An 84-year-old South African has completed the world’s biggest mountain bike stage race covering over 265km in just 3 days.
Scottburgh, South Africa – Arthur Duncan, aged 84, has completed the renowned KAP sani2c 3 day MTB race, 265 km of tough mountain biking from Underberg in the southern Drakensberg to Scottburgh on the South Coast in KZN.
Arthur took up cycling seriously at the age of 65, and has completed the KAP sani2c race six times previously, but not since 2010.
Duncan decided at the age of 65 that he was going to cycle from the sea to the highest peak in Southern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho. The three-day ride had him hooked, and he has become a multiple national champion in both road cycling and time trial in his age category. He has represented South Africa in road cycling and went to the UCI Road World Championships last year.
Not satisfied with being an accomplished cyclist in his retirement, Arthur took on the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon when he was 72, and at the age of 77, he did a second Dusi as the oldest competitor that year.
The KAP sani2c is the world’s biggest mountain bike stage race, and while it continues to attract thousands every year, the event is as just as focussed on supporting the communities that it passes through,
Taking part in the Adventure version of the event was a family affair as Arthur was paired with his 18-year-old grandson Keira Duncan, the Men’s 2018 SA Enduro Champ. Son-in-law Stuart Watson and grandson David accompanied the two, and with strong support from all three, Arthur made it to the finish line at Scottburgh.
“It went very well, Stuart and David stayed with us for half the race, and I will be honest, each of them took a turn to help me up some of the steep hills! As the year’s tick by you lose a bit of your muscle mass but I pushed and persevered, and I am so thrilled to get here. This is a very special event for me as it’s my eighth one. I did the first six sani2c events, and I have been fortunate to see it grow from its very beginnings to the iconic event it is today.”
“It is very important to look after yourself as you get older, not only with exercise but with diet as well. It is vital for elderly people to get active in some form of physical activity. For me, though I do train really hard, and I do exercise with weights to retain muscle mass. Mountain biking is wonderful, and that is where my passion lies; you get to ride and experience places you would never otherwise get to see.”
“We are so proud that Arthur and Keira have completed the KAP sani2c together”, says race founder ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw. “Arthur is an inspiration to so many of us and embodies the spirit of sani2c. While we cater for the elite athletes in the Race, we have the Trail and the Adventure versions of sani2c which attracts the full spectrum of rider.”
The Trail version of the KAP sani2c ran from 14-16 May, the Adventure was 15-17 May, and the Race finishes on Saturday 18 May.