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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:53 pm
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Real Name: Danny Pinkas
Once again Glenn Harrison (of ex-"Scavanger" and classic routes opener fame) is taking part in The Race Across SA. Alex Harris and Sibusiso Vilani are also registered for what is by far the hardest Mountain Bike race in SA (Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town!). This time around Glenn is doing it on a single speed bike with no shock absorbers. You can follow his progress and show some support on http://onegiantride.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Location: Waterval Boven
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Coming into this home stretch polar adventurer Alex Harris appeared to have established an effective lead over the rest of the field. Leaving the Toekomst support station in the Darlington Dam section of the Addo Elephant National Park on Thursday, Harris rode hard through the Groot Rivier section of the trail and the Goede Hoop area of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area arriving at the Cambria support station at midnight. Normally covered in two days by Freedom Challenge pariticipants, this single day effort moved Harris to the front of the field. On Friday morning Harris he looked to consolidate the lead and made very fast progress up the valley of the Baviaanskloof, stopping only to enjoy some of the famous chocolate pudding at Damsedrif before continuing on to arrive at Willowmore in the evening. On Saturday he too passed the provincial boundary sign as he rode alongside the Droeberge from Willowmore to Prince Albert before climbing the Swartberg Pass and then descending down into the Gamkaskloof. Sunday saw him climbing heading up the Ladder and on to Rouxpos before riding out towards Anysberg and Montagu.


Harris has looked to build a lead based on fast riding and good sleep. Many race followers have been surprised by his riding speed along the trail. Whilst many assumed that he had the mental determination for this extremely taxing race, it can now be revealed that Freedom Challange’s dark horse is a national track cycling champion. He began track cycling in 2005. Despite never previously riding a track bike within five months Alex became the new South African Track Champion for the 1000m Time Trial and the 1500m in his 35 to 39 yrs category. Five months later he won a silver and a bronze medal at the World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Manchester in 2006. He may prove very tough to beat.


Giant 29er single speed rider Glen Harrison has been battling gamely to stay in contact with Harris. When Harris left Toekomst, Harrison, who started in Pietermaritzburg with Harris, was only three hours behind him. However, Harrison conceded more than 5 hours to Harris when he got lost on the Perdeberg in the approach to the Baviaanskloof. At 3 am on Saturday left Cambria and rode up the length of the Baviaanskloof, stopped to sleep briefly at Willowmore before heading out towards Prince Albert. Battling the rutted surface on his rigid frame 29er and slowed by rain and a headwind, Harrison was forced to stop riding and sleep under a tree. Shortly before dawn he arrived at the farm Rondawel, within spitting distance of the Western Cape boundary sign. He then continued through to Prince arriving in the early afternoon and promptly slept until 10 pm when he left to ride up the Swartberg Pass and on to Gamkaskloof. He has not been heard from since.

Things are getting interesting there...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:26 am 
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Followed Alex Harris & Glenn Harrison's progress, well done guys - http://www.freedomchallenge.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=618&Itemid=263

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Harris completed his race in 14 days 8 hours and 10 minutes, the second fastest recorded time in the history of the Freedom Challenge. Whilst this was Harris’ first Race Across South Africa it was not his first time on the race course "I spent time in some of the tricky sections to make sure that I didn't have any navigation issues" Harris credits his quick time to sticking to his race strategy. "My strategy was to ride strong every day and avoid doing risky portages at night".

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Elsewhere in the field, Giant rider Glenn Harrison riding a 29er seems set to better the existing single speed record for the Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa. After battling corrugations and rain in the Moordenaars Karoo, Harrison was then confronted with heavy headwinds as he rode across the Little Karoo towards Montagu. Now, with a small weather window, he is riding towards the Stettynskloof and the possibility of finishing on Wednesday, a day behind Harris with whom he started in Pietermaritzburg and at least 5 days inside the existing single speed record that was set by Andre Britz in 2006.

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013 257 0363
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:15 pm 
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A GIANT RIDE

The true heroes of any race are not always those people who occupy the podiums and receive the public accolades but often those who soldier on quietly and resolutely towards their goal of merely finishing. Occasionally the quiet and unassuming do something truly momentous. Such is the case with 2010 Freedom Challenger Glenn Harrison.

Riding a Giant 29er single speed, Glenn Harrison arrived at the Diemersfontein finish of the 2400 km Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa on Wednesday June 31st at 20h20. No gears. No suspension. Cycling at its most basic. His journey from the race start in Pietermaritzburg across the interior of South Africa to the finish took him 15 days 14 hours and 20 minutes. In the process Harrison shattered the Freedom Challenge Single Speed record by six days.

To place Giant rider Harrison’s achievement in perspective, he finished less than two days outside the fastest ever recorded time for this mountain bike journey - by Springbok cyclist Tim James in 2009, and a day behind current race leader Alex Harris who finished at Diemersfontein on Tuesday afternoon in 14 days 8 hours and 10 minutes.

Giant rider Harrison started his journey with current front runner Alex Harris in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday June 15th. He struggled through the first few days with illness and bike issues. However by the time the Giant 29er Single Speed arrived at Toekomst on the Camdeboo Plains, which is beyond half way in the race, he was only three hours behind Harris. Despite conceding more than 5 hours to Harris when he got lost on the Perdeberg approaching the Baviaanskloof, Harrison was able to remain in touch by starting very early in the mornings and riding deep into the night. However, his progress was significantly slowed as he battled rutted surfaces on his rigid 29er frame and strong headwinds into Prince Albert. A major effort saw him ride the last two days with only 2 hours sleep before his record-breaking arrival at Diemersfontein.

However, this is not the first time that Harrison has taken on the Freedom Challenge. In 2007 he led the early part of the race through the Donnybrook forests before losing his way and being forced to sleep rough for the night. Illness later forced him to retire. In 2009 Harrison completed the race on a tandem with riding partner, Mike Woolnough. In the process he wrote himself into Freedom Challenge folklore by single handedly carrying the tandem through the 10 kilometres of the Stettynskloof valley, located shortly before the race finish. His injured partner spoke afterwards of how Harrison had carried the team over the second half of the trail without complaint.

With Giant rider Harrison now home in what is to so far the second fastest finishing time in the 2010 Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa, attention turns to the rest of the field that have yet to finish. Freedom Challenge veterans Carl Crous and Marnitz “sponsored by PG Glass riding for Miles for Smiles” Nienaber and rookie rider August Carstens are all pushing hard towards Diemersfontein and it must now be seen whether they are able to finish faster than Harrison. If not the quiet and unassuming Harrison may yet also be on the podium and receive public accolades.

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Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com


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