After a positive 1st week of September in training so the continuous 2nd week was awaited with focused anticipation. This however was short lived with the arrival of a scratchy throat and sinus threatening to blow the top of my head off. Brushing it off with the belief that it would come to pass was met with disappointment, a doctors visit by the Friday and the recommendation to take a few days off from any form of exercise and indulge in a course of antibiotics and other flu remedies.
From a female perspective, it would seem “man flu” is not something to be “taken lightly” but I am sure I have been an exception and managing it quite well as well as dispensing the myth.
9 Months to go! Freedom Challenge race across South Africa can begin to consume the mind in all aspects as one moves through the days and weeks of training and preparation going forward. The ultimate aim is to get physically and mentally fit for such an extreme event. With the vastness of distance and terrain one would need to cover in this race, I believe it really comes down to applying what you already know (if you have done or attempted Freedom Challenge before), what you need to know and taking one moment at a time.
The frequent question answered. Freedom Challenge is different in that it is unsupported for the total duration of the 2300km other than the compulsory check-in support stations en-route. These stations can offer you a bed for the night and food. Other than that, in between, you carry everything with you by means of your own bike, backpack and spares. In between these stations, you are on your own and need to improvise for any situation you may be faced with. It is not unheard of to sleep under the stars. The route itself, managed with a map and compass, is all off the beaten track, far off district roads, animal tracks and every once in a while a cross over a main road route. There are also times, crossing mountain ranges where you will be required to carry your bike as well. The other elements to face is winter conditions such as snow,wind, rain and frost along with wild animals you may encounter crossing reserves and isolated wilderness areas. Without ignoring the facts for self, is the hearing impairment I have which one would use for detecting any warning sounds or signs. There is also the over 32 000m of climbing over the duration of the course.
The Freedom Challenge route map from start to finish:
I hope and wish with my adventure, others will see the challenge in it and support my initiative to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town that teaches deaf children to speak.
Illness happens. I hope to be back in the saddle by the weekend of week 3…… fingers crossed!