Digging deep at The Munga Grit Le Dur 

Drikus Coetzee who won the2 023 Le Dur in action. Photo: contributed

The inaugural Munga Grit Le Dur takes place this weekend when close to 150 MTB endurance riders will push their limits while promoting a noble cause. 

The event is a collaboration between the organisation, ‘Legacy of Love’ which was established by Sybrand and Ronel de Beer after they lost their daughter Lume to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome at the tender age of 11 in 2017, and ‘The Munga’, known for its gruelling ultra endurance races throughout South Africa. 

“Legacy of Love brings to the table a legacy of compassion and community upliftment, exemplified through its impactful initiatives aimed at empowering and rememberence of lost loved ones in all communities by sharing stories of grief and healing and the “Legacy of Love” left by those who passed away.

By partnering with The Munga, known for its grueling ultra-endurance races, Le Dur Adventure aims to amplify its message of love and support while providing participants with an unforgettable experience,” Legacy of Love said in a statement this week. 

Sybrand de Beer said it is the third time that Le Dur will be held, but the first time that it has combined with The Munga. 

“The Munga have several endurance races in South Africa and wanted to start one in Namibia, but then I said we already have the Le Dur endurance ride so we decided to collaborate on this project. ‘Le Dur’ is French for ‘the tough one’ and that’s exactly what it is – the course is tough but the competitors are also tough,” he said. 

According to De Beer 120 Namibian cyclists, 20 from South Africa and one from Germany have already entered, while more could still join before the ride gets underway at 07h15 on Friday at Windpomp 14, about 25km outside Swakopmund. 

Jones Nghaamwa and Trevor Kaiyamo in action. Photo: contributed

Riders can enter one of two events – the 24-hour ride of approximately 230km, with the cut-off time being 07h15 on Saturday; and the 50-hour ride of about 550km, with the cut-off time at 09h15 on Sunday. 

The route takes the riders onto the Henties Bay road, into the desert, and on to Spitzkoppe, Omaruru and Uis. There are several water points along the route with refreshments and food for the riders, as well as two race villages at Omaruru and Uis with tents and mattrasses if they need to catch up on a bit of sleep. 

De Beer said the Munga Grit Le Dur combines the renowned format of The Munga, aptly named “Half Ain’t Easy,” with the compassionate ethos of Legacy of Love in Namibia.

“When you ride the Munga, somewhere along the way you have to dig very deep and it changes your life, it’s like on a spiritual level when you connect with your creator,” he said. 

“We started the Legacy of Love to help people who have lost loved ones. It happens to everyone – if it hasnt happened yet, it will still cross your path. You go through very difficult times and you have to dig deep on a spiritual level, so this ride encompasses that and symbolises our personal struggles and grief that we have to overcome,” he added. 

De Beer said the Legacy of Love has started trauma projects with financial pledges raised through ‘Le Dur’ as well as an annual golf day, while the next trauma project is due to be held outside Dordabis in mid-June. 

He said Legacy of Love has grown beyond his wildest expectations. 

“I never thought it would grow so much. Ronel just started writing on Facebook to share her experiences, then it grew from there and each year new projects and events came along. Now we have Le Dur and a golf day to raise funds for our trauma projects, to help people in our community who have lost loved ones,” he said. 

Alex Harris and Jacques Swart from The Munga said they were thrilled to join forces with Legacy of Love for ‘this extraordinary event.’

“Together, we aim to inspire athletes to go beyond their limits while contributing to a cause that promotes love and support for those in need. The Munga Grit Le Dur represents the perfect synergy of endurance and compassion.”

Participants and “dot watching” spectators alike can expect an immersive experience that celebrates the spirit of adventure, life and camaraderie. 

For more information about The Munga Grit Le Dur and Legacy of Love (Le Dur Adventure), visit www.themunga.com and www.legacyoflove.co.

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