The Heroes amongst us

Annalie Smith

I enjoy endurance events, I love the places they take you and the people you meet along the way, not just during these events but also during training. 

I first became aware of the Munga Trail on social media a few years ago and have been following it ever since. However, I never ever thought that I would actually one day take part in one of the trails.

During the Bay2Bay 30km road race in January 2018, I suddenly decided that I would give it a try and enter the Munga Trail.  I decided that if I put my mind to it, I could cycle 1000km, as tough as it may seem and at the same time get to experience the Karoo in a way I would never normally be able to and also get to meet the farmers along the way. And so, that’s where the idea began.

I have been training with Britt Hyland and K8 Multisport for a couple of years and each year they enter a team in the Coronation Double Century, known as DC. During their training for DC, they would invite me along to join them on their longer rides, even though DC is an endurance road race whereas Munga is an off road mountain bike event. I really enjoyed these training sessions as it is fun to mix things up a bit.

It was on one of these training rides with K8 that I met Rod Bloom who was training with them for DC and it was then that I learnt about  The Rohan Bloom Foundation. I have two boys at Bishops, where Rohan was just before he passed away and my eldest son was the same age as Rohan and my other son was two years younger. This really struck a cord with me. It makes one feel blessed and at the same time so heart sore for Rod and his loss.

When Amanda Stein asked me if I would like to ride the Munga for the Rohan Bloom Foundation, it was a privilege to do so.

The Munga Trail is a unique off-road race and although gruelling, it was an incredible experience to cycle the 1000 km from Bloemfontein through the Karoo to Wellington which took five days. The landscape and the beauty of the Karoo, especially at night, is something to behold.

It was my honour to ride for the Foundation and I continually  follow the wonderful work that they are doing  with interest. I  will support them in the future  wherever I can.


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