Himeville – The KAP sani2c has become one of the most popular multi-stage mountain bike races in the world due largely to its humble beginnings as well as the organisers motivation to keep the race community-based and unique which has in turn meant that the event has thrived and remains fully subscribed year-in and year-out.
The sani2c was the brain child of Glen Haw and the race has grown immeasurably over the years however the ten core principles that they set out continue to be the backbone of the race and these principles are everything that the organisers, riders, service providers and helpers stand for as the race heads into its 13th edition in 2016.
The sani2c has a number of initiatives that they have set up in the communities that the race moves through and providing these people with an opportunity to benefit from the race is crucial in maintaining the events integrity.
“Respect to all and respect to the environment are two of our principles that are crucial to this race,” founder ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw mentioned. “If we as riders, organisers and providers do not show respect to the landowners, the local community and the trails and environment that we ride through the race would not happen.
“We talk about how we often inconvenience the locals during the race so greeting them and showing them our appreciation is crucial in us maintaining a strong and prosperous relationship with them.”
The three-day journey from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg to Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast provides riders with some of the most scenic single-track and surroundings however the race is about far more than riding.
“We say that the sani2c is about a lot more than just our enjoyment – although that is what keeps the riders coming back.
“We have made a conscious decision to engage fully with the local communities and getting them involved in a multitude of different ways means that the riders contribute largely to the economy of the area as well as the upliftment of the local people,” a passionate Farmer Glen added.
The KAP sani2c is a race that tests all riders from the weekend warriors to the riders at the front of the field through the technical single track as well as some challenging climbs. Taking these challenges in ones stride is important in maintaining integrity and keeping a smile on the face.
“The race is not a walk in the park but we wouldn’t want it to be easy as it is as much a test of character as it is a test of riding ability.
“All the riders are trying their hardest however there are always going to be riders of varying abilities on the course so when the rain falls, for example, and the mud becomes an issue, keeping your head and encouraging those around you are paramount to what this race stands for,” Haw commented.
Mountain biking is a demanding sport both on the body and on the equipment, sharing parts as well as sharing experiences and lessons are some of the cogs that make the KAP sani2c such a special adventure for many.
“When the going gets tough people tend to become grumpy but we try and instil in all the riders and organisers that we need to continue to greet, smile and show good manners no matter what the situation is.
“Sharing is one of the centre-points of the race, sharing the trails during the ride and ideas and stories after the ride make the sani2c a unique experience for everyone,” Haw explained with a smile.
The model has been refined over the past twelve years which has meant KAP were attracted to the event through the string of social upliftment objectives that the event is involved in. This has led to KAP becoming a vital element in the sani2c machine and the beginnings of what promises to be a strong partnership.