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Tips ahead of Desert Dash

Iron man: Last year’s winner, Dion Guy shares his experience of the event

Iron man: Last year’s winner, Dion Guy shares his experience of the event

The 2014 FNB Desert Dash will start in Windhoek on 12 December and winds down in Swakopmund. Last year’s winners, Dion Guy and Maritza Terblanche, both from South Africa, talked to FNB Namibia about their experience.  Maritza participated in 2012 and 2013 and won the women’s solo category two years in a row. In 2013 she completed the tour in 20 hours, 23 minutes and 56 seconds. Reflecting on 2013’s Desert Dash campaign she said, “The FNB Desert Dash has definitely been the greatest challenge in my cycling career so far, but I enjoyed every moment of it. My greatest test last year was when I was all by myself at night and my night light died. It’s was pitch dark and I had to take on the dark sandy road on feeling. I fell about 3 times in that time and lost a lot of time, but survived the desert darkness and chased the finish line!”  Dion Guy will cycle three years consecutively in the FNB Desert Dash. Last year he emerged victorious in 16 hours, 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

About his experience he said, “The highlight for me is firstly the solitude of the event. A lot of the time you will ride alone, with nothing but the stars above you, it’s not often you will find yourself in a race under those conditions. Secondly, riding at moonlight on the final stage is such a surreal environment and knowing that you are almost at the finish line. I just need to convince the rest of the leading bunch to slow down so we can get there when the sun has risen!”
Regarding possible challenges Guy said that the entire race was a challenge as you had to be fit, your nutrition strategy had to be fine-tuned, you needed a little bit of luck, and most importantly, you had to be mentally prepared. “It’s a superb country and a very well organized race, this combination makes it a “bucket list” race for any mountain biker.”

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