Dirt, Sweat, Fever: Ulrich Bartholmoes’ 2023 Race Around Rwanda (Film)
Earlier this year, Ulrich Bartholmoes took part in the Race Around Rwanda, following a 1,000-kilometer route around the beautiful Rwandan countryside. “Dirt, Sweat, Fever” was filmed during the event, and it shares his story of resilience, determination and the unpredictability of ultra-cycling. Watch it here…
A few days before the 2023 Race Around Rwanda (RaR) grand depart, Ulrich Bartholmoes found himself bedridden with a 40°C fever and little hope that he’d be able to participate at all. Dirt, Sweat, Fever is a new film by BMC and We Are Peny that documents Ulrich’s experience and determination at the challenging 1,000-kilometer ultra-endurance race. Watch the 24-minute film followed by some photos and words from Ulrich below.
Words by Ulrich Bartholmoes
The Race around Rwanda marked the beginning of my 2023 season and my first race on the African continent. The anticipation leading up to the event was electrifying, and I was eager to embark on this new adventure. Training during winter went pretty well. However, just two days after landing in Rwanda, my preparations took an unexpected turn when I found myself bedridden for four days. This was an entirely unfamiliar challenge, and it forced me to adapt to the situation.
Despite the setback, my decision to participate in the race was a carefully considered one, and it was the effort and determination that truly counted. I learned the importance of gauging the reasonable risks, avoiding overexertion, and safeguarding my long-term health. This experience enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of my body’s capabilities and limitations, still a valuable lesson for me.
The time in Rwanda allowed me to explore this beautiful country in two distinct modes: competitive racing and leisurely bikepacking. The contrast in pace was fascinating, and it provided me with a unique perspective on Rwanda’s diversity. This journey was a mix of exhilaration, unexpected challenges, and personal growth, underscoring my adventurous spirit and determination to test my boundaries. Even if the race result was a DNF, the result of the journey was inspiring and a big success.
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