The X-Berg Challenge pits paraglider pilots against mountain bikers and mountain runners, to see which discipline can be the fastest to follow a route in the Drakensberg mountains, South Africa.
The three-and-a-half-day race is “around 150km long” – in fact the 2015 event was 175km, with three turnpoints. The first athlete to reach goal is crowned “King of the Berg”. Last year the King was a mountain biker, and in 2014 a trail runner. (See the results here).
All athletes are required to stop moving between 11pm-4am.
The route and race is structured in such a way that cyclists, runners and paragliders are all on an even footing and have a chance to win outright. Apart from competing against the other disciplines there are prizes for each class (.ie first 3 runners, first 3 cyclists and first 3 paragliders or team to finish).
Sports stars that have competed in the X-Berg Challenge in the past include Andrew Porter (trail runner and former Grand Traverse record holder), Piers Pirow (South African Team Triathlon athlete and Expedition Africa competitor), Pierre Carter (South African Team Paraglider and former Red Bull athlete), Nick Neynens (paragliding X-Alps athlete), James Pitman (adventurer) and Shelley Plumb (trail runner).
Individual (only 1 person to go to all turn points, not part of team)
Team Extreme (all team members to go to all turn points)
Team Relay (race is to be completed in relay fashion by the team from turn point to turn point)
Single discipline (completing the race by only doing either paragliding or trail running or mountain biking)
Multi-discipline (completing the race by making use of combining any of the three official race disciplines)
Highlights of the race include:
– Live tracking via internet
– Support crew or support box options
– Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife park entry fees included for duration of race
– Either you are carrying “IT” (bike, shoes, paraglider) or “IT” is carrying you!
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