On Day 2, the SABRINA LOVE Ocean Challenge traditionally moves away from the ‘ocean’, embracing the dramatic inland playground extending inland from Plettenberg Bay. Once again, the owners of the spectacular Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate opened their arms and hearts to welcome all the crew, competitors and kids associated with the event.
Proceedings kicked off with a 10km and 6km trail run, with athletes taking to the forested slopes to wade across rivers, jump irrigation furrows and blast along forest single-tracks. A 25km mountain bike race followed, and again the route delivered unparalleled natural grandeur as riders cranked along gravel roads and technical forest single-track.
A 900m lake swim then tested a large field of swimmers, with young and old enjoying a midday cool-down in the large dam on Kurland Estate. This was also the venue for the exciting ‘Kids of Steel’ Race, where mom and dad take a back seat while the young guns go for glory.
To many of the ever-growing SABRINA Family, this is the high point of the 2-day festival, with Tony Lubner pointing out that many of the kids were not even born yet when the first SABRINA LOVE Ocean Challenge took place exactly ten years ago. “I had a lump in my throat when I saw these children cross the line today”, he said. “One thing is for sure, they too are now ‘family’ for life”!
Despite several emergency call-outs (including some MTB falls and a snake bite to one of the crew), organiser Mark Collins from events specialists Magnetic South was happy that the day went down without major mishaps. “I only relax once every competitor is accounted for”, he said, “and this year we set a new record with nearly 4000 entries”.
The financial support of umbrella sponsors Stonehage and Discovery means that literally every cent raised directly assists children with disabilities. This in no small way establishes the character of the SABRINA LOVE Ocean Challenge, and it is therefore such a privilege to be part of this amazing event.
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