Freedom Challenge Across South Africa (Video)

This new video offers a glimpse of the incredible scenery and what riders can expect from the Freedom Challenge’s Race Across South Africa, a yearly ultra-distance race that gives racers 26 days to traverse the country using only paper maps. Watch it here…

Photos by Llewellyn Lloyd, film by Andrew Muckart

Every June/July, racers depart on the roughly 2,200-kilometer Race Across South Africa along the Freedom Trail, a network of jeep roads and singletrack trails that traverses nearly the entire country from east to west, taking participants through remote and rugged terrain in a diverse array of environments. Riders have 26 days to complete the course before the official cutoff, and must make their way between the 24 mandatory checkpoints/support stations, which provide food and accommodation to all participants. It’s a single-stage, non-stop event, and riders are required to be fully self-sufficient between checkpoints, using paper maps, a compass, and narrative directions for navigation.

Shot in the fall of 2020, this seven-minute video showcases the route, the people, and the challenges that make the Race Across South Africa quite a unique event in the world of ultra-distance racing. Nine-time finisher Tim James and six-time finished Mike Woolnough talk through their experiences, what participating means to them, and provide an idea of what to expect when riding the Freedom Trail. Watch it below:

  • Freedom Challenge, South Africa
  • Freedom Challenge, South Africa
  • Freedom Challenge, South Africa
Freedom Challenge, South Africa
  • Freedom Challenge, South Africa
  • Freedom Challenge, South Africa

If you’d like to see more from the Freedom Trail, be sure to read Greg Fischer’s story from the Race to Rhodes, as well as our coverage of Alex Harris’s record-setting time in last year’s Race Across South Africa. Find additional details about the Freedom Challenge on the organization’s website.


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