In the previous edition Guy set a new course record, completing the 315km race in 12 hours 14 minutes and 36 seconds. The second-placed finisher crossed the line more than four hours behind him.
“Every race you go to to do your best. If the conditions are right and I’m feeling good in the second half I would love to look at resetting the record and going under 12 hours.
“This will be the second time I’m competing in it. Last year I won it, setting a new record.”
Guy said last year the conditions made the race one of the hardest ultra marathons he had done.
“Several seasoned competitors agreed on this as well. The wind and heat made it unbelievably difficult.
“So any strategy has to take these two components into account. I will look at carrying more water this year and using the wind to my advantage and style of riding.”
The 47-year-old added that over the years the strategy around ultra events had changed.
“It used to be a race of attrition. However these days the first 100km are more like a road race with numerous attacks in the beginning and a very high average pace, whittling the field down in the first quarter to a handful of athletes.
“So, based on that, nutrition – especially in that first 100km – needs to be spot on. If you don’t get that right you cannot keep the momentum going for the 215km thereafter.”
The Benoni local said he liked to race under really hard environmental conditions, like heat and wind, so he felt it would be great to have a repeat of last year’s conditions.
“It’s also a flatter course, which means more consistency in pedalling and not a lot of downhills for recovery, which suits me better.
“The only thing I would change about the route is the very tough technical section about 10km away from the halfway point, which is repeated on the way out. It’s mentally draining and takes a lot out of you, but that’s all part of the race.”
Guy says there are a few highlights that keep him coming back to the event.
“Firstly, it’s a well organised event run by a great family team that’s willing to listen to advice from its entrants and try and accommodate them.
“Secondly, it’s a tough event. If you want to test yourself, this is the event to do it at.”
He says in endurance racing you don’t race against anyone but yourself, and just to finish is a massive accomplishment.
“It’s not about your time versus someone else’s. It’s a personal challenge between yourself and your doubts. Overcoming them is a greater achievement than a sub-three-hour 947 Cycle Challenge.
“You learn a lot about yourself out there when it starts getting tough. The hardest for me is the physical pain, the numb hands, the sore back, the saddle sores.
“It’s not about the legs hurting, it’s about the body aching. But these are easily overcome by the stunning terrain that we are allowed to cycle through in these types of events. We have a beautiful country and to be able to see massive stretches of it on a bike is just fantastic.”
Guy, who rides for Team PainCave, said there were a few other major races he would be tackling this year.
“I’ll be doing the 36ONE MTB Challenge in April, then going back to the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan [1 800km] in August and The Rhino Run [2 750km from Plett to Windhoek] in November.”