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WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE

MY  2022 BAD-ASS CHALLENGE

12X12

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12x12 CHALLENGE 2022:
AN EPIC AND EXTREME YEAR 

2022 is a landmark year. I will be doing a year-long Challenge, consisting of 16 extreme challenges over 12 months. 

I think I am the first person to attempt this range of 16 Challenges in South Africa over 12 months - and definitely the only woman. I chose them because of their mix of extreme tests and endurance. And because I want to make a difference and ensure the development of endurance sport for all women and girls from all backgrounds in South Africa. 

It is going to be tough. I will try my very best. If I fail, I will get up and try again.

I would love your support.

 

MY 12X12 CHALLENGE 2022 INCLUDES: 

Everesting Run/Walk challenge on Westcliff Steps (Johannesburg).  15 January 2022.

COMPLETED! In 28 hours 4 minutes at 10h04 16 January 2022

Everesting Run/walk challenge on Westcliff Steps (Johannesburg).  15 January 2022.

The Everesting concept is brutally simple. My aim was to run/walk/hobble up and down the Westcliff steps (50m ascent) until I accumulated the altitude of Mount Everest (8848m). No sleeping allowed. This was about 177 times. That is 177 times UP and 177 times DOWN. About 65 km in total. I started the non-stop Challenge at 6h00 on Saturday 15 January - with tons of support in a mild, and sometimes wet, Joburg summer, with hundreds of people climbing the steps each morning , which really was inspiring. And I achieved my goal of 177 laps, in 28 Hours and 4 Minutes, at 10h04 on Sunday 16 January 2022. After a few days recovery…. quick turn-around: To canoeing in February:

Dusi Canoe Marathon. 17-21 February 2022. COMPLETED! Despite breaking the canoe in half on the last day. We ended up dragging the canoe for about 30 km to finish the Dusi, albeit last, to claim our medal.  Thanks to Sharenet for sponsoring the adventure. 

Canoeing is certainly something that I have never done before, but I was up for a challenge: I set myself the task of learning late in 2021 (often with hilarious results – see my blog). Although many did warn me that the Dusi Canoe Marathon was not for novices. I was fortunate to be accompanied on my first river marathon by Themba Ngcobo, who is a coach for development paddlers at the Umzinyathi Canoe Club. I am not sure who was more excited… or was it nervous? Probably Themba. The first two days were relatively successful, despite falling out on a few rapids. Unfortunately we were unlucky on the third day and we 'wrapped' the Sharenet canoe on some rocks. Basically it broke in half!  The one half sank to the murky depths and was never seen again. As did my paddle. Themba and I made a plan: we dragged the Sharenet canoe, along the highway, to the finish line in Durban. It was about 30km, but we finished and claimed our medal, despite coming last.  

Race2Cradock Mountain bike race.  18 March 2022.

A 500km non-stop, solo mountain bike race from Rhodes (Eastern Cape) to Cradock. This is a self- navigation race using a compass and maps. No GPS is allowed. A tough ask for someone who gets lost at the mall. This year I will be aiming at finishing in under 60 hours. Once again, thanks to Sharenet for the sponsorship of this event. 

 

Race2Willowmore.  23 March 2022.

A 530km mountain bike race from Cradock to Willowmore. I will be riding with developmental woman rider, Omphile Martha Motaung. This is a self- navigation race using a compass and maps. No GPS is allowed. Luckily, I have done the route before, so I will be imparting all my navigational expertise to Martha. This will be the first time that a black woman has ridden on the Freedom Trail or completed in a Freedom Challenge event. I am very excited to be riding with Omphile on her journey. We will be proudly sponsored by Sharenet. If all goes well Omphile will be joining me on the full Freedom Challenge, the Race Across South Africa (RASA) in June. A 2200km extreme mountain bike race across South Africa. ,      

Iron Man Port Elizabeth. 3 April 2022.

Hopefully I will be able to go the distance.

 

The HOUR Challenge.  30 April to 2 May 2022.

I have always been fascinated by this event. Basically you have to cycle 10 km (or run 5km, you choose) every hour, on the hour, until you can't continue. The cut off is 60 hours. The faster you cycle (or run) the 10 (5)km route, the more rest you get before starting the next hour. Sounds easy? NO. I guess I can ride the 10km in about 35min. Then I get about 15min of rest (nap) before starting the next hour.  The aim is 60 hours. That equates to 600km.  And little sleep.      

