Race Dairy: The Believe Mountain Bike Race, @GarminSA

The 4th edition of the BELIEVE Mountain Bike Race took place at Northern Farms situated on the Western outskirts of Johannesburg.

The event formed part of the Bainbridge BELIEVE Project – a non-profit program which aims to fight cancer through the use of bicycles. In keeping with this, all proceeds from the event was donated to the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Not only did I get to line up for an exceptional event, but my pre-race routine was also quite extraordinary. As I left my house en route to the race, Drug Free Sport personnel were the first people to greet me. They went about their work very professionally and 40minutes later I was finally making my way to the race venue after giving a blood – and urine sample.

I’ve been tested several times this year but it was the first time that the testing protocol could see me miss the start of an event. Needless to say my heart was still racing as I lined up with only 3 minutes to spare for the 8 am start.

The ladies and men started together for the 55 kilometre race which included a total of only 669m of climbing. The course consisted mainly of fun single tracks laid out on a variety of challenging surfaces.

The constantly changing terrain made the route very exciting. As soon as you got comfortable handling your bike on a specific surface, you got introduced to a new one and before you knew it, you crossed the finish line. Time sure flies when you’re having fun.

Although 55km might sound short, snaking single track takes more time to navigate than fast, open district roads and I completed the route in a time of 2 hours and 56min despite it feeling much quicker.

It’s always rewarding to win an event but somehow this win seemed to be about a much bigger cause. I’m very proud to be the holder of the Bainbridge BELIEVE floating trophy for at least one year. I’ll definitely be back next year to defend the title and share the trails with the CHOC Cows.

Thanks to Marc Bainbridge and his Believe Foundation team for inviting me to this meaningful event and for making a real difference to people’s lives.