Thursday, 14 July 2011


It’s been a pretty cold winter in Gauteng, so what better way to get warm than get the old blood flowing with some heavy duty exercise?
June got off to a bang as we completed what was a pretty grueling cycling challenge with the Ride to Rhodes.  I really wanted to complete this race not only because would it be a monumental personal achievement for me but it is a training milestone for both the Empty Quarter desert challenge and the 7 Summit Challenges we have ahead of us. And boy, was this a tough one, it was probably my most difficult physical challenge to date. It took 6 days to complete which is monumental in itself but the great part is that we experienced parts of South Africa that most people will never get to see. We cycled through some incredibly rural areas where people don’t even have the basic and fundamental necessities for daily living in the 21st century that we all take for granted, it was a very humbling experience as we raced through on our expensive bikes. The scenery we cycled through was also breath-taking, the vistas were something I will never forget and not to mention the cold, it was very, very cold.
Another member of the 7 Summit Team, Alex Harris was also keeping out of mischief as he trained for and completed the Freedom Challenge. This is no laughing matter it’s a 2300km race that took him 6 months to train for. Conditions were wet and cold with flooded rivers, this made an already epic challenge even more treacherous. Alex’s previous time was 14 days and 8 hours (can you imagine cycling for that long?) and this year not only did he beat last year’s time by completing the race in 12 days and 15 hours but he came first. So a big ‘well done’ to you Sir, you’re a true champion.
So, as you know, we were supposed to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia in September, this however is no longer a viable option as there is political unrest in the area. Not ones to be defeated instead trusting in God, we have decided  to climb Mount Acongagua which is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza and is the second highest of the 7 summits and the highest peak in both the Southern and Western hemispheres. We chose Acongagua as it is fairly cost effective for a climb and we are looking forward to a bit of a challenging ascent unlike our last climb which was pretty easy. The climb is likely to take us 3 weeks and conditions are going to be pretty darn cold with rugged terrains and the altitudes will be staggering.

We’ll be leaving at the end of November and are hoping to be back mid December but we have a lot of training to get through before which will include stretch events like the one we did in Sabi, it’s likely to be 3 days of pure hell but we love it really! We’ll also continue with the general weekly gym and cardio training sessions.

So as you can see it’s been a rather busy winter for everyone on the 7 Summit team, no staying in and watching telly for us, no sirree.

So until next time, go outside, get your blood pumping and enjoy the beauty of our South African winters.

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