All or nothing

A single stage mountain bike relay race across the middle of South Africa in the heat of summer

30 NOVEMBER to 5 december 2022

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TRACK THE RACE

WHAT IS THE MUNGA EQUIPE?

CAN A BICYCLE RACE CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

ALL OR NOTHING…

The Munga was launched way back in 2015, and at first it seemed like a crazy idea. To race non-stop for 1000km across the arid Karoo in summer, really? But it soon became the go to ultra-endurance mountain bike race in South Africa, and the benchmark by which all other long races are measured. In its short history, the race has become somewhat of an iconic event, and a bucket list race for anyone who has ever been on a mountain bike! But let’s be honest; 1000km in five days is no easy task and is out of reach for many riders. We constantly hear stories of how riders wish they could do our race but are not up to the distance. And so Munga Equipe was born, a chance for that rider to join a team, and ‘together’, experience what it is all about.

Munga Equipe is in essence a relay race.

THE BASICS

Munga Equipe is in essence a relay race. Equipe, French for team, is all about a group of riders splitting up the vast distances of the Munga, and each rider taking on a section. So, rider one would race from the start to RV1, and hand over to rider 2. Rider 2 would race to RV2 and hand over to 3, and so on and so on. Equipe follows the exact race route of the Munga with the same notorious sections.

Except in Equipe, you only have to race one of those sections!

ENTER THE RACE

THE ROUTE AND RACE SECTIONS

Munga Equipe follows the exact same route as the Munga mountain bike race. It begins in the city of Bloemfontein in South Africa and ends at the Doolhof wine estate in Wellington, a small town in the Cape Winelands. The route will be predominantly off road. The route will be a GPS route so riders will not have to think about navigation. The route is at a little more that 1000kms and covers some of the most beautiful, and barren terrain in South Africa. Munga Equipe allows teams of two to five riders, so if you are five, each rider will race just once section of the route on their own, and then all five riders will do the final section from RV5 to the finish together. The following is a high-level description of all six sections with respective distances and elevations to help you decide who will race what!

 

Remember, regardless of what section you do, all five riders have to do the final section together!
DISTANCE ASCENT
SECTION 1 The start to Race Village 1 224km 974m
SECTION 2 RV1 to RV2 178km 716m
SECTION 3 RV2 to RV3 194km 952m
SECTION 4 RV3 to RV4 213km 1 264m
SECTION 5 RV4 to RV5 227km 1 982km
SECTION 6 RV5 to Finish 88km 696m
TOTAL: 1 124km 6 584m

all five riders have to do the final section together!

GETTING THERE

It’s time to get that team together! Riding Munga Equipe can be logistically intense, so we have taken all the thinking out of the problem leaving you to focus on who is going to ride what!

1. READ THE RULES

This is super important. Make sure that there isn’t anything that could prevent you from actually riding the Munga Equipe. Make sure you’re riding the right bike, and that your diet doesn’t contain anything that could get you into trouble. The Munga Equipe is open to anyone, but it’s still a sanctioned race, and rules must be followed. You can find the rules here.

2. PACK THE RIGHT GEAR

There is a science to packing and bringing the right gear, and many riders have their own opinion about what gear you should be using. From what type of frame is best suited to the terrain, to what colour your socks should be. It’s really up to you and how you plan to ride the Munga Equipe as to what gear you bring. However, we have a fairly generic packing list for you that is a good place to start. If you’ve never ridden the Munga before, you’ll want to read this one. Find our packing information here.

3. BOOK A FLIGHT

If you live outside of South Africa, then you’re going to need to catch a flight a day or two before the start of the Munga Equipe. You’ll need to book a flight to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. While you’re at it, you could also book your return flight from Cape Town International airport. We recommend that you fly into Johannesburg at least two days before the race.

4. BOOK A VAN

Bloemfontein is about 400 kilometres (around 250 miles) from Johannesburg, so you’ll need to either book a rental vehicle, or find a friend with a van! Remember that Munga Equipe is logistically more complex than the Munga, as there are now five of you and your bikes! Who goes where and how?

5. BOOK A ROOM NEAR THE START

The Munga Equipe starts in the same place as the Munga, on the southwestern side of Bloemfontein next to the Windmill Hotel. However, it starts 6 hours earlier, so 6am! So, the first rider will probably want to spend the night before in Bloemfontein.

6. BOOK A ROOM AT THE END

Depending on your strategy, you’ll probably want to a book a room at the finish line. The Munga Equipe ends on the beautiful grounds of the Doolhof wine estate. You can stay here for one night, or two or three. It’s entirely up to you.

LOGISTICS

The Equipe requires some different planning and considerations than the Solo race and we encourage you to understand the complexities involved so that your team does not inadvertently break the rules or cause any dissatisfaction

It is the team manager, and team’s, responsibility to ensure that riders are at the Race Village in time to receive the hand over baton from the completing rider.

