The toughest race on earth

A single-stage mountain bike race

29th November – 4th December 2023
Entries close on 30th October 2023

 

COUNTDOWN TO THE 2023 MUNGA

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THE ULTIMATE IN ULTRA ENDURANCE RACING

What is The Munga?

The
toughest races on earth

“At the Munga we celebrate what it is to be human. We know the fight. We know what it means to grovel, and grind, and crawl in desperation to the light at the end of the tunnel. We know what it’s like to hang on to a thread, but claw and pull it back till it’s a tight rope, and walk that thin line, balancing the life and death of dreams, till at last we lean forward and the momentum of action carries us inexorably towards our destiny! At the Munga, we know what it’s like to live, but really live”

Alex Harris – Munga Race Director

THIS IS THE MUNGA

THE ULTIMATE LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE YOU CAN HAVE ON A BICYCLE.

Can a bicycle race change your life?

The Munga was launched way back in 2014, 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 bench mark by which all other long races are measured. In it’s 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! When people ask you if you have done the Munga, they are not interested in your time.

It’s a yes or no answer!

Enter the race

THE ROUTE AND RACE SECTIONS

THE BASICS

The Munga runs over a little more than 1000 kilometres. There are 5 race villages where riders can rest, eat and get mechanical assistance. There are also ten water points placed between 60 and 90 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 he will find at the water points or race villages, or it must be taken along on his bike.

THE ROUTE:

The Munga mountain bike race 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 a little more that 1000kms and covers some of the most beautiful, and barren terrain in South Africa.
*Note: the following is a general description of distances and ascents but may vary from year to year. Up to date distances etc., will be shared in theRace Prep doc.

DISTANCE ASCENT
SECTION 1 The start to Race Village 1 229km 1 004m
SECTION 2 RV1 to RV2 179km 736m
SECTION 3 RV2 to RV3 206km 1 003m
SECTION 4 RV3 to RV4 214km 1 262m
SECTION 5 RV4 to RV5 216km 1 744km
SECTION 6 RV5 to Finish 86km 689m
TOTAL: 1 130km 6 435m

a bicycle race for the bravest of the brave. the toughest of the tough.

GETTING THERE

IT’S TIME TO THINK BIG!

Riding the Munga is tough, so getting to the race shouldn’t be. Focus on your training and your preparation, and not on booking flights.
1. READ THE RULES

This is super important. Make sure that there isn’t anything that could prevent you from actually riding the Munga. Make sure you’re riding the right bike, and that your diet doesn’t contain anything that could get you into trouble. The Munga 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 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 Essentials info 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. 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 CAR, OR GET A LIFT

Bloemfontein is about 400 kilometres (around 250 miles) from Johannesburg so you’ll need to either book a rental vehicle, or catch a lift. Booking a vehicle is fairly simple and there are numerous rental companies at O.R. Tambo Airport. The Munga recommends Avis Rent a Car who partners with us. View their website for up to date offers. https://www.avis.co.za/

5. BOOK A ROOM NEAR THE START

The Munga starts on the southwestern side of Bloemfontein next to the Windmill Hotel. So try and book a room close by if you plan to arrive the night before.

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 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.

PACKING

THE BASICS

If you think two water bottles and a backpack are going to see you through 1000km of the toughest single stage race on earth you may want to rethink that strategy.

You need lights, lights that don’t die. As long as the wheels are turning your light is burning. A dynamo hub is an essential component of your race strategy if you are going for the prize money. It means you won’t have to carry additional batteries and you don’t have to stop and charge your GPS or your phone. This could be the difference between winning or losing.

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.

THE ULTIMATE LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE YOU CAN HAVE ON A BICYCLE.

The essentials

LIGHTS

You’ll 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, so make sure you have a good one.

DYNAMO HUB

A dynamo hub means 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 race is well supported, and we have medics in cars 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 goes 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

Riding 1000 kilometres with a bag on your back is going to be extremely uncomfortable. 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, pedals, cables, bar tape, screw drivers, multi-tools, water bottles… Anything that can break or get lost should be on your spares list.

GRAVEL & TOUR

Too find out more on these items plus great advice please visit Gravel & Tour for all your Munga needs

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

Please contact Jack Black at jackblack@gravelandtour.co.za

THE RULES

WE RIDE TO FIND A PART OF OURSELVES YET UNDISCOVERED

Oh yes. There are rules.

