A 1000 KM, SINGLE STAGE MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE ACROSS THE MIDDLE OF SOUTH AFRICA IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER.
At the end of this month, on November 28, a bunch of mad people will line up for The Munga MTB, the self-styled “The Toughest Race on Earth”. It may just be. It is a race like no other. An event that begins in Bloemfontein and has its end in Wellington, is competed along 1070km of off-road routes in some of the “most beautiful, and barren terrain in South Africa”.
When the race was initially launched a prize of $1-million was touted, but after a backer pulled out, race founder and organiser Alex Harris decided to still go ahead with the event and it has become a regular on the local scene.
“I’m still convinced that a non-stop race of 1000km with a million dollars in prize money is possible. And this is still my vision, and so I will continue to work towards this end. In the meantime, the Munga race will stick with the format that attracted so many of you. A format that allows you, the rider, to decide when you eat, and when you sleep, and for how long.— Alex Harris, Munga Founder
You manage your time for five days as you race to make the cut off, and you discover that you had it in you all along; that you were right; that the faintest of suspicions you might be tough enough was proven correct.— Alex Harris, Munga Founder
A competitor rides into the night at the 2017 Munga.
Eighty-one riders took part last year, with Marco Martins of Portugal winning overall in 58 hours and five minutes. Jeannie Dreyer breaking the record in the women’s category, completing the distance in 63 hours and seven minutes. Dreyer is married to legendary South African endurance athlete Martin Dreyer, a Dusi canoe marathon legend. The inaugural winner of the first Munga in 2015, John Ntuli, is a product of Dreyer’s Change a Life development programme.
John Ntuli wins the first Munga back in 2015.
Entries for the 2019 Munga MTB open on 3rd December, the day the 2018 race ends.