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Excerpt from Freedom Rider: 10 000km by Mountain Bike across South Africa by Kevin Davie

Freedom RiderThe Mail & Guardian has published an extract from Freedom Rider: 10 000km by Mountain Bike across South Africa by Kevin Davie. In the extract, Davie lists the people who he admires when it comes to endurance sports, and discusses why they do what they do. He talks about finding out why the ability to run, or endure extreme physical conditions, was actually a basic building block of humanity:

Some years ago I read about The Great Dance, Craig and Damon ­Foster’s documentary, which filmed Karoha, a Kalahari Bushman, as he ran down his prey. I tried to track it down, and made enquiries on and off, but without success. Then I found it on YouTube and was fascinated by this exploration into another age. I have run 11 Comrades marathons and wondered whether I could claim to have run down that many kudus.

In the meantime, Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run popularised the idea that the ability to run, sometimes covering great distances over many hours of exertion, is one of the basic building blocks of humanity. McDougall writes that distance running gave us the ability to run down our prey; it ensured that we both survived and thrived. “We were born to run; we were born because we run.”

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