Momentum Medical Scheme, Biogen and Dryland Event Management have taken the difficult decision to postpone the twelfth edition of the Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen. The seven-day stage race and it’s four-day adventure sister event were scheduled to take place in early September 2020. Due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, that will unfortunately no longer be possible.
Affectionately known as the Race With Soul it has built a reputation for tough but beautiful stages and exceptional hospitality. As Dryland Event Management’s flagship race it epitomizes the company’s ethos. The race was founded on strong ties to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo communities. Its race villages have frequently been hosted by local schools which have brought in invaluable funds for institutions like Van Kervel School in particular. The school for skills, in George, has hosted the race in each of its eleven editions thus far and was preparing to do so once more in 2020.
“The decision to postpone the Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen was particularly tough, as we are all-too-aware of the role it plays in the financial planning of our local partners” reflected Dryland’s Henco Rademeyer. “While the money the event brings in, for the schools, in particular, is very important; the completion of the academic year is clearly more so. Above and beyond the health and financial issues at stake, we had to keep in mind the disruption that setting up for and hosting stages of the race would cause the schools.”
“Having built strong relationships with our host venues, service providers and sponsors over the years we are heartened by their support in this difficult time” Rademeyer added. “We’d like to thank Momentum Medical Scheme and Biogen in particular for their input and understanding.”
“We need to be considerate to our riders,” noted Carel Bosman, Lead: Events and Sponsorships of Momentum Metropolitan. “They need time to alter travel, accommodation and training arrangements. At this time, with infection rates still rising, we cannot predict what the lockdown level regulation will be by September, therefore it is only right that we make the call now. While we as Momentum Medical Scheme, and myself personally, were looking forward to the 2020 Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen, we all need to adhere to the regulations and accept the realities that Covid19 has brought about.”
“We at Biogen understand and share the disappointment of the Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen riders,” said Biogen General Manager, Brandon Fairweather. “Let’s be honest, it is unfortunate to have to postpone the event. Personally, I feel that as outdoorsmen and women we need events like the Race With Soul, especially at the moment. But looking ahead we will have to do our best to remain positive. If anything, this will just increase the enthusiasm for the 2021 edition. I’m sure it’s going to be a massive mountain biking party; celebrating singletracks, the scenery of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo and the exceptional hospitality we have come to know and love from the race. Biogen will be thinking of ways to make next year’s event even more special for the riders.”
“Creating special events and memories is always the intention of Dryland Event Management. We were optimistic that we would be able to do so at the 2020 Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen” confessed Rademeyer. “But little-by-little the reality of the situation has eroded that optimism. Like all our race entrants, we have been eagerly watching the news for any positive signs or clarity to cling to. The uncertainty created by the Covid19 pandemic has made planning for the near future nearly impossible, especially in an events space.”
“For international entrants in particular we understand how stressful this has been” Rademeyer stated. “Making an announcement now, 11 weeks out from the scheduled start, provides them with time to make the necessary arrangements. We trust that riders who were planning on visiting South Africa for the race will be able to cancel or defer their flight and accommodation bookings to 2021. The country’s tourism sector in general and the Southern Cape’s, in particular, will need international visitors next year, so we hope that you will rather defer your trip than cancel it completely.”
“As Dryland Event Management we will continue to work to provide as much certainty as possible to our riders” Rademeyer promised. “The team will be in touch with each 2020 Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen entrant individually, over the coming days, to discuss the best solution for each rider. Most importantly though, we hope to see every 2020 entrant at a future edition of the Race With Soul.”