It all started this time last year when I was looking for a partner for TransBaviaans.

My selected partner had just pulled out as she had a tooth abscess and I was calling all pockets for someone who would be compatible to ride with. I found Sarah Hill who was as keen as ever even though she had never done an event of this distance ever before.

A year has gone by and ME OH MY have we grown as a team! Coming back to do this anniversary race with Sarah, we had some news goals to conquer. The main one being –  an hour off our previous time and if we both felt good, possibly a new course record.

Navworld -Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill
Navworld - TransBaviaan

Days before the race, Sarah and I were watching the weather report. Cold, wet, wind and the state of the roads could affect the day substantially. The conditions were looking rather cold to be honest and I was very concerned about this. Doing a marathon in cold conditions is hard but such an ultra event will need serious planning and support.

It was minus 2 the night before the race and weather was not predicted to warm up much before the start either. We packed our support boxes full of every item of cycling clothing that we owned, plastic bags, rubber gloves and backup torches…. Luckily to need hardly anything. The most superb race conditions were delivered on the day which resulted in a flawless race for Sarah and myself. Having grown from strength to strength over the past year and getting to know each other on the bike and off the bike has made us a very strong team.

We smashed our goal and the record by over an hour. This could not have been done if we did not work together like we did, if we did not communicate about how we were both feeling throughout the race, if we did not set small goals within our big goals, if we did not keep each other in a good mental space, if we did not have fun even when times/climbs were tough. This race does not allow solo entrants for a reason. It is a race that builds bonds between race partners, a race that tests your limits, a race that will make you proud of your achievements and a race that you will come back to do the minute you get off your saddle on the finish line.

Navworld - TransBaviaan

Thanks to all who did support us on this race and of course thanks to a teamie who is willing to conquer anything with VUMA and enthusiasm by my side. The highlight of my race was the lady who thought we were sisters on the finish line ….HA ha! For reals ….. from airport pickup to airport drop off was yet another incredible journey that has grown me more as a person. #PerfectPartner #WorkAsOne #HeartIsFull #LookingForwardToManyMore #Onwards&Upwards

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