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Expedition Africa - Blog

Expedition Africa - Blog


For the Love and development of Adventure Racing. Expedition Africa established in 2006 and has organised over 150 adventure races in Africa and Internationally. This blog is about our story over the years and our personal views.

Swellendam Adventure Girls conquer Expedition Africa Swellendam 2022

The training is done, the rest week is upon you and you feel completely lost as to what to do next.. because in your mind you are race ready, you have packed, packed and repacked again but yet there still remains a slight doubt that you have forgotten something and or put an item in the wrong BOX. 

The day before finally arrived and my nerves had set in, the trip to Transition 1 to drop the bikes felt like the day I drove with my dad to my wedding... this was it.. no turning back and it's now all real. Throughout the whole journey up until we all sat in the hall and had our race briefing it was just a huge bubble of excitement and fun. We even managed to sweet talk ourselves a swop in peak caps with other team members and a feel good vibe was just everywhere. 

Count down on the river and we were off.. the day flew by, I really can't remember all the hours but I know I felt like my team and I had this and we were just steadily moving forward and having a laugh at every opportunity. There were tough times, but they were so worth it. The darkness made the road ahead seem easier and we slowly saw the end of the road. 

On finishing, the moment was epic and I felt like my teammates and I had done the unthinkable, 120km's in 20.5 hours non-stop. That was what we set out to do and we did it. We raced against ourselves and in our hearts we won our own challenge. We started as friends who had only known each other a few weeks but we finished as sisters. 

It was a moment in my life I will never forget and would do it again in a heartbeat. 

The preparation hours before the race are long and late. Trying to learn as much as possible, about the land, the map , the compass, and what the route could be, and packing, unpacking, repacking, repeat!!

As a first time 120km Navigator, it was my first night time Nav. Using a compass in your back yard and using it at the top of a mountain in the pitch dark, are 2 completely different feelings, the latter being a feeling of excitement together with dread. Finding a CP point by following a bearing whilst bundu bashing was absolutely the highlight of the darkness for me. Getting lost and having no way to calculate our distances, was the absolute lowlight. I felt sick to my stomach that I had let my team down, I doubted myself, but my team was there to support and make clear suggestions, when my head was exploding. A real Team is one that sticks together through all the ups and downs, doesn’t get cross with fellow teammates and continues to motivate and laugh all the way through.

When we crossed that finish line, I felt on top of the world, I had won the F1 Grand prix, summitted the greatest mountain and crossed the widest seas. That feeling of FINISHING a race together.

We are a happy, fun, loving, supportive, strong team. My heart is full of excitement for the next race, where I will use all that I learnt to become a better and stronger Navigator.

What an incredible experience the 4 of us had. Such newbies to this amazing sport. We were so super excited to get the Swellendam Girls team together to do Expediton Africa 120km. The cherry on the cake being that it was taking place in our very own town of Swellendam. We trained, we prepped, we gave it our heart and soul. We knew we were throwing ourselves into the deep end by doing the 120km, but we all agreed we rather go big or not do it at all. 

Everyone of us have our strong and weak points, at the end of the day the perfect team.  We could  help each other knowing this. There is nothing quite like that feeling when you know other’s have your back and you can support the other team mates in return. We became lifelong friends.  Through it all, found a piece of yourself that you never knew you had. 

Kinetic events puts on the perfect race to compete in as a beginner or as an experienced athlete. The fast teams, can truly push through and obtain good times. The slow new teams can learn how to pace themselves and push themselves to new limits in which to make the cut off time. Our aim when entering this race was just to make the cut off time. No matter the time or position. Kinetic events makes this possible and obtain your biggest dream. With their encouragement they make you excited to do the next race and not make you feel that you have failed in any way. 

It was the most beautiful feeling crossing the finish line with such amazing support and cheering. One felt like THE top team! 

Cannot wait for the next…..

The Swellendam Adventure Girls 

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