Kirsten Landman speak on racing Dakar Rally 2020

Kirsten Landman held herself to high expectations to compete and finish all 12 Stages in Dakar Rally 2020, January 5th to 17th.

Kirsten Landman Opening Ceremony Dakar Rally 2020 Photo Credit: ASO

Over past 2 and half year period, Kirsten and support personal planned, put preparations in place to face racing Dakar Rally 2020 knowing all race experiences over Kirsten’s professional 9 year period lent exact amount of physical, technical and mental skills required to race such grueling 12 day Rally.

When it came down to actual Opening Stage 1 leaving Jeddah to Al Wajh, Kirsten had first taste of what was to come. Long stretches of terrain to race, navigate through dust, remain mental focus for extreme periods of time, and the speed.

It was fast, one that neither Kirsten felt comfortable with, nor embraced. Coming from Hard Enduro career, Kirsten held fear of racing above her limit, knowing in back of mind fear of crashing was not that too distant memory from her serious accident in 2013.

Through-out early Stages 1-4 Kirsten allowed own sense of comfort zone to expand, to feel tuned into racing at 130kms as opposed to the 110kms in earlier Stages. Level playing field or not, Kirsten did not buy into continual positioning for top rankings, did not loose focus that main objective was to finish.

And, finish she did. Maintaining consistency, sustaining self-belief that racing smart and safe was far better odds to cross the finish line than extend herself far beyond feeling of safe-zone- one which bought the Rookie home in 55th place.

Kirsten Landman Stage 7 Photo Credit: ASO

And to honour what Kirsten set out to achieve, to not let down all the people whose dedication of time, work, effort and money had enabled her to race the Dakar in the first place- was box ticked.

I caught up with Kirsten via audio interview, asking her about the expereince racing Dakar Rally 2020. Kirsten speaks with pure honestly on what racing Dakar was like, her fears of racing at speed, and sheer emotional relief that she fulfilled hearts desire to make it safely to the finish. My special thanks to Kirsten for her time.

Words: Sharon Cox.




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