Monday, April 26, 2010

Choices Were Made

Having to work on Freedom Day meant that my choice for sport for the long weekend was going to be limited to the events on Saturday. Being into multi sport meant that I could make my choice first thing on Saturday morning between the George Marathons, and the off road events at Chandelier in Oudtshoorn. Before the sun rose on Saturday morning I made up my mind to do the 21 km trail run in the Chandeleir Game Reserve. I needed however to juggle some logistics in order to get my better half Dael out of bed and to the start of the mountain bike at Chandelier as well as pick up one of the guys who works for me and get him to the start of the Outeniqua half marathon in George.

Chandeleir is a great place for a trail run and mountain bike event and the harsh rocky Karoo terrain seemed a bit tamer in the early morning coolness that greeted us. The run started at a relatively tame pace and there was a group of 5 of us that headed up the first climb together. Trail runner supreme Cas Van Aaarden then had enough of the small talk and headed of into the distance and stayed there. Tatum Prins and I chatted a bit longer until the hill took its toll even on her endless babble of words. The route comprised of technical jeep track that just prevented you from looking up at the scenery run finished just before the heat of the day kicked in I came in in 5th place in a time of 1hr42 with the winners in on 1hr25 so all in all a good day in the Karoo.

The real story for me of the weekend unravelled itself when we got back to Wilderness and the finish of the Marathon and Half Marathon to pick up Slegazi and Besch from the Crags. These two had put in really great performances with Slegazi coming off a knee injury and running a 1hr30 half marathon and Besch coming 7th in the Marathon with a time of 2hr 47.That is all great but consider this: Besch left home at 2:ooam to hitch a lift to the start in George a distance of 140km. He only got a lift at 5:oo am. got to the start with 15 minutes to spare.What did he have for breakfast he shrugged his shoulders when I asked this question. Slegazi got a lift with me at 5:30am but also ran on an empty stomach (I gave him a bar and a Gu to run with).

The picture below is outside the Wimpy in Sedgefield where we stopped and bought the guys a Burger,chips and Coke ( The Cokes at the finish were R8-00 and to expensive for the guys!!!)

Aren't we spoiled for choice????

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spoilt for Choice by Lettuce

I received an email this week with a list of things we might complain about but in actual fact we should be grateful for. These two were particularly relevant to us .......



With these two things in mind it brings to the fact that we here on the Garden Route are spoilt for choice

1) Training venues : We have highlighted these in the CX Press with our "Where are they?" competition and this weeks shows another "gem" of a trail run . See the pics below

2)Training partners.The Garden Route has become know as the capital of Adventure Racers in the country and there is a group that has raced all over the world and now live on the Garden Route.

3) A variety of sports on the go at any time. Take for example this weekend 23 April . If you are not going to do the Iron Man in PE then you will have to choose between the following:

Mountain Bike Races at Chandelier Game Farm near Oudtshoorn from 10 to 55 km in length

Two Trail runs at Chandelier a 10 and 21 km

The Outeniqua Marathon and Half marathon which runs through the George forests and historic "Seven Passes " road.

And then the Homtini Mountain Bike race to finish off the weekend

And if none of that bites you can head of to one of the many hikes and mountain bike routes or lagoons and have some fun with friends and family.

Have a GREAT WEEKEND and make the most of where we live.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tsitsikamma mountain Bike Race (By Netski and Lettuce)

What fun to finally be able to cycle in some mud again a very rare pleasure in this part of the woods? I'm sure the holiday makers who came to enjoy the Tsitsikamma mnt bike race thought otherwise but the locals surely must have loved it. The race consisted of 3 different distances 25km, 40km and a 70km. I was very ambitions and decided to tackle the 70km and to defend my title from last year. Well lets just say that my legs and lower back finally gave in probably thinking that I'm going to punish them again by doing another Epic, so from the 30km mark they let me know that there was no way they where prepared to do a 8 day race again. The route consisted of mainly dirt roads meandering thru pine forest a bit of indigenous, nice muddy farm roads as well as a lovely section along the rugged coast line. Needless to say I was not able to defend the title and came in second but to my defense only 5 min behind the leading lady. It was good fun and a well organized race with lots of great people. Thank you to Pennypinchers for their kind sponsorship. See all next year. Netski

From the guys side the pace was so fast at the start that Kevin Evans disappeared of the radar in the first bit of single track and he stayed ahead to win the 70km race in a time of 2 hours and 30min. I stuck to my guns of trying to ride as hard as I could until I blew and then carry on to the finish. This plan was derailed quite a few times by bike “admin” ,firstly a seat post that kept sliding down and then the normal stuff that goes with riding in mud and cow sh***t. In the end I had a good ride and really enjoyed the route with a good mix of roads, paths and jeep track and just enough down hill to let you forget about the 995 meters of climbing.

