Victoria Harcy and Matthew Caraway when they got engaged. Photo provided.
For the last 50 years, the Motul Roof of Africa, hailed the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’, has attracted the top racing talent in this sport. Fans gather to watch the world’s enduro giants take on three days of relentless pounding as they navigate through Lesotho’s technical terrain.
Behind this admirable group of high profile athletes, however, is an army of amateur riders who have undertaken an extraordinary challenge.
There are fathers who enter this event with their sons, weekend warriors who have plucked up the courage to attempt the Bronze route, and aspiring riders pushing for a top 20 Gold finish.
This year there is a Bronze entry that stands out in particular. Meet the newly-wed pair of Victoria Harcy and Matthew Caraway, who will make a trip from America to do the Roof of Africa for their honeymoon.
The couple met in 2012 at Moab, a famous riding area in Utah. While they were both 8 hours away from home, they soon discovered that they lived just 5 minutes apart.
Riders take on the rugged Lesotho terrain at the 2017 Motul Roof of Africa. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za
They hit it off pretty quickly after that, and some of their first dates were spent exploring local areas to ride. Five years later, it comes as no surprise to discover that the proposal also involved dirt bikes:
“Matthew took us to a new location, and we rode our bikes to the top of a mountain that overlooked one of the largest lakes in America. I stood admiring the view, and he kept reaching for my hand to take off my gloves. I had no idea what he was doing, and I refused to take them off! He finally took a different approach and showed me the ring instead,” enthused Harcy.
While the couple have since competed in renowned events like the AMA Extreme Enduro, RevLimiter Extreme, and Silver Mountain Xtreme Challenge – entering an enduro race abroad was on the top of their bucket list.
“One night we sat down and listed all of the international races that interested us. It needed to be both technically challenging and a multi-day event. The fact that the Roof required GPS navigation added an extra level of difficulty that we wanted to take on! Very few races in the US use that format. Africa is a pretty exotic and exciting location, and very few people we know have raced the Roof before!” said Caraway.
While most newly-weds opt for a seaside getaway for their honeymoon, taking on the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ is certainly an interesting choice. For a couple who thrive off setting big goals and overcoming challenges, however, entering the Motul Roof of Africa was quite fitting.
A parting shot from Harcy as she prepares for the Lesotho adventure:
“Racing an event of this calibre for our honeymoon sets the tone for our marriage and our general life philosophy. This trip marks the shift of chapters in our lives – it’s a new beginning! What better way to kick that off than at the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’?”