Jan Lambert of Pretoria won the grueling 80km Lion Man Mountain Bike Race in 3:25:32. The race took place at the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate on October 1. Karel Bezuidenhout clocked the best time (1:24:19) in the 35km race. More than 130 participants lined up at the start of the race with about 30 taking up the challenge over 80km.
Competitors arrived from as far as Scottburgh in KwaZulu Natal and Pretoria in Gauteng, with the majority coming from Hoedspruit, Phalaborwa, Tzaneen and Nelspruit. The race ran through three private nature reserves – Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, Boston and the nature reserve of the Air Force Base Hoedspruit.
Participants navigated a sandy course while keeping alert for buffalo, rhino and other game on the way. The first Lion Man Mountain Race was held at Mabalingwe near Bela-Bela. According to Elmari Silvestri, the Hoedspruit - based raced will become an annual event.