This event will put Storms River on the map and deserves all the support that it gets from the local community. The other two girls in the car with us Nicol (Netski’s sister ) was the third lady in the 25km race and Dael my better half was fourth ( I did suggest she should have gone harder in the end sprint).Well done!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Pennypinchers Easter Surfski Race 2010 by James Stewart

Above Some of the waves at Robberg Point

Sunday the 4th of April ,Plettenberg Bay, slightly overcast with a flat oily looking sea is what greeted Sean Gannon (owner Pennys Plett ) at Central Beach. We had entered the doubles race after being involved with the running of the singles race on Saturday. It looked like it was going to be a bit of a flat slog around the Robberg Point and to the Island on the Wild side of Robberg of about 20km.

After a quick TV interview in which I did say that we would have to see what the Wild Side offered we set off across the Bay riding some slip and saving some energy (Just as well ).

After about 25 minutes we got to the Point of Robberg and were Greeted by some rather large swells . The adrenaline kicked in and we spent the next half an hour beating some big well and huge chop bouncing of the rocks.

We turned and now had the wind which had picked up from behind as well as the big swell to push us home. We picked up some awesome runs and one cannot describe the feeling of surfing down the face of a 3 m ocean swell knowing that if you tip out there is deep water below you and it has some of those big fish lurking.The exhilaration lasted for about 20 minutes before we tucked back into the Bay and ground our way to the finish.

The weekend was a great success and with the top surf ski paddlers in the country taking part we just need to convince the locals and others to come and experience the thrill of some deep ocean paddling around Robberg Point
Below Locals Sean Gannon,Dave Visser,Andrew Beverage and James Stewart

The Absa Cape Epic 2010 by Jeannette Walder

How can one beat 8 days of awesome mnt biking, single track to die for, hardcore jeep track climbs, fast district roads and technical down hills that even the main boys where walking. I was lucky enough to be invited by Nikki booyens another crazy adv racing chick from red ants who got an entry 6 weeks before epic and a most awesome generous sponsor from Linden cycles in jhb.
The 1st stage was a whopping 117km with 2190m of climbing and the famous railway line section. It was awesome standing in the starting chute with 1200 other excited and nervous cyclist wondering what is ahead of us. The Linden ladies teams’ tactic was to ease into the race find our legs and try our best on 6 weeks of training but deep down inside both of us wanted to compete and make the top 5. It took us 7hr37 10th in the ladies and 277 overall, not exactly the racing snakes we hoped to be.
Stage 2 was both of our favourite 90km with 70km just single track with only 1625m of climbing, all I can say to that is AWESOME we styled that one 8th in ladies and 234 overall clearly the men where a bit scared of the single track.

The 3rd stage was hard it was hot and a big climb 2280m over 115km, somehow we managed to claim that one even thou it felt we where going slow we came in 7th ladies and 226 overall with this result we though maybe our adv racing is coming in handy while we get stronger the other girls where going to start fading.
Stage 4 was only 86km with 1640m of climbing from Ceres to Worcester our new race village. Our thought of getting stronger backed fired and we come in 9th Ladies and 248th.
Stage 5 the time trail was good fun especially going down the starting ramp, the only team mountain bike stage race time trial ramp in the world!!!. It was hard with 860m of climbing in only 27km but the single track down hills where technical and I’m proud to say the only time my foot touched the ground was going up a steep climb where my pedal hit a rock and I uncleated. 308 overall and again 8th ladies we where pretty chuffed with that result not being racing snakes but rather diesel engine.
Stage 6 was the route to our next race village in oak valley, which included a stunning section of single track at the end of an exhausting 123km with 2240m stage.
Stage 7 being at oakvally had amazing single track and being one of the shorter stages only 99km with 2160km as well as being the 2nd last stage we hung in for dear life 9th in ladies and 292 overall and as one can see the lack of training was starting to show and our secret hopes of top 5 dwindled very quickly when we realised the epic is a epic and even thou we would never ever give up it was hard and the other girls where just stronger but we justified it that they had probably a year to prepare for this race.
The last stage was beautiful with a hard but stunning climb, walking the old wagon trail and only being 65km saw us come in 8th in the ladies and 254 overall.

The support and spectators along the whole route where amazing always smiling and encouraging. The race village was 5 star hot showers your own tent food that any restaurant would be jealous of and the epic crew always smiling and always helpful. It’s a race I would do again and again it’s a team effort, which makes it even more special.
I want to thank Nikki for choosing me to race with her. I couldn’t have wished for a better partner To Linden Cycles for making it possible to race by helping us with a very generous sponsor. My sister who without any questions and jealousy supported me financially as well as giving us free massages every day. To my school Greenwood who without their support I would have not been able to do it. To my Ma who stands beside me thru all my crazy ideas. My boytije Colin who shouted for me, encouraged me, and made me feel like I won the Epic trophy. To Rocket Compression Garments thanks for the Compression Tights which I slept in every night to help ease away the aches and pains, I sure they made a difference ,I was to scared to leave them off just in case I felt worse in the morning! To Rudolf from Mule Bar who helped me sort out my bike during epic. From Plettenberg Bay Wayne at Off The Hook for the donation of a dinner to raffle off to raise some funds and the Bike Shop guys (Leon, Tim, Grant and the Rasta man) thanks a ton.