Two races completed in one week

2019-03-26 06:01
Simiso Manatha.

Simiso Manatha.

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“As I faced a 10km hill climb, it was like doing Chappies (Chapmans Peak) twice in 42°C, and as always when I face pain, I start singing struggle songs for power from my fallen ancestors,” Simiso Manatha told People’ Post while taking us through his journey of jumping straight from Cape Town Cycle Tour to another race.

Manatha from Maitland and a student at Tsiba Business School in Pinelands, completed an Eroica South Africa challenge six days after taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which he says put a strain on his body.

This event took place on Saturday 16 March from the Eroica Festival venue.

The annual race challenges cyclists to ride on three vintage bike gravel routes in different slots depending on their preferred distances. The 29-year-old participated in a 135km race and was one of the last four cyclists to reach the finishing line despite the odds being against him.

Manatha says things got bad after 80km. At the time he was last in the race. But singing struggle songs kept him going, enduring pain.Doing it for others

His commitment to a scholarship fund-raiser also kept him going. “Quitting is not part of my vocabulary,” he says. He adds that his bike’s name Avanti, Italian meaning for forward, kept him going. “At about 95km into the race I started getting muscle cramps and I couldn’t even move. A team car came offering me a lift, but I said no thanks and I waited until the cramps boiled down and forward I went.” Manatha says the cramps kept coming back and he was consistently advised to give up but his answer remained the same hoping things would get better.

However, he says the last 35km was the longest stretch for him. “I got in last but only about four people completed that race and I was one of them. There are no words to describe the feeling of completing two races in one week.”

Completing the race was a proof that where there is a will there is always a way.

And thus, he wanted to inspire and give hope to those who are longing for education but cannot afford it.

“As living proof of this, I would like to afford the young people of my community the same opportunity of education and help them break the cycle of poverty. I’m a symbol for young people who have dreams and the fear that it might never come true.”

Manatha had taken on the challenge with some of his cycling members, all in their continuous #CycleForChange attempt to raise funds for their campus scholarship.

His team member and a co-founder of the Tsiba Cycling Club Siphosethu Mejini, from Langa, adds that 135km race is not easy because it is on a gravel road with a steel bike.

It was actually suppose to be a special outing for the team.

“Eroica classic is a very social ride. Our purpose is to raise funds for future students but if people want to test their fitness by racing the 135km they are welcome.”

Tsiba spokesperson Clotilde Angelucci commended the students for riding a total of 244km only a few days apart, not to clock their personal best but to raise funds for scholarships “for future business leaders who don’t have the means to pursue a Bachelor Degree at Tsiba.”

“They not only raised R100 000 for scholarships, but the team co-founder won the Eroica SA race in Montagu this past weekend.”

“As I faced a 10km hill climb, it was like doing Chappies (Chapmans Peak) twice in 42°C, and as always when I face pain, I start singing struggle songs for power from my fallen ancestors,” Simiso Manatha told People’ Post while taking us through his journey of jumping straight from Cape Town Cycle Tour to another race.

Manatha from Maitland and a student at Tsiba Business School in Pinelands, completed an Eroica South Africa challenge six days after taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which he says put a strain on his body. This event took place on Saturday 16 March from the Eroica Festival venue.

The annual race challenges cyclists to ride on three vintage bike gravel routes in different slots depending on their preferred distances. The 29-year-old participated in a 135km race and was one of the last four cyclists to reach the finishing line despite the odds being against him.

Manatha says things got bad after 80km. At the time he was last in the race. But singing struggle songs kept him going, enduring pain.Doing it for others

His commitment to a scholarship fund-raiser also kept him going. “Quitting is not part of my vocabulary,” he says. He adds that his bike’s name Avanti, Italian meaning for forward, kept him going. “At about 95km into the race I started getting muscle cramps and I couldn’t even move. A team car came offering me a lift, but I said no thanks and I waited until the cramps boiled down and forward I went.”

Manatha says the cramps kept coming back and he was consistently advised to give up but his answer remained the same hoping things would get better.

However, he says the last 35km was the longest stretch for him. “I got in last but only about four people completed that race and I was one of them. There are no words to describe the feeling of completing two races in one week.”

Completing the race was a proof that where there is a will there is always a way.

And thus, he wanted to inspire and give hope to those who are longing for education but cannot afford it.“As living proof of this, I would like to afford the young people of my community the same opportunity of education and help them break the cycle of poverty. I’m a symbol for young people who have dreams and the fear that it might never come true.”

Manatha had taken on the challenge with some of his cycling members, all in their continuous #CycleForChange attempt to raise funds for their campus scholarship.

His team member and a co-founder of the Tsiba Cycling Club Siphosethu Mejini, from Langa, adds that 135km race is not easy because it is on a gravel road with a steel bike.

It was actually suppose to be a special outing for the team. “Eroica classic is a very social ride. Our purpose is to raise funds for future students but if people want to test their fitness by racing the 135km they are welcome.”

Tsiba spokesperson Clotilde Angelucci commended the students for riding a total of 244km only a few days apart, not to clock their personal best but to raise funds for scholarships “for future business leaders who don’t have the means to pursue a Bachelor Degree at Tsiba.They not only raised R100 000 for scholarships, but the team co-founder won the Eroica SA race in Montagu this past weekend.”

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