A Message from Elephant Epic:
Good Morning Everyone
Time is ticking and we are getting closer to what will be an epic Elephant Epic 2015.
Just a couple of items to take note of:
If you know of anyone that still wants to enter and have been putting it off please remind them that entries are closing on the 9th of August at 23:30. After that we really cannot take any entries anymore due to administrative logistics. Please urge them to enter as soon as possible.
We are still looking for people or institutions that can sponsor local riders that cannot afford the entry fee to the race. It is very important to us here at the Epic to include everyone in Zambia when it comes to these races. We have FIVE riders that needs your support. If you see your way open to sponsor one of these riders we will greatly appreciate it. Please email us if you would like to sponsor a rider.
BREAKFAST – CAMPING – SPITBRAAI
Breakfast and camping tickets are sold online on the entry website. Please note that you will not be able to purchase any of those tickets on race day or at Kiambi as we need to finalise the number before the race date. Also supporter tickets needs to be purchased online for anyone that will be joining us for the spitbraai on the Staurday night. This is one of the highlights of this event and you will be treated to great food and hospitality.
RACE START TIME
The race starts at 07:30 sharp. Please don’t be late as you will be cycling alone and without any support.
The start of the race is where it has always been. We will post a map of the location early next week.
TRANSPORT TO THE RACE START AND FROM KIAMBI
As most of you know we hire a small bus with a trailer every year with seating for 22 people max. If you need to make use of the transport you can go on to the entry site and book a seat on either of these busses. The first pick up point will be at Manda Hill (Furniture City side) at 05:00 am and the second one at 05:30 at Engen Crossroads. The bus will be at Kiambi at 09:00 am on Sunday morning to leave at 10:00 am. These tickets will need to be paid for on registration day.
Race registration will take place at The Deli on Friday 14 August from 07:30 – 15:30. Please make sure to coome and register and pick up your goodie bag and race number.
We hope that everyone taking part in the race will have an awesome race.
See you at the start.
We just got word that we have been given a great contribution as prizes by Mountain Dew. Details to be revealed at prize giving.
Welcome to African Wild Track at East Park Mall as one of our prize sponsors! Visit them at East Park Mall for all you’re outdoor needs.
Thanks so much to all of the cyclists, sponsors, organisers and supporters of this year’s Elephant Epic. It was a huge success, enjoyed by all to raise a fantastic amount of money for Game Rangers International!
The day started off on the Leopard’s Hill Road, 40 minutes outside of Lusaka at 0700 with a scrumptious Deli breakfast to fuel the competitors! As dawn broke over the wilderness 105 “psyclepaths” from all over the world took to the trail, embarking on one of Zambia’s toughest endurance challenges, requiring concentration and nerve. This year overcast weather made conditions more favourable but the path was tough, consisting mostly of sandy and rugged terrain. For veterans who know the course, the peak known as the “Mother” (about 35km into the race) has a very tricky technical descent and is the real test that can make or break your race (as well as your limbs!). This year three waterpoints along the course run by Abbeycon and GRI topped up fluid, blood sugar and morale levels with donations from Racefood, the Diplomatic Spouses Association of Zambia, Manzi Valley, Gerry Carbin and Zambian Breweries.
Out of 105 entrants only 1 didn’t finish due to an early injury. Local racing snake Owen Green was crowned victorious as the fastest man but a significant number of development riders were hot on his heels which the Elephant Epic were happy to see! The fastest woman’s trophy was claimed by Kim Allwood. Well done to both!
Thanks to our sponsors we had some great prizes including David Shepherd prints, weekends at Kaingu Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park and Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi. As well as vouchers from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka and The Art Shop, Zambia. Many other prizes were donated by our other sponsors. Big thanks to Rob Moolenschot for making the brilliant and creative trophies!
By 1400 all riders were safely through the finish line at Kiambi Safari Lodge in the Lower Zambezi. Our on-site first aid support from St John’s Ambulance was kept relatively busy but thankfully only with minor cuts and scrapes! The most immediate need was grumbling stomachs which was met most brilliantly by Gavin Dreyer and his assistants from The Braai Guy. With donations from Farm Pride/Fringilla, Ian Asherwood, Buya Bamba, John Henderson at York Farms, Rivonia and Shoprite – Boerwors Rolls were devoured fervently at the end of the roast and an evening spit braai later on in the day to go along with a few relaxing beers.
Thanks once more to everyone who helps make this event possible not least this year to Wendy Moolenschot and Jaco Joubert who have dedicated months of their lives to the Elephant Epic and raising funds for conservation. Without their voluntary blood, sweat and gears this year would not have happened! Of course thanks again to all of the supporters, from all of us at Game Rangers International, who give generously to make this event both a fantastic gathering for those who love Mountain Biking as well as a vital fundraiser for conservation in Zambia through our projects.
So remember – “Four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul“ Matt Morley, the Flying Scotsman, 2014.
See you at the Elephant Epic 2015!
See the raw beauty of Zambia while giving back.. take on a challenge to ride a mountain bike for 75kms to the Zambezi River from Lusaka.
Game Rangers International, a non-profit NGO runs two elephant nurseries for orphaned elephants in Lilayi and Kafue National Park, Zambia. They run community outreach projects sharing experience and knowledge of human/wildlife conflict and anti-poaching initiatives.
