The road to the ABSA Cape Epic

Hi, my name is Thana Groenewald and I’m 18 years old! I’m riding the ABSA Cape Epic with my dad, Willem, and I’ll be one of the youngest people to ever participate. We’ll be riding as Team Peaceforce, as we are sponsored by Peaceforce Security Group. You can follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using #CapeEpicJournal.

My dad has always dreamed of us participating in the Cape Epic together, but he says he never dreamed that it would happen so quickly.

We have always been active and adventurous; from sky diving to triathlon training and now taking on the Epic as Team Peaceforce.

Over the past weekend – the last one before we start our adventure – we were up early for a ride at 05:30. The minimum was 100KM to test the legs as the first 3 stages of the 2019 edition are going to be BRUTAL.

Team Peaceforce

We are privileged to be supported and sponsored by Peaceforce Security Group. As Team Peaceforce, we’ll be riding in ABSA kit for the first and last stage and in Peaceforce kit for the rest of the race. Peaceforce embodies all the values that drive this team: Family. Endurance. Perseverance. Commitment. Health.

Training

Preparing for the Epic has been quite something – A typical training week involves waking up at 05:00 for 1:15 to 1:30 hours structured riding, either on the trainer or on the road. Mondays are rest days and we ride every other day. We go for 3-hour rides on Saturdays and 2-hour hill repeats on Sundays. On average, we ride 11 hours per week.

 

Both of us cross-train for Triathlons, where afternoon sessions alternate between 10km runs or 1 to 2km swim (I do longer distances as per my training programme, but my dad doesn’t use a programme.)

 

After our training session this weekend, it really started to sink in and I am very excited and positive about what’s to come. I am definitely nervous for the Epic, but I know that I have a very experienced partner who will take good care of me.

 

It’s been difficult to adapt to Varsity life in a residence and still find time to train. For the last few weeks, I have been training on a wahoo KICKR in my room at Curlitzia – the female medical residence at the University of Pretoria – and I come home on the weekends to train with my dad.

Looking ahead

The Epic will definitely be one of the hardest and toughest things I will have ever had to do but I am ready and excited to take on the challenge. I believe that a positive mindset will get us through it and the goal for this Epic is merely to enjoy it and finish it. I am just honoured and so privileged to have this opportunity and I plan on enjoying every moment – from the good to absolute rock bottom.

I can’t wait to take all in!

This week, I will take it easy and rest for 2 or 3 days to ensure I am fully rested and ready for the Prologue and the rest of the race. We are in good spirits and feel blessed to share this experience and we’re looking forward to it!

Team Peaceforce would like to send a special shout-out to Anton Smal at Cycle House – He is taking care of our bikes on route to Cape Town and will deliver them to the start on Sunday!

Follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using #CapeEpicJournal.

Here’s the full Cape Epic schedule:

Prologue
Sunday, 17 March
Start: University of Cape Town
End: University of Cape Town
21km
600m climbing

Stage 1
Monday, 18 March
Start: Hermanus High School
End: Hermanus High School
112km
2700m climbing

Stage 2
Tuesday, 19 March
Start: Hermanus High School
End: Oak Valley Estate
86km
2250m climbing

Stage 3
Wednesday, 20 March
Start: Oak Valley Estate
End: Oak Valley Estate
103km
2800m climbing

Stage 4
Thursday, 21 March
Start: Oak Valley Estate
End: Oak Valley Estate
43km
1000m climbing

Stage 5
Friday, 22 March
Start: Oak Valley
End: University of Stellenbosch Sports
100km
2850m climbing

Stage 6
Saturday, 23 March
Start: University of Stellenbosch Sports Field
End: University of Stellenbosch Sports Field
89km
2650m climbing

Stage 7
Sunday, 24 March
Start: University of Stellenbosch Sports Field
End: Val de Vie Estate
70km
1800m climbing