Farmer Glen on KAP sani2c: “Adventure is at its core”

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Events, Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Bike Racing News, Featured, KAP sani2c 2024, Press Releases, Sports

KAP sani2c stems from adventure. Glen Haw will always be a farmer, it’s not only what he does, but it’s who he is. But since 2005 when he suggested a mountain bike race as a fundraiser for his children’s school, he has also become a trail builder, an event organiser, and a connector of communities, and the rest of the Haw family has joined him in this passion. sani2c grew exponentially to become the largest stage race in the country, with three different versions of the three days of riding taking place over five days. At its core, says Glen, is adventure.

“The fact that we are a point-to-point event makes the adventure element very strong – you start below the Sani Pass and travel 265 kms through rural KwaZulu-Natal, all the way down to the sea at Scottburgh. Not only does the scenery and vegetation change many times a day, but you feel the temperature shift from the crisp morning air of the southern Drakensberg, to the warmth of the Indian Ocean air.”

Kap Sani2C
PC: Kelvin Trautman

This journey comes together on incredible handcrafted (literally) trails that pass through 44 different farms, game reserves and rural villages, with each farmer, and each of the 13 communities along the route, all playing an important role to make it happen. After twenty years, sani2c is deeply embedded in the fabric of these communities, and riders not only spend special bonding time with the friends or family they ride with, but they meet and engage with so many people along the way who are working together to make it all possible.  

Kap Sani2C

“I do think this too makes sani2c unique, and forms part of why people come back again and again to do the ride – by the time you cross that finish line on the golf course in Scottburgh, you have felt the warm embrace of people who are grateful to have you there, many of whom have grown up with sani2c as one of the highlights of their year. Giving you an unforgettable experience is their focus, not only that for that week but for many months of preparation ahead of time.”

Kap Sani2C

The unique business model whereby the execution of the event is managed, sees 23 schools and other organisations as beneficiaries of the sani2c Community Development Trust. They supply volunteers to provide all the services, from work at the race villages doing the catering, to shuttles for riders’ vehicles, bike washing, seconding/feed tables, and other behind-the-scenes logistical tasks. 

Kap Sani2C

Every stretch of trail along the route has a group of community members responsible for that section, and this creates employment not only during the event but for months beforehand, clearing and shaping the trails. While the sani2c route is very well established, a lot of maintenance is needed each year to ensure the renowned trails meet the high expectations of new and returning riders. It is not uncommon to find someone with a rake or a leaf blower on the trails at 2am during Race week, just be sure all is in order after the Trail and Adventure riders have passed through. The dedication and passion of the Haws has filtered into the communities, and is tangible for riders journeying from the mountains to the sea. 

Kap Sani2C

Glen says the sense of adventure at sani2c is matched only by the feeling of pure joy and freedom that you experience on a really special trail. “You feel that thrill solidly for three days at sani2c, especially on the descents, like on Day 2’s breathtaking drop into the Umkomaas Valley. If you had visited the area twenty years ago you would never have guessed it was possible to pass through.” 

The plan to get from Sani to the sea led Glen to find a team as determined as he was to hack, excavate and craft the path, and twenty years of doing this every year has created this iconic ride. 

Kap Sani2C

“I’d say the other unique thing about sani2c is that we have been able to build permanent race villages with extraordinary facilities – riders don’t generally queue for showers or for meals. With the event growing in popularity right from the start and the demand for extra events, we have had the resources to build hundreds of permanent showers and toilets, a dining area that can seat over 1000 people for a meal, and more. All this has led to further employment opportunities and upskilling in building and tiling work.” 

This work continues to fulfil the sani2c vision of empowering communities through employment opportunities, skills development and the provision of infrastructure. 

“While we have had thousands of people ride sani2c, and many of them come back multiple times, we love to share this journey, and seeing the sheer joy of a first time rider gives me such pleasure every year,” says Glen. 

Kap Sani2C

The Trail event is from Tuesday 23 April to Thursday 25th, and is the e-bike race, with a podium and leader jerseys. E-bikes will not be allowed to enter the Race or Adventure events.

The sold-out Adventure starts on Wednesday 24th April at Glencairn, finishing on Friday 26th in Scottburgh. Riders still considering entering are encouraged to enter the Trail, or The Race that starts on Thursday 25th and ends on Saturday 27th April. The new Prologue for the pro riders looking to accumulate UCI points, is happening on 24 April. 

The sani2c after party will be at the Scottburgh Golf Club on the evening of Saturday 27th April, with a 7pm prize giving where the winner of a Subaru Crosstrek vehicle will be announced. One lucky 2024 rider will be driving home in style!

Visit www.sani2c.co.za for more information and to enter the KAP sani2c Trail or Race. 

Follow KAP sani2c on social media:

Kap Sani2C

For more on KAP sani2c, click here.

Event Coverage