  • Each Team needs to ensure that they have a vehicle capable of carrying up to 5 people (team manager and 4 team members)
  • Teams need to ensure that they have the means to transport all the bikes in their team, excluding the rider on route, i.e., for a team of 5, the team must be able to transport 4 bicycles between Race Villages.
  • Teams will receive the Race Village locations and distances in the Race Prep document. Teams are to plan accordingly and ensure that they plan sufficient time to get the next participating rider to the Race Village on time and ready.
  • Each team member will receive one food coupon for each Race Village, entitling them to a meal, a drink, and a coffee. No coupon no meal, as we plan and cater accordingly and need to ensure that all participants enjoy their share.
  • Although Race villages cater for the riders, ensure that you also have drinks and snacks in your team vehicle, as you might be travelling during odd hours of the day/night and most of the towns you travel through are small town where shops and filling stations often close at 18:00 at night till the next morning.
  • The Karoo can be very cold at night, so ensure that you have sufficient warm clothing and covering in your vehicles as you could be travelling in your team vehicles during odd hours of the night depending on your rider progress between Race Villages

 

PACKING ESSENTIALS

PACKING

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are only going to ride one section of the race you don’t need to carry as much as a rider doing it all! The same list of compulsory gear applies to Equipe as well. You need lights, lights that don’t die. Whether it’s a dynamo hub or a battery powered light, a good light is an essential component of your race strategy How much kit are you going to ride with? Are you going to go ultra-light, carrying only the bare minimum or do you want to pack for every eventuality? Whichever strategy you choose, you do not want the weight on your back. With innovative, lightweight, and weatherproof bike bags you can configure your adventure any which way you choose.

LIGHTS

Unless you are the first rider, you will probably be doing a fair amount of riding in the dark. And we mean PROPER dark. After sunset, there is essentially no light except for what you produce yourself. We strongly recommend bringing more than one light, and an array of batteries to keep them lit.

GPS

The South African interior can be an easy place to get lost. A GPS device is a requirement for entry into the Munga Equipe, so make sure you have a good one.

DYNAMO HUB

While this may be essential for a rider racing the normal Munga, a dynamo hub may be overkill for Equipe, unless you are a team of two. But it does mean there’s no need to stop and charge your GPS device, or your phone. And there’s no need to carry more batteries than needed.

PHONE

A mobile phone can be a lifeline in bad situations. The Munga Equipe race is well supported, and we have medics in vehicles along the route, but they could be in completely the wrong place when you need them most. A mobile phone is essential.

WARM KIT, RAIN COAT, SUN PROTECTION

The Munga Equipe is run through the Karoo (desert) in the middle of Summer. It’s hot. Really, really hot. But, in typical Karoo style, the nights can be really cold. Make sure you pack warm clothing.

South Africa also gets a deadly amount of sun, so be prepared. You’ll need a really good sunscreen and maybe even some skin care products.

BIKE BAGS

Even if you are going to be doing one of the shorter sections of the race, you typically do not want any weight on your back, as the Munga roads are terrible in places. Weatherproof bike bags are definitely the way to go. There are plenty to choose from and you can configure them any way you wish.

SPARES

We don’t want to be too prescriptive here because we know everyone has their own set up. So you’ll know what spares you need to bring. Puncture kits, tires, bolts, cables, bar tape, screw drivers, multi-tools, water bottles… Anything that can break or get lost should be on your spares list.

 

THE RULES

WE RIDE TO FIND A PART OF OURSELVES YET UNDISCOVERED

Oh yes. There are rules.

The Munga Equipe is a seriously tough race. This is not just a walk (or ride) in the park. We have to make sure that everyone on the route is safe, so every rider will be expected to follow these rules to the letter.

We don’t want to sound like stiffs, but any rider found breaking the rules, will be penalised or disqualified. So make sure you are familiar with the rules before setting out on your Munga Equipe journey.

Please read the final addendum in the rules pack to understand the options. 

RIDER F.A.Q.S

Things Riders usually ask.

WHEN IS THE RACE

The race takes place in the first week of December, over the same time as the Munga, but Equipe will start 6 hours earlier.

WHEN IS THE RACE

The race takes place in the first week of December, over the same time as the Munga, but Equipe will start 6 hours earlier.

HOW MUCH DOES THE RACE COST TO ENTER?

R32 500 per team. This includes all food and accommodation along the route.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT RACE CATEGORIES?

No. There is only one category, a team category. The team can be made up of 2,3,4 or 5 riders but they can be mixed male and female.

IS THERE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF RIDERS THAT CAN ENTER?

For the inaugural event, the number of teams will be limited to 75.

IS THERE A QUALIFICATION RACE?

There is no qualification process. The Munga Equipe is open to anyone who can ride a bicycle.

