The Munga

Rudi Bowe

Leonard Martin a karate world champion and resident from Walvis Bay was the only Namibian that did the unachievable ones again as he participated and complete the Munga.

The Munga is the toughest mountain bike race in the world that runs over 5 days and a little more than 1000 kilometres with 5 race villages where riders can rest, eat and get mechanical assistance and a number of water points placed between 50 and 60 kilometres apart.
The race is semi-supported meaning that riders will be provided with support from race officials and at race villages, but will not be permitted to have support along the route. Everything a rider needs must be taken along, or bought along the way. Everything needed must be carried on the bike. Leonard ended 56th from 135 cyclist that took on the Munga, not your average bicycle event, it’s a crazy, single stage mountain bike, non-stop race across some of the toughest terrain south of the equator. It’s an 1100 kilometre rush from Bloemfontein to Wellington in the middle of the South African summer.
Leonard Martin did not finish the Munga last year but this year he challenged himself and finished it in just four days. He and his son Brandon-Lee Martin teamed up to participate 4 days later as team Kamakzi in the two person division in the toughest bike race in Namibia the Desert dash.
Leonard said “The Munga allows you, the rider, to decide when you eat, and when you sleep, and for how long. You manage your time for 5 days as you race in the heat of 40 to make the cut off and you discover that you had it in you all along and that you were right at the faintest of suspicions and that you might be tough enough to finish”. “The reason that I am doing this is not to be first or to be the champion but is all about the challenges in life and because life is full of boundaries and I like to see what’s behind it and after-all I do this for myself, wife and children and family as well as to show that you are never too old to take on a challenge” Leonard added.
The advice that Leonard has for all sport men and women is, not to give up, “no pain no gain”.

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