The Munga is a seriously tough race. This is not just a walk (or ride) in 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 journey.

rider f.a.q.s

Things Riders usually ask.

WHEN IS THE RACE

The race takes place in the first weekend of October.

WHEN IS THE RACE

The race usually takes place in the first week of December.

HOW MUCH DOES THE RACE COST TO ENTER?

R34,900 per rider and includes all food and accommodation along the route.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT RACE CATEGORIES?

There are two separate race categories: Men and Women

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

Currently, the cut-off is 150 riders.

IS THERE A QUALIFICATION RACE?

There is no qualification process and the Munga 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 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 IN A TEAM?

Yes, but you need to enter the Equipe category, which is the team format of The Munga.

The Munga can be entered as a Team of 5 riders (The Munga Euipe). Each member of the team rides a leg between RVs, and all Team Members must complete the last leg, RV5 to the Finish together. To find out more visit the Munga Equipe page https://themunga.com/munga-equipe/

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 THE RACE ENTRIES CLOSE?

One 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!

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.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M ABLE TO FINISH THE MUNGA?

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?

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

WHAT IS THE LONGEST SECTION ON THE MUNGA?

The longest section is RV4 to RV5, which is 227km.

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 five days. Race villages are equipped with rest, food and mechanical stations, and water points are available every 60 to 90 kilometres.

DOES THE MUNGA 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 lookout 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 info@themunga.com

CAN I PHOTOGRAPH OR FILM THE RACE?

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

Finishers results

THE MUNGA 2015

01-12-2015
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2016

01-12-2016
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2017

01-12-2017
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2018

01-12-2018
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2019

01-12-2019
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2020

01-12-2020
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2021

01-12-2021
Finishers list and results

Download

THE MUNGA 2022

01-12-2022
Finishers list and results

Download

SPONSORS

NAMEDSPORT

Cycling is the ultimate endurance sport where physical and mental fitness are constantly tested to the very limit. If you cycle fast on a bike you must expect to expend a huge amount of energy and to intensely work your muscles for long periods of time. Using the right supplements in cycling is vital in order to support performance and aid recovery in a targeted way and so contribute to the cyclist’s overall feeling of wellbeing.

Road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking: whatever your challenge, you can rely on a collection of specific products that are loved and trusted by cycling champions worldwide.

WEALTH ASSOCIATES

Wealth Associates South Africa (Pty) Ltd was first established in 2005 by a small group of like-minded, professional and highly skilled financial planners advocating for change in an industry focused on product sales opposed to rendering quality advice and establishing long-term relationships with clients. Their vision was to provide bespoke financial advice, professional hands-on service and tailored solutions; always putting clients and their needs first.

Today, Wealth Associates is a well-established and independent advice-led business with strong capabilities in wealth and asset management, financial planning, risk and business assurance, employee benefits, tax and fiduciary solutions and short-term insurance; and have licensing agreements with 72 of South Africa’s leading product providers.

KLEIN KAROO TOYOTA

Klein Karoo Toyota, located in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, is a reputable dealership known for its commitment to providing quality Toyota vehicles and exceptional customer service. With a focus on meeting the automotive needs of the local community, Klein Karoo Toyota offers a diverse range of new and pre-owned cars, as well as expert maintenance and repair services. The dealership prides itself on its knowledgeable staff and a welcoming atmosphere, making it a trusted destination for those in search of reliable Toyota vehicles in the Klein Karoo region. Get the vehicle you want, need and deserve. Let us make your motoring dreams a reality.

RENEWED GROUP

Finance and Insurance Done Right. Renewed Group is not your average finance and insurance company. We are a dynamic team with a difference, boasting over 60 years of combined experience in the industry. When we say, "We know our stuff," we mean it.

Our pride lies in offering tailored solutions that perfectly align with our clients’ needs and their businesses. We firmly believe in putting you in control of your business finance and insurance requirements. By working closely with our network of finance and insurance providers, we ensure that your risks are minimized, providing you with a convenient one-stop solution.

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.

CONTACT US

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON THE MUNGA SERIES?

Send us an email: info@themunga.com
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