CAN I RIDE A TANDEM MOUNTAIN BIKE WITH A TEAMMATE?

No. Tandem bicycles are not permitted on the Munga Equipe Route.

CAN I RIDE A CYCLOCROSS BIKE

Yes, but we strongly advise against it!

HOW TECHNICAL IS THE ROUTE?

It depends entirely on your skill level, but the majority of the route (more than 50%) is non-technical dirt roads.

WILL I BE ABLE TO SCOUT THE ROUTE?

Yes. For the most part the route will remain unchanged, however, it does cross private land so these sections will be impossible to scout.

CAN I RACE THE MUNGA EQUIPE AS A SOLO RIDER?

No. Munga Equipe is a team event. You can ride as a pair, as a team of three, four or maximum of five.

DO I NEED A SPONSOR?

There is no requirement for you to have a sponsor, but you are more than welcome to find your own one.

WHAT IS THE MUNGA POLICY ON DOPING?

We are strictly against doping in any form.

WHEN DO RACE ENTRIES CLOSE?

Once month before race start, so the end of October.

WILL THERE BE TV COVERAGE OF THE RACE?

Maybe one day.

WILL THE ROUTE BE MARKED?

The route will be exclusively a GPS navigated route, but will not be difficult to follow. There are no markings along the route, so make sure you know how to use your gps!

WHAT IS THE ASCENT OF THE RACE?

The elevation changes dramatically within the last 200 kilometers, but on average, the ascent is roughly 6500 meters.

WHAT IS THE ASCENT OF THE RACE?

The elevation changes dramatically within the last 200 kilometres, but the ascent is roughly 6500 metres.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M ABLE TO FINISH A SECTION OF MUNGA EQUIPE?

This of course depends on what section you will be riding, but you should be able to ride a mountain bike at 10 to 12 km/hr for 18 hours, but this is just a rough guideline.

WHAT IS THE SHORTEST SECTION ON THE MUNGA EQUIPE?

RV1 to RV2.  Is the shortest section at 178km.

WHAT IS THE LONGEST SECTION ON THE MUNGA EQUIPE?

The longest section is RV4 to RV 5, which is 227km. However, please remember that the same rider who does this section then has to ride with the rest of the team from RV5 to the finish, so the longest single section that a rider will do is from RV4 to the finish, which is 315km.

WHAT SECTION SHOULD THE STRONGEST RIDER DO?

Definitely RV4 to RV5.

CAN I LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE RIDING?

Yes.

CAN I USE TRI-BARS?

Yes.

WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT IS PROVIDED?

There are medical officials that patrol the route on all three days. Race villages are equipped with rest, food and mechanical stations, and water points are available every 60 to 90 kilometres.

IS TRANSPORTATION OF LUGGAGE AND BIKE BOX PROVIDED?

Yes. The Munga provides transport of ONE bag and a bike box from the start line to the finish line. Any additional luggage, you will need to have transported for you, especially if you want it at one of the race villages. This luggage will have to go in your team vehicle.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TEAM VEHICLE AND HOW DO I GET TO RV5 ONCE I HAD RACED MY LEG?

For answers to all team vehicle related queries, please see the section on Team Vehicle Logistics.

DOES THE EQUIPE HAPPEN EVERY YEAR?

Yes.

WHEN WILL PRIZE-GIVING TAKE PLACE?

Prizes are awarded as riders cross the finish line.

CAN I WORK FOR THE MUNGA?

We’re always on the look out for volunteers. Please send a mail to info@themunga.com

CAN I INTERVIEW THE RACE DIRECTOR?

You can ask him yourself. Send him an email to alex@themunga.com

CAN I PHOTOGRAPH OR FILM THE RACE?

Yes, please send a mail to info@themunga.com

Finishers results

THE MUNGA EQUIPE 2021

01-12-2021
Finishers list and results

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SPONSORS

BITSTAMP

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NIKA CAPITAL

At Nika Capital, we see our roles as both a conduit and a catalyst – a conduit through which companies can participate in building this exceptional nation; and a catalyst for social impact through business transformation.

We do this by providing a financial investment platform in which companies can invest in the betterment of schools and an educational bursary fund, and in so doing, companies can invest in South Africa’s future as a whole.

Nika strives to impact the future of South Africa through Christian education creating pathways out of poverty. We believe that Christian education in South Africa is the key to achieving sustainable impact.

PHENOMUNE

Phenomune is constantly working to proactively research, discover, and find solutions to help provide insight and improve the wellness of our customers. Through ongoing research led by our Founder and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Dr. Henry Barham, Phenomune works to meet and maintain high standards of accuracy, usability and reliability of our products. Driven by a desire to provide easy-to-use at-home methods to carefully and optimally deliver personalized information and education to customers, Phenomune is dedicated to continuous learning and building scientific evidence to improve the utility of our products to help empower and engage our customers on their quest for wellness.

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