The preparation and sheer determination of the riders that rode this year's Race around Rwanda (RaR) have us thinking that they are somewhat superhuman, physically and mentally. This ultra-endurance, self-supported, single-stage event took riders around the unforgettable Rwandan countryside. 

In February 2023, MASON rider Lisa, rode the 1,000km route with 17,000 metres of elevation gain, to cross the finish line on her MASON Bokeh, as the 2nd female finisher.

 ...It was a rollercoaster ride, but a beautiful one nonetheless...

Take it away Lisa…

The Race around Rwanda was just amazing: breathtaking views, tough gravel sections, smoothest tarmac you can imagine, and meeting riders and locals (never seen so many people in one place, saying hi a thousand times per day). 

Every day was an unforgettable experience. It was a good example of what surprises unsupported ultras can have in store, for what started out as an adventure rather than a race, suddenly changed, after realising there was an opportunity to place.

The Bokeh made this ride super fun, especially on the gravel downhills. I had a blast and discovered that I'm actually not too bad at it. Doing an ultra in Rwanda can be challenging at times since you have nearly no private sphere, the country is densely populated and as a westerner, with a fancy bike, you will get some stares. Most people were unbelievably kind though and I was more than once overwhelmed with gratitude to be riding in such unique places.

It's probably the most intense way to explore a country - not like a tourist in a car, having a safe space, but fully putting yourself out there, on a bike, meeting people without any barrier between yourself and them, covered in dust and good hopes. 

I worked my way toward the podium and I never stopped believing that it was possible, even when things got rough and messy. I raced to the finish, crossing the line as the second woman finisher.

We’ll be sharing more of Lisa’s story soon. 

For now, we’ll leave you with MASON rider, Josh Ibbett who back in 2022, rode the RaR and worked closely with the Rwandan Beyond Project, you can catch up on his story here.