Kefalos Get Over It

Inspired to take on any mountain

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Paul Quinn who completed the Attakwas Extreme on Saturday the 21st of August. Paul was sponsored by KEFALOS and he wore his branded riding gear whilst conquering the challenging terrain. Here is an excerpt of our conversation:

Paul, please tell us more about this event:

It is known as “the hell of the south” the toughest single day mountain bike race in Africa and there is a similar event in Europe called the “hell of the north”. It is a solo challenge.

What is the distance covered?

The ride was a bit longer than usual due to Covid-19 factors and protocols and totalled 135km with 3,000m climbing.

What is the duration of this race?

Cut off time was 11 hours and any competitors who were not able to complete within that time were collected by a sweeper team.

What was the terrain like?

The race started in the Karoo town of Oudsthoorn, crossing the the Outeniqua mountain range and ending at Great Brak River, covering everything from rugged mountain terrain, gravel, rolling hills and slopes right up to the coast.

Why is the race called the Attakwas?

This is the name of the ox wagon mountain pass that was utilised from circa 1690 to 1820 and saw some 4,500 wagons pass through the wagon toll station. To get up some of the steeper sections of the pass, 30 additional oxen would be spanned in to pull the wagon. The oxen would be poked with a sharp stick at the same time to them to pull at the same time to get over some obstacles!

Tell us a little more about yourself:

I am 65 years old and have been mountain biking extensively since properly taking up the sport in Zimbabwe (where I worked from 2011 to 2016). Due to the bushy moustache I used to have and my mountain climbing ability I got the nickname of “Asterix the mountain goat”. I am one of two people who have climbed a challenging mountain in the Matobo Hills three times without putting a foot down.

What is your advice to anyone who wants to pursue a dream or take on a challenge?

The mountain (one’s dream of doing something momentous) always seems more intimidating from afar than when you are on it. Upon completion the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment makes you glad you followed your dream.

In conclusion, what is your favourite quote or nugget of truth?

“It’s just a hill, get over it!” 😁




Read more about the race: