2000km Extreme Race nears finale in Durban

Thursday, 19 June 2014 08:38 | Written by 
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2000km Extreme Race nears finale in Durban

Durban – Endurance athletes Steve Black and Clyde Barendse are close to completing a gruelling 2000km race from Cape Point to Durban which involved with Black running alongside the shoreline and Barendse paddling a surfski, to raise funds and awareness for cancer sufferer Lettie Heyns.

Dubbed the "Coastal Challenge", the "race" started on May 17th when Black left Cape Point, while Barendse had to sit out the first three days while the Cape was being battered by gale force winds.


"This is a vehicle for raising much needed funds for Lettie Heyns to overcome something far greater that any of our efforts," said Black.

Steve Black

Steve Black

Black, the veteran ultra-endurance runner from Underberg, has been following trails and dirt roads, only resorting to tar near cities and when it simply is unavoidable. His aim is to run the over 1900km in 28 days, which works out as roughly 66km per day.

Average Bloke... with some leave

Barendse, or "Skinny Cappuccino" as he is known, is an experienced paddler from Durban, describes himself as "just an average bloke with some accumulated leave". While he has less distance to cover on the ocean, he is more exposed to treacherous weather and ocean conditions. Conditions will dictate distances each day, but ultimately, Barendse has Black’s schedule to contend with.

Clyde Barendse

Clyde Barendse

Mamu Loman 

Both men are members of the Mamu Loman Federation, an underground adventure group whose fundamentals are health, vitality and mobility.

Black, who had to break his run to fly to Johannesburg for his mother's funeral in Johannesburg, is currently leading Barendse, who has had to deal with several days of massive seas, thanks to the succession of cold fronts that have swept over the country in recent weeks.

Black started the race carrying a niggling injury and came close to quitting in the first week.

"Leaving Cape Point I started doubting that I will make Port Elizabeth let alone Port Edward, but (photographer and athlete) Andrew King got me though the first days encouraging me to manage my injuries," said Black.

Black was joined by Keith Clark who ran with him from the Gouritz River mouth to Storms River, before completing the next 450km on his own, supported by his wife Lulu along the way.

Andrew Mackay then joined Black 20 km south of East London and ran with him to Port Edward in eight days.

ETA Friday Afternoon

"All this time Skinny was paddling through massive surf and steadily gaining on me and overtaking and then falling back when the wind was wrong," says Black.

"The madness continues with hopefully a 60 km day taking me to Hibberdene and then onto Durban for Friday afternoon," he added.

"For Clyde there is a big westerly on its way so I'm sure the race is going to be close at the end," he said.

Black and Barendse at expected to reach their ultimate destination Addington Beach in Durban some time on Friday afternoon.

More information can be found at www.coastalchallenge.co.za where donations to the cause can be made online.


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