In a year of several highs and lows, South African enduro racer Kirsten Landman has made the difficult decision to end her 2024 Dakar Rally campaign for personal reasons. Landman will focus on ensuring that she is in peak physical and mental fitness for her Dakar 2025 campaign.’
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m disappointed that I’m not competing in Dakar but also relieved because it’s the right decision for me at the right time. I can feel my body needs this rest mentally and physically. And you know, sitting on the sidelines also makes me hungry to focus on recovering and coming back even stronger!”
Landman’s decision comes at a time when many professional athletes are taking time to focus on their mental health. A British Journal of Sports Medicine Report in 2019 found that the prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders in current elite athletes is around 34% for anxiety/depression.
“Mental health directly impacts your physical health and that has a knock-on effect. I’ve had a challenging couple of years personally with not only the challenges of being a professional athlete but also the death of my mom and then the pulmonary embolism. I’ve noticed the effect of this on my motivation to train and my performance.”
“Then there are physical effects of the pulmonary embolism – I’ve had to adapt my training and recovery. I’ve also started working with a sports psychologist, which has given me so much perspective by having unbiased input that helped me decide that I won’t compete in Dakar next year.”
But as a typical athlete, Landman isn’t going to stop competing. She’ll instead be training for the 2024 Cape Epic and her Hard Enduro season while ensuring her build-up to Dakar 2025 is pristine.
To close off the year, Landman will compete in Roof of Africa between 29 Nov and 2 Dec.
“While I’ve enjoyed the hard enduro season thus far, I know I could have done better. I’m really excited to be back in Lesotho and pushing hard to see where I can step it up after Sea to Sky.”
Original Copy: All Hail Communications & Marketing, with editing by gsport
Photo Caption: Enduro racer Kirsten Landman has made the difficult decision to end her 2024 Dakar Rally campaign for mental health reasons, but will compete in December’s Roof of Africa in Lesotho with a focus on an optimal build-up to Dakar 2025. Image: Supplied