The KAP sani2c will be 15 years old in 2019, and while it is one of the oldest mountain bike stage races in South Africa, it has also become the largest, with around 4200 riders enjoying three days of flowing trails from Himeville in the southern Drakensberg down to Scottburgh on the KZN south coast. Over 5 days, three separate versions of the event take place: the Trail starts on a Tuesday, the Adventure starts on the Wednesday, and the Race starts on the Thursday.
So what is the difference between the Trail, Adventure and Race?
Some of the answer lies in the history of this bucket list stage race. sani2c founder and passionate mountain biker Glen Haw is a dairy farmer and established the event as a fundraiser for the farm school that his children attended at the time. It started in 2005 with just one event, the Race. Due to its popularity the Adventure was added in 2008. Entries were opened to previous year’s riders only and the Adventure filled within minutes of opening.
This, together with many requests from organizations wanting to get involved, prompted the sani2c team to look at the inclusion of a third event, and in 2012 the Trail was added. Each one has developed its own unique character and attracts a different kind of rider. Some would say the Trail attracts the newbies, the Adventure draws the “old boys’ club” and the Race is for the snakes, the pros or those who just love to race hard.
“From an experience, hospitality and route point of view there is no difference between the 3 events,” says Farmer Glen.
“Each event follows exactly the same route to the sea, experiences the same race village vibe and great community inspired hospitality,” he says.
The different groups can be described as follows:
- Family fun
- Husband and wife
- Photographers and sights seekers
- Those new to stage racing
- Clients and colleagues
- Riding Groups
- Weekend Warriers
- Downhill/Enduro lovers
- Strava enthusiasts
- Strava enthusiasts
- Pros/part-time Pros
- Working Pros (Waleed Baker and Andrew Maclean)
- The sani2c originals
- Those short of leave
The three separate events ensures that all levels of riders are well catered for, and for many it is the one event in the stage race calendar that they just can’t miss. George de Beer from Durban has completed every sani2c since 2005, and on finishing his 14th event last month, he reflected on the early days: “We arrived at Underberg school and we didn’t have a place to stay and snuck into the hostel to spend the night. One year we slept in the chicken run at Jolivet farm.”
The sani2c experience is now characterized by the incredible hospitality and special vibe of the race villages, and the continuation of its original mission: the education and support of local communities. The 2018 event saw R 10 million spent on services, provided by volunteers in aid of their schools and NGOs. For the Haw family, this legacy is as important as providing the best 3 days of riding that a mountain biker can ask for.
The 2019 KAP sani2c entries are open to all from 18th June 2018 at 10am.
Supplied: Maryann Shaw