Words: Yolando du Toit
The 3rd edition of the Continental Run2stop Challenge took place from the 4th -8th of November. The event has quite a unique format as it incorporates running, cycling and driving – all disciplines linked by the rubber used as contact point with mother earth.
Two teams, Team Force and Team Edge, were selected to compete against each other over a period of 5 days. Each team consisted of two cyclists, two runners, two drivers and a blogger. The cyclists were to cover a total distance of 631km, the runners 137km, while the drivers and bloggers were set to complete various tasks at different schools for underprivileged kids. These tasks included things like building wooden jungle gyms, cabinets and painting of class room walls just to name a few.
The event evolved form only runners and drivers who took part in the inaugural challenge, to include cyclists in its 2nd year and this year seemed to deliver the best and most refined edition to date.
Our journey started at Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria to which we returned 5 days later albeit to a different finish venue at Leamogetswe Safety Home. Along the way we stopped over in the student town of Potchefstroom, the coal mining Mecca of Rustenburg, the diamond village of Cullinan and finally in Vereeniging, centre of the “Vaaldriehoek” (in English it means pale triangle) area.
During the second day I experienced severe knee pain, eventually forcing me off the bike with 15km to go. Fortunately we had a great Physiotherapist on the trip and he got me back on my bike after a day’s rest and some intense dry needle treatments. Now I know what a pin cushion feels like...
The upside from not being able to ride on day three was that I got to join the Driving team for a change. We went to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg to pack 1800 food parcels for the Stop Hunger Now foundation. When you are out on the bike you don’t get to experience the charity side of the event so I am glad to have been able to see both sides of the event.
By the end of the trip Team Edge managed to get the better of Team Force (my team) to win the very coveted prize up for grabs – a trip to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Yes I know it’s an amazing prize purse, the biggest I have ever competed for, but despite not going to Brazil I am still richer for the Continental Run2Stop experience.
What made this event extra special for me was the camaraderie between the two teams. Out on course everyone was giving it all to secure a point for their team but once “off duty” the border was removed to form one unified Continental Run2Stop team!
Thanks Continental for putting a wonderful event together. I feel privileged to have been part of another great edition of the Continental Run2Stop.