Change a Life Academy
9 Dec 2015
Written by: Kyle Gilham
Munga victory a life changing feat for RMB Change a Life’s ‘Ngwenya’ Ntuli
Durban – John Ntuli’s historic victory at the inaugural 1070km The Munga
mountain bike race from Bloemfontein to Wellington on Saturday has
reaffirmed his status as one of the finest endurance athletes in the
country and further underlining a core ethos behind the RMB Change a Life
Gracious and humble by nature, Ntuli’s uncanny knack of adapting into a
relentless, determined competitor when put under race conditions has
fittingly seen the man from KZN’s Valley of a Thousand Hills develop the
nickname of ‘Ngwenya’ – isiZulu for crocodile.
And call on every ounce of crocodile instinct he had within him Ntuli was
forced to do throughout the non-stop, unsupported event as he redefined his
mental and physical boundaries en route to claiming victory in 69 hours and
“John's Zulu nickname is Ngwenya, the Crocodile, because he is resilient,
tough & powerful. How apt that name now is,” tweeted academy founder and
Dusi Canoe Marathon legend Martin Dreyer.
Having successfully fought off not only his fellow dogged challengers but
treacherous conditions and the event’s mind-numbing distance as well, the
result goes to the very top of the pile of achievements for the already
highly decorated competitor.
“I’ve won a couple of races in my career but this is the biggest race I
have ever won!” said Ntuli.
“The Munga was such a difficult race because it was so long, it was very
hot and dusty, we had to deal with headwinds and side winds all the time
and we were in pain throughout, so it really is a rewarding result for me!”
With victories in the latest Triple Challenge and recent Maqhwe Mfula
multisport races as well having successfully tackled the 369km Desert Dash
in Namibia in 2014, Ntuli drew confidence from both his training and
strategy prior to Wednesday, 2 December’s race start.
All the preparation in the world couldn’t have readied Ntuli for what he
was in for though, with the overall experience one that will stay with the
RMB Change a Life star forever.
“My hands, my arms and my bum were so sore!
“I tried everything to get rid of the pain; I took my arm warmers off – and
then my shirt as well – and sat on them but nothing helped!
“With about 270km to go I seriously thought about pulling out because I was
so sore but eventually I told myself that everyone else was going through
the same pain as I was and so I just had to keep going.
“I stood and sat, stood and sat all the way to the finish line!
“When I finished I was so happy but so tired that when I got off my bike I
was just swaying backwards and forwards,” explained Ntuli.
Lying second behind Chris van Zyl after the first twenty-four hours of
racing, Ntuli went through the halfway point in the lead with Tim Deane
after thirty and a half hours.
Later relegated to second place, Ntuli surged past race leader Grant Usher
whilst heading through the Breede River Valley late on Friday night and
ultimately crossed the finish line at Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate
in the Cape Winelands first, over four hours ahead of his nearest chaser.
The achievement signifies both Ntuli’s remarkable individual talent and the
impact Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy has had on the lives of its
“Martin (Dreyer) is so experienced and has given me such great advice and
support that really helped me win this race and the Change a Life Academy
has changed so much in my life as well and I’m very grateful to him for
that!” said Ntuli categorically.
WhatsApp message from John Ntuli to Martin Dreyer after winning The
“Hey Mart!!! What a good experience in life! You’re the star and like a
father in my life, who else cannot sleep because someone is racing? I would
like to give you a big respect as a father, a friend and a great motivator
for my life. Thanks again Mart for what you’ve done, keep up the good work
for good people!!”
download the hi-resolution pic
Change a Life
Academy logo - jpeg
RMB Change a Life MTB Academy
ace John Ntuli claimed a career defining win at the recent 1070km The Munga
mountain bike race from Bloemfontein to Wellington.
John Ntuli's win in the recent
1070km The Munga mountain bike race from Bloemfontein to Wellington further
underlined the ethos of Martin Dreyer's RMB Change a Life MTB Academy.
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