to ear.
– Yes, there was sand, yes, there were plenty of thorns and punctures of both tyres and body parts, yes there were lots of rocky sections … but the fun factor outweighed these challenges by a mile!
– The race village is constructed in the middle of nowhere which brings some challenges, none of which were an issue. The team pulled out every stop to make the experience pleasant and memorable. Where else would you get a massive warm blanket, a thick mattress, a warm water bottle before bed time and a chair and a light in your tent?
– On a personal level I rode with Christie Engelbrecht and we combined wonderfully well and flirted just outside the top 10 every day. Positions and times I guess matter sometimes but tonight my happiness cup runeth over and no matter where we finished or how fast we went in the final results, we had an incredible experience and made memories that will last a lifetime.
– Special word for the Rescue Unit & Medics. What a cool bunch! Bumped into them at Mokolodi Backpackers the night before the race, became instant friends, shared a few chats along the way and the final night they invited us into their inner circle and shared some of their precious coffee liqueur. Hendrik and team, thank you for looking after us all.
Seamus ONeill you and you team put on an event which deserves every accolade it gets, your attention to detail in every aspect make the Botswana Kalahari Challenge a MUST DO for every mountain biker out there! Very well done!

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