Steyn and Steenkamp focused on breaking women’s course record at The 36ONE

The sixth edition of The 36ONE MTB Challenge is set to get underway on Friday the 21st of April around the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. In the women’s race Hannele Steyn and Katja Steenkamp are out to beat the women’s course record, but they’ll have to defeat Jeannie Dreyer too if either of them is to take the women’s title.

Steyn holds the title as the fastest solo female finisher with a time of 17 hours, 41 minutes and 48 seconds in 2016; but the fastest ever woman to complete the route is Jeannie Dreyer who rode it in 16 hours, 32 minutes and 14 seconds as part of a mixed team with her husband Martin in 2015.

The three leading women each boast an impressive ultra-marathon palmarès; Steyn is the Last Lioness (the final woman to have completed every Absa Cape Epic), Steenkamp is the 2016 Tour d’Afrique champion having ridden every inch of the 12 000 kilometres from Cairo to Cape Town, and Dreyer – aside from being the fastest women ever on The 36ONE – finished a very narrow second in the 2016 Munga.

The 36ONE MTB Challenge gets underway from Kleinplaas Resort in Oudtshoorn at 18:00 on Friday the 21st of April, with a 3 kilometre long neutral zone before the racing starts. The half distance riders will start at Volmoed at 06:00 on Saturday the 22nd of April and the first rider is expected to finish just after 08:00 on Saturday morning.

Riders have 36.1 hours to complete the 361 kilometre long course and prize giving will take place at 09:00 on Sunday the 23rd at Kleinplaas. You can follow the action live on Twitter, @The36ONE, or view all the photos and videos from the 2017 36ONE MTB Challenge on the event Facebook page. For more information on the race visit www.the36one.co.za or click here to read advice on how to take on an ultra-marathon event and to view The 36ONE MTB Challenge split calculator.