OCC a resounding success despite the odds

When the 17th edition of the Outeniqua Cycle Challenge was placed in doubt earlier this year, members of the George community pulled together to stage an exceptional event, thereby securing the future of our beloved OCC.

Opening Ceremony – Photos: Desmond Scholtz

In total, 463 persons living with a disability took part on Saturday 14 September 2019, 150 of them competitive athletes.

OCC 2019 – Photos: Peter Mason

Participants from as young as the 12-year-old Zach Rauch-Legward to an 86-year-old grandmother from all over South as well as from Zimbabwe and Ghana lined up for this wonderful occasion, the only event of its kind in Africa.

For the past 16 years these inspirational people had come together under the banner, “we are one.”  To show the world that being confined to a wheelchair is not a death sentence, but merely another way to live.

“It’s wonderful to see these athletes in action,” said race director, Alewijn Dippenaar.

The overall winner of this year’s the main event, the 42.2 km marathon, was Johan van Rensburg from Benoni, competing in his first OCC and first marathon exclusively for disabled athletes.

“I believe people must come together.  It’s where you meet new people.  It’s where people who have recently been involved in accidents can begin to compete.  I would recommend that people come to the OCC.  It’s worthwhile and the atmosphere is awesome,” said a jubilant van Rensburg in a post-race interview.

Rauch-Legward from Pretoria was the overall winner of the 10 km race for the 5th time. 

“When you have a disability like me, my motto is that there is always a way around your disability, no matter what.  If you really want to do something, you can do it.  Always believe that.”

Dippenaar added that about 35 new sponsors had come on board, most notably the main sponsor the George Municipality without whose contribution the event would not have been possible.

Encouraged by the support of the local community, the race organisers have announced that the 2020 OCC will revert back to its original time slot in February.

FULL LIST OF WINNERS (All results available at Great Time)

Group/Category – Gold Winners Name & Surname Time
42km RC: Female Open T53/54 Margret Bangajena 03.01.54
42km RC: Male Open T53/54 Raphael Botsyo 01.53.47
42km HC: Sen Male Open Quad Andre Koen 02.45.28
42km HC: Sen Male Open Para Johan Van Rensburg 01.20.02
21km HC: Sen Male Open Para Brunhild Strauss 01.11.06
21km RC: Male Open T53/54 Peter West 00.51.36
21km RC: Sen Male Open T51/52 Denver John 04.00.20
10km OC: Sen Male Open Para Andre Rens 00.51.33
10km HC: Sen Female Open Para Marelize Brink 01.17.53
10km HC: Sen Male Open Para Xolani Chauke 00.40.45
10km HC: Jun Male Open Para Zach Rauch-Legward 00.35.29
10km BC: Sen Female Open Para Samantha Hendricks 00.51.35
10km BC: Sen Male Open Quad Jared Mcintyre 00.43.06
10km BC: Sen Male Open Para Mngedi Zenani 00.42.57
10km BC: Jun Male Open Para Dali Mnisi 01.43.50
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