ABOUT THE CEDER
Starting and finishing at the iconic Cederberg Oasis (the home of the smiley face), The Ceder offers a thrilling weekend of unique experiences, fierce racing, and demanding challenges.
Picturesque snow greeted riders in 2021. 2022 brought about crisp and clear conditions. 2023 sees predictions stirring in circles with the weather not only a factor but brand new races to the event requiring fresh strategies.
Three hours from Cape Town, The Ceder takes place deep in the Cederberg, a mountainous region that boasts some of the most diverse fauna, flora, and wildlife one might find. Entering the range, it’s impossible not to be drawn in by the wild, raw, beauty of the towering mountains and twisted rock formations.
The races across the weekend cover gravel, tar, technical terrain, and pure mountain trail with a combination of steep climbs, slow-burner ascents, sharp descents, and flowy fast downhills across all courses.
ABOUT THE CEDERBERG
The Cederberg was named after the endangered Clanwilliam Cedar, a tree endemic to the mountain range.
What makes the Cederberg particularly special is its isolation and how undeveloped it remains, allowing pure, untouched nature to contrast against a backdrop of daily distractions.
In 1973, this was threatened by a spell of severe exploitation that saw significant amounts of cedar wood, rooibos tea, buchu and rockwood bark harvested unsustainably. The cedar tree faced the risk of extinction, leading to the launch of a conservancy project that actively supports the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree and individual reserves in the area.
The history of the Cederberg is deeply entrenched within the rock too, with famous mountain sites including Wolfberg Arch, Wolfberg Cracks, Tafelberg, Rocklands, and Sneeuberg. The sites attract hikers, climbers, and mountaineers from across the world. Stadsaal Caves (10km from Cederberg Oasis) is just one example of several that contain San Rock art telling stories of old.
ABOUT THE REASON FOR THE RACE
The Why Behind The Ceder, by Race Director and The Ceder Founder Raoul Goetze
If I had to think about it, the Ceder was created out of a deep sense of nostalgia and interest in self-discovery through endurance challenges. My background and history as a founder of Endless Daze Music Festival, combined with the discovery of trail running and then cycling, made this event inevitable.
As a child, I spent weekends exploring the landscapes of the Cederberg, usually camping with the family.
Those moments left an indelible mark on my soul, creating a connection that would persist throughout my life. The Cederberg has become a sanctuary for me.
My interest and love for endurance sports and the allure of challenging oneself in harsh conditions played a significant role in shaping The Ceder. I believe that it is in moments of adversity that we truly discover our inner strength and resilience. The Cederberg, with its rugged terrain and untamed beauty, provides the perfect backdrop for participants to push their limits and embrace the thrill of testing their mettle.
Over the years, The Ceder has grown beyond just a weekend challenge amongst friends. It has become a gathering of riders and runners from all corners and walks of life, with one goal; to conquer a challenge.
I am humbled by the enthusiasm and determination displayed by everyone, to conquer the challenges that have set for themselves.
To all those who have been a part of The Ceder, I extend my heartfelt gratitude. Your presence and unwavering support have transformed this event into a cherished tradition. Let us continue to celebrate the spirit of adventure, paying homage to the nostalgia that inspired it all, and inspiring others to embark on their own unforgettable journeys in the remarkable Cederberg.