On your Mark... Broady wins DJ Run

By Duncan Guy Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

Share this article:

Durban - It was a case of third time lucky for Randburg mechanical engineer Mark Broady who won the recent 50th DJ Run, a rally in which classic motorbikes - all pre-1937 models - performed their annual race between Durban and Johannesburg.

Last weekend’s event, being a specially commemorative one, went in the opposite direction from the more established route, starting at Heidelberg Museum, Gauteng, and ending at the Shongweni Equestrian Centre.

Broady finished 40th in 2018 and sixth last year.

The 1935 Velocette MAC he rode is the same motorcycle on which his father, Barry, had been running a close second in the inaugural commemorative DJ Run in 1970 when a timing gear stripped and he had to retire 20km from the finish at City Deep in Joburg.

Mark Broady at the start with the Velocette his father rode between 1970 and 1976.

Barry Broady was also well known for winning the inaugural Roof of Africa in 1969, following that with another win in 1970, both times riding a Honda.

The original event the DJ Run honours was a race between the two cities, held every year from 1913 to 1936. Authorities eventually banned it because of safety concerns.

Of the 106 riders who entered this year’s rally, 73 finished.

The oldest of the vehicles to finish was a centenarian ABC Sopwith - a rare British motorcycle brand that produced bikes only between 1914 and 1923 - belonging to Peter Gillespie. The “youngest” was 84 years old.

Samantha Anderson rode the oldest motorcycle, a 
1918 Harley Davidson. Picture: Ian Groat

Gillespie’s 1920 machine, which he restored himself, came in 52nd place. Second was Ralph Pitchford on a 1936 BSA Blue Star. He is an experienced off-road racer and Dakar competitor. He won the DJ Run in 2016. Third was Keegan Ward on a 1936 Norton.

This year’s event had the challenges of a heavy squall of rain and hail which passed over the route on Saturday afternoon and affected the performance of several competitors, including drowning the electrics of some of the motorcycles.

The secondary roads that make up most of the route were rutted and potholed, while many speed humps also put a heavy strain on riders and their machines. On the second day, they were in the saddle for almost 11 hours.

Barry Broady, Mark’s father, with the Velocette he rode on the 1970 DJ Run.

Samantha Anderson, who rode a 1918 Harley Davidson, which was the oldest motorcycle entered in the event, had to retire near the finish with a lack of spark for the 1000cc V-twin engine.

The results are calculated on arrival times at various checkpoints on the route as riders try to stick closely to set speeds, and being able to choose to run in one of three speed groups: 50, 60 or 70km/* . The arrival times at checkpoints were logged electronically by an instrument carried by the rider and downloaded at the end of each day. The rider with the lowest time penalty was the winner.

The annual international DJ Run is held under the auspices of the Vintage and Veteran Club of SA.

The Independent on Saturday

Share this article: