Himeville – As the KAP sani2c heads into its thirteenth year and the pool of riders that have finished ten previous editions continuing to grow, another batch of riders is set to be handed their commemorative Black Mamba jersey when they complete their three day journey from Glencairn Farm in Underberg to Scottburgh Main Beach from 10-14 May.
The three different races, taking place over the four days of the event, boast entries from 25 riders that hope to join the exclusive Black Mamba club in 2016.
For Mike Church and Tony Cole, two of this eager crop, it will be an extra special achievement, should they get there successfully, as they look to make it their ninth KAP sani2c completed together.
“We did our first one with different partners but since then we have been together for all the others,” Church said with two weeks to go until the event’s start.
“We have known each other for about 12 years so we know each other well and we have done a lot of other races together.
“We ride well together and have a good understanding of each other, which has always been a strength of ours throughout our time together,” the Durban resident added.
With nine previous editions under their belts, the significance of becoming a Black Mamba is not lost on Church who believes that the concept is great for the race in keeping people coming back as well as giving those select few who become Mamba’s the opportunity to enjoy achieving the milestone.
“Becoming a Black Mamba gives us the recognition that we want as the race can see the people who have supported it for such a long time – it’s great to get that sort of recognition by the race.
“By the race acknowledging us with this award, it just shows their appreciation of our loyalty to their event as well as shows the riders that they appreciate the contribution that the riders who have completed so many editions have made,” the 52 year-old Church added.
The ‘Nuts and Bolts’ combination has had eight years of sani2c experience together thus far and as expected, the trials and tribulations of the three days of racing has taken its toll on them in the past however the bond they share and the pleasure of completing a stage is the major focus come their arrival at the finish line.
“We have definitely had our moments over the years!” laughed Church. “Although we have had our fair share of these, we have always managed to keep our sense of humour together and continued the banter all the way to the end.”
“There has never been a time that our differences have meant that we have had a dispute that has continued off the bike, which is great and being able to share the experience with Tony has been superb!”
Having taken up mountain biking when his wife got him off his road bike, Church has not looked back and has been setting trails ablaze throughout the country despite his strong bond with the sani2c.
“The race has something new and exciting every single day which makes the sani2c so unique!
“Day one is quick and then you have some tough climbs towards the end, day two has the incredible descent into the uMkomaas Valley, which is probably some of the best mountain biking anywhere and then the final day has some beautiful flowing sections into the finish on the beach.
“There is a little bit of something different every single day and that, coupled with the incredible organisation and hospitality that we receive at each of the overnight stops, makes the sani2c such an unbelievable experience,” he grinned.
The Trail, Adventure and Race events of the 2016 KAP sani2c take place from Glencairn in Underberg to Scottburgh on KZN’s South Coast from 10-12, 11-13 and 12-14 May respectively. For more information visit www.sani2c.co.za.