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Africa Alive with the sound of pedalling

It was a beautiful, sunny day on Sunday, 20 November 2016, as cyclists hit the road for the 20th edition of the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.  Wycliffe entered a team called Africa Alive, to raise funds for the Tonga Bible Translation Project in Zimbabwe.

The team started the race at 08h41, filled with energy and excitement. “As we start the 94.7 km challenge today”, said Karen Floor, CEO of Wycliffe, at the start line, “we think of the Tonga translators who are in a race every day. They ride on rough, dusty roads for long distances, because they are committed to having the Bible in their own heart language. Our team rides for them today.”

The Africa Alive team had 27 riders, all of whom completed the race. The fastest time for the day was by Craig Botha, 02:54.

Marvin Oliver, team captain and Board member of Wycliffe, completed the course not once, but twice. He had set himself the challenging goal to demonstrate his personal passion for the cause. Marvin finished the first lap in 03:03 and the second lap in 04:06. Now that’s going the extra mile.

Many individual records were broken by team members on the day. One of the cyclists, Garth Coppin completed his 19th Cycle Challenge race. He said it made a difference being part of the Africa Alive team. The team spirit and knowing he was riding for such a good cause helped him achieve his personal best of 03:37.

Wycliffe’s giant Bible Man mascot was spotted at the 75km rest station, where team supporters were cheering all 947 cyclists on, and handing out refreshments.

The Wycliffe rest station was an oasis, not only for Africa Alive riders, but also for other cyclists who needed to stretch their legs and fill water bottles. Africa Alive team members said the moral support and energy boost was much appreciated for the final leg of the gruelling race.

Bible Man, ridden by Sipho Twala, crossed the finish line, cheered by supporters and fellow team members, Brandon Evans and Leo Bird. Experienced 947 cyclists will know the last 25km includes 4 difficult ascents.

All funds raised by the Africa Alive team effort are in support of the Tonga Bible Translation Project. Wycliffe extends heartfelt thanks to the cyclists, supporters, volunteers and sponsors who helped to make the race day a roaring success.