MTB veteran raises awareness for accident survivor
Durban - This year's KAP Sani2C MTB race from Underberg to Scottburgh will be a family affair for the Camp family from Hillcrest - with Martin Camp, 55, and his three sons, Nicholas, Matthew and Timothy, all taking part in the 265km ride.
A major event on the South African MTB calendar, the KAP Sani2C will now take place from December 2 to 5, after being postponed in May because of Covid-19.
For Martin, who was paralysed but recovered, after breaking his neck and back during a ride five years ago in the Valley of 1000 Hills, it will also be a special race because he and his boys will be raising awareness for fellow MTB cyclist from Durban, Jason Hall, who was also paralysed in an MTB accident a couple of years ago.
"I was lucky in that I was never moved after my fall and I was medivaced out. I had broken my neck and back and was paralysed from the waist down. After a massive operation, I got feeling back in my legs a few weeks later.
“Jason Hall is a colleague and a friend and I can understand what it's like to lose your movement," said Martin this week.
Martin, who has KZN colours for downhill racing and will be participating in the race for a fifth time, added his sons "had been born on wheels".
Timothy, who will join his dad and brothers for the first time as they set off from Underberg next week, has KZN colours for downhill racing. So too does Nicholas, 23, who also represented South Africa at the last world cup downhill event in Pietermaritzburg and will take part in the KAP Sani2C for the third time, while it will be 20-year-old Matthew's second outing.
"I've always put the boys on two wheels, it's always been good fun and they have loved it.
"I believe good sportsmen become good in business. We are quite a competitive family and it's a tremendous way of living. With mountain biking you get out to be among the forests and rivers, but you also get that adrenalin.
"You often only get to do the Sani2C later in life, but we will all be doing it together.
"I've always let my boys race in the big stuff, which can be dangerous, but the closer you get to the edge, the better you have to perform," said Martin, adding that having worked across the globe, the KAP Sani2C is a unique event in MTB, with spectacular scenery.
"There are no other staged events anywhere else in the world like this race and everyone in mountain biking knows you have to do the Sani2C at least once in your lifetime," he said.
Speaking on behalf of Jason Hall, Andrea van Munster said: "Jason would like to thank the Camp family for raising awareness and support during this year’s race, as well as to all his friends and family for the continued help, support and generosity since the accident."
The race is the largest 3-day staged race in the country and one of the oldest, having started in 2005 as a fundraiser for a local farm school.
As it's popularity grew, extra versions of the race were introduced which follow the same route but start on different days. This year it will be limited to two versions with limited numbers of participants because of the pandemic: the Race (December 3-5) and the Adventure (December 2-4)
Founder, Ixopo dairy farmer, Glen Haw, said: "Covid-19 is still very much with us and to this end we will take extra measures to ensure strict hygiene protocols are in place and that social distancing is encouraged.”
“One of the big motivators for ensuring that a 2020 edition takes place is that the communities along our route are a core part of the event, and 23 schools are supported through the provision of services at the event.
“These communities have come to depend on this income and by holding it, we will continue this support. We also wanted to provide a Sani2C for our loyal supporters who want to get out and ride bikes after a very tough year," said Haw.
“Over our 16-year history we have developed strong relationships, and many riders come back year after year. Parents ‘passing down’ the experience has become a special part of the race – last year we had three generations with Arthur Duncan, aged 84, his son-in-law and two grandsons doing Sani2C together.," he said.
The Independent on Saturday