Freedom Challenge Extreme Triathlon Challenge. June 2022.

Many years ago, David Waddilove, the founder of the Freedom Trail, the extreme mountain bike Race across South Africa, (RASA), from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl, added a new dimension to the already challenging RASA: An extreme triathlon: starting with the Comrades Marathon, followed by the Race Across South Africa and concluding with the Berg River Canoe Marathon.

  • Unfortunately, the Comrades Marathon date in 2022 is in August, so this is no longer an option. So, on 12 June I will be running solo along the Comrades Marathon route - from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. About (90km).

  • The very next day (13 June) I will cycle the 2200km Freedom Challenge Mountain bike Race Across South Africa (RASA) from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl.This can take anything from 16 days to 26 days, I will be joined in my cycle across South Africa by Rebecca Sands, a fellow Freedom Challenge woman rider, who will help me guide and mentor a group of developmental riders along the trail across South Africa. I am sure Omphile will be one of them. 

  • Then, on arrival in Paarl (give or take a few days depending on my cycling time), I will paddle the four day Berg River Canoe Marathon (240km from Paarl to Veldrif). It starts on 6 July. 

I know that I can run. I know that I can cycle. But, can I cycle 2200km after running 90km? Oh yes, then there is the last little hurdle: the canoe marathon. After my maiden voyage on the Dusi, with Themba, I hope to be accomplished enough to tackle the Berg River - alone.

 

13 peaks challenge on Table Mountain. August, 2022. Or, maybe, Comrades Marathon on 28 August. 

110km of trail running/walking/hiking on Table Mountain. The idea is to tag (visit) the 13 peaks on Table Mountain. A Ryan Sandes initiative. I will do this with a development woman athlete. Or, I will run the Comrades Marathon on 28 August with a development woman athlete. 

Rowing 100km on an indoor Concept 2 rowing ergometer.  September 2022.

I am new to indoor rowing (and rowing), but boy, is it a workout. The other day I tried doing 10km on the Indoor rower. It took about 50 minutes. It was tough. Especially on the bum, and upper body. And legs. And mind. I am up to the challenge. My aim is to finish in under 12 hours. I hope to be joined by girls, women and men. Either virtually or at the same venue. Row as far as you can. 

Robben Island Open Water swim. October 2022.

A 7.4km swim from Robben Island to Big Bay Beach in Bloubergstrand. Depending on my mood I might do this in a wetsuit or without a wetsuit. Either way, I will be joined in this swim by other women and girls. Together, we will encourage and help less experienced swimmers successfully complete a Robben Island crossing.

 

Drakensberg Grand Traverse (DGT). 1-6 November 2022.

Tagging the highest peaks in South Africa and Lesotho: A 210 km single stage, self-sufficient and self-navigated expedition-style non-stop run across the Drakensberg Mountain range bordering South Africa and Lesotho. ''There is nothing ordinary about this race: The non-stop DGT-Run is an extreme test of runners’ endurance and ability to withstand high altitude in true mountain terrain'' I will do this with a development woman runner.

The Munga Mountain Bike Race 30 November – 5 December

The “toughest race on earth”. 1000km ultra-endurance mountain bike race across the Karoo in Mid Summer. I will definitely ride this with a development woman cyclist. 

Cape Point Challenge (surfski) 18 December 2022

52km around Cape Point. Probably best done in a double surfski. 

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TAKING A LEAP

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Enjoy your body, use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it .     

It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own".

BAZ LUHRMANN.

Get out your tracking devices, blow your vuvuzela's, and subscribe to my blog, as I set about completing my goals in my 2022 12X12 CHALLENGE.

Everyone is invited to share my many adventures. 

Hopefully my journey will help other women (and men) find their mojo and song in their hearts.

Maybe you will be inspired to take a leap of faith and apply for a new job, go back to school, learn something new, get healthy, start your own business, run a marathon or get out of an abusive relationship.

Your life, your rules.

Some people may want to join me on a challenge and push their own personal boundaries. Or, maybe just watch, laugh and learn as I take my body on some epic adventures. If I do fail, I will get back up again, brush my hair, and keep on trying.

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