See the action from 2013 https://elephantepic.org/elephant-epic-2013-pictures/
Do it now for a little over $100, you don’t even have to pack your own tent or cook breakfast its all done for you.
Breakfast on Sunday after the race will be supplied by Kiambia. Tickets are available on the entry website.
If you require breakfast please purchase a ticket online as no tickets will be available on race day or at Kiambi.
ELEPHANT EPIC 2013 RACE REPORT
Well done to all the participants of the 2013 Elephant Epic!!
Apart from a late mechanical keeping one participant from finishing you all made it through the escarpment bush track and into the Kiambi campsite. Travelling 72km on an mtb trail does well to open up an adventure full of memories and fun and this race was no different. There were steep and fast descents, some gruelling climbs, and long and sometimes dusty flats. Elephant Epic threw in a bit of everything and we hope you enjoyed yourselves along the way; and most of all we hope you are encouraged you to jump right back on your bike!!
The start this year was a lot different to last year with 6km of wide smooth tar inviting the field to put the hammer down from the horn. Let’s just say there was no shortage of Stomping The Big Ring up front and the lead group broke away immediately with average speeds of over 40km per hour down into the 1st turn onto the detour. Veteran Steven Wells thought old guys shouldn’t have to do all the work at the front and instructed a willing George to lead the train. And lead the train he did with a great effort for 1.5km at high pace……….. down the wrong road. Somehow I can’t imagine there would be any sympathy from the back markers who were still coasting down the tar with fond memories of hot coffee and breakfast buns enjoyed at the start.
Although somewhat slower thereafter, the relentless pace never stopped, and it was Young Gun Daniel Parsons who chose to attack with venom at the biggest climb of the day, aka, The Mother in Law. He had a two minute gap by the time he met Sport at the top but, as maybe only married men know, a Mother in Law can make your life very difficult!! The taste of the water point’s freshly baked energy bars was still fresh on Daniel’s palate when the Mother in Law took aim with a perfect rock to shred his tyre right off his rim! As they say “Every day is not the best day of your life” and Daniel found himself heading back up the hill in search of a tube to reconstruct his wheel and hopes of a podium finish. Veteran of many Epic races, Jesper Lublinkhoff, was there to help and threw out a spare tube. However he was in no mood to give a lesson on trailside bush mechanics. He put his downhill skills into practice and tested some sketchy lines through the switchbacks in an attempt to reel in the infallible Steven Wells.
Steven never took his chain off the big ring and pedalled it home to claim an unbelievable record time of only 02:45:00 over the full 72km + 1.5km. Some say Steve is half human and half machine. Some say he has hidden grease nipples in his knees and drinks two stroke oil before he goes to bed. All we know is that he is the fastest mountain biker in Zambia and is super fit for an old dude!! Steven was onto his second Mosi Lager when Jesper rode in and all the while, further back, there were riders looking for honours. None other than Julian Fox appeared out of the woods before Daniel to finish up on the podium in third.
Out on the trail as the sun started to beat down in the Zambezi Valley there were stories of numerous punctures, bent wheels, broken chains and the odd wipe out. The support vehicles were in demand and we were glad to have carried extra tubes and re-hydrate for all the riders in need. Owen Green was wielding his antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial propolis spray for anyone with cuts and bruises and when Julie Duncan exposed her rough knee it was soon administered. Now she knows propolis burns like a Glasgow Bikini Wax!!
Thankfully Martha the Medic was not called on for anything severe and thanks to everyone for keeping it safe while navigating your way through the route.
Talking of Bikini Waxes it was the Mazabuka Women that made up the podium of the women’s race with Emma Reeve, Theresia Van Zyl and Laura McGregor showing many men that shaving your legs does in fact make you go faster!!
The evening kicked off with prize giving for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed Mens and Ladies; very lucky draws from Sausage Tree Camp, Lion Camp, Kaingu and Lilayi Lodge; and the much anticipated final draw of the ultimate raffle prize – the Garmin Edge 800 GPS sponsored by Autoworld. A very lucky Kerry Bidder walked off with a new Garmin and we look forward to him inviting us on an Epic Trail in the escarpment navigated from his device!!
Straight after prize giving The Braai Guy served up a delicious lamb and pork spitbraai which filled the gaps nicely and any space left over was taken up by a well-earned drink at the bar. Some participants thought they had earned more than one and earned it well into the night with music pumping and a visually spectacular fire dance from Rachael Murton adding to the entertainment. By 23:00 autopilot had kicked in as the partygoers’ bodies reminded them of the 72km they had ridden only hours before and everyone shut down for the night.
Sunday morning breakfast was rife with rumours of what was happening with the broken pontoon. Most of the particpants made use of the Kiambi boats to get to Breezers and home. Thanks to Kiambi for all their help in accommodating us in the campsite, for the breakfasts and for ferrying us home on the mighty Zambezi.
Life on the Trail is good and we are happy to announce that, upon final reconciliation, the funds raised from the 2013 Elephant Epic have increased to a wopping ZMW50, 000.00. We would like to thank each and every participant, sponsor and supporter for their generous contribution to the Elephant Orphanage. To all the riders out there we hope you keep riding and we invite you to join us next year for another taste of fun and adventure that is the Elephant Epic MTB Race.
Here’s to Life of Trail …..
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