The Dolphin Challenge, previously Jbay2PE, is a running or riding experience like no other. Runners traverse 38km and riders 53km of remote pristine coastline. Interest from all over the country has been shown in this home grown event.
Runners and mountain bikers will be exploring the beach between Jeffreys Bay and Nelson Mandela Bay, from the surf capital to the Bottlenose Dolphin capital (where the event takes it’s name).
These pristine beaches are seldom seen by residents of the Eastern Cape due to their remote nature, and with the growing interest in trail running and cycling it is the ideal opportunity for people to explore the wild places around us.
Interest in the Dolphin Challenge has come from all corners of South Africa. “We were not expecting too much interest this year, to be honest,” said race convenor Steven Lancaster. “And the response has caught us a little off guard, but our team of sponsors and organizers have been superb”.
4Tech I.T. Solutions and Tavcor Auto Sales Jeep are the main sponsors of the event, with Powerade supplying hydration, The Resort at Van Stadens donating a prize and assisting at the support station based there, Cellucity, Medal Hangers and Reflectos all providing give away lucky draw prizes. There will also be small awards for the top finishers in each event.
Runners will start their 38km journey at the Kabeljauws-on-Sea lagoon in Jeffreys Bay at 6am. They make their way along the beach to Maitlands River Mouth in Nelson Mandela Bay. This includes the popular swim through the Gamtoos River where assistance will be provided by EC Coastal Water Rescue.
The mountain bike events start and finish at Maitlands River Mouth. The course is out and back along the beach to collect a token at the Gamtoos Village checkpoint for the 53km extreme edition, and the family fun ride turn around at Van Stadens. This family ride gives an opportunity to families to enter and spend some time at the beach and in the saddle together. Entry for the family fun ride has therefore been pegged at just R50pp.
The event has been renamed the Dolphin Challenge because the route looks like the back of a dolphin and Nelson Mandela Bay is the “Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the world”.
For individuals and the full distance mountain bikers this is considered an “extreme” event due to the minimal support and athlete exposure to the elements along the route; the more extreme the weather, the more extreme the event.
There will be medical support for both runners and mountain bikers supplied by Eastern Cape Medical Rescue.
The beaches on the route are pristine, and most people won’t get to experience their beauty unless it is through an organized event such as this. It is an opportunity to put your thoughts in perspective and to share an adventure with friends.
A permanent number, prizes for position, and lucky draws will be handed out at the end of the event at Maitlands River Mouth.
Late entry on the morning will be accepted at the start to both running and cycling events. Individual running and extreme MTB will be R150pp, the relay event will now be R300 / team of 3 people, and the family MTB will be R75pp. Proceeds go to the Christmas Cheer Fund who serve close to 100,000 beneficiaries each year via about 70 charities.