Photo Credit: Freedom Challenge

Omphile “Joy” Motaung has completed the Race Across South Africa, making history in the process by becoming the first woman of colour to complete the gruelling challenge.


South Africa (05 July 2022) – The winter Race Across South Africa (RASA) took place in mid-June and was completed a few days ago. The race sees mountain bike enthusiasts navigate their way from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal to Wellington in Western Cape, some 2150km away.

RASA, which forms part of the Freedom Challenge series, sees riders navigating by means of maps, compass and narrative directions. The use of GPS devices is strictly prohibited. There is a wide variety of off-road terrain, which includes dirt roads, farm roads and tracks, footpaths and animal tracks.

For most, it is a soulful journey through the heartland of our beautiful country. Time away from their usual busy lives. Time to reset the barometer of life and just ride their bike with little distraction or worry from the crazy world outside.

We spoke to Omphile, the first woman of colour to complete this challenge, about her race and she confirmed that it helped give perspective into her day-to-day life.

“It’s been a wonderful journey for my soul and the perspective of what life is about.” – Omphile

Omphile raced alongside RASA veteran Ingrid Avidon. The ladies helped push each other and together, completed the race in 21 days and 13 hours. We asked Omphile what it was like completing her first race and she said it was an emotional one. She entered the race because she had faced a massive loss, losing her family. The loss left her feeling restless and the race was the beginning of her search for peace.

“I feel emotionally happy and all kinds of emotions” 

Ingrid Avidon rode her first race in 2010, so she had great experience to draw from for Omphile’s first race. Ingrid is currently attempting a personal 12 challenges in 12 months to raise funds to give more women the chance to take part in these expensive endurance races. She hopes for more female representation in endurance sports.

It was this personal challenge that helped Ingrid get Omphile into endurance sports. Together they have worked to complete two races now and Ingrid’s efforts paid off in getting the funds needed to cover Omphile’s entry fee for this massive challenge.

The cut-off for RASA is 26 days and the fastest ever done was by Alex Harris in 2021 with a time of 9 days and 22 hours, beating his own record from 2020 of 10 days and 6 hours. A time of 21 days and 13 hours for a first race, is brilliant!

Take a look at the moment Omphile and Ingrid crossed the finish line.

Sources: RASA / GTG Interview / Ingrid in Adventureland
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *