Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 2011 and the rest of the year

The Knysna Oyster Festival

Just over seven weeks passed very quickly after the joy of Expedition Africa 2011 and the Knysna Oyster festival was upon us. Jeff was the ambassador here and entered the Big 5 competition where he would take part in the Mountain Bike, Trail run, Xterra and the half Marathon as well as the Road Bike Race. This is a big ask doing 5 events in a week with only Monday ,Wednesday and Friday as recovery days by the end of the week all 100 odd participants were worn out as they lined up at the start of the Knysna Forest Half marathon.

Jeannette, Garth and I have entered the 235km Tran’s Baaviaans Mountain Bike Race in early August so we decided to do a bit more riding over the festival and entered the Mountain Bike race on the first weekend. The first 50 km of the ride were great. The last 25 km were a mud and sludge feast as we rode on well used wet logging roads. Gears, brakes and chains became clogged and a spirit of self preservation prevailed as one crawled to the finish line.

Mud and blood to the finish line at the Knysna Mountain Bike Ride. Jeff finished well up in the field while Jeannette and I turned some of the Plett Club 100 heads.

The Feather Bed Trail run on Tuesday saw Jeannette sweeping the course on all three races so she completed a good 45km of off road running training on the day. Jeff ran the night run in a reasonable time of 1hr 17 min.

Thursday is Xterra Day during the festival and Jeff lined up with Xterra world Champ Conrad Scholtz and local Mountain biking hero Kevin Evans. This was a two horse race which saw Scholtz run away from Evans on the second run. Jeff enjoyed the ride but took strain on the ride. Maybe his friendly extra 30km from the road ride were catching up on him.During the week we were also able to catch up with Rebbecca,Mark,Rohan and Leigh from GU . It was great to catch up and also chat about some new stuff that they have got. The greatest thing I saw was the new effervescent energy tablet that you just "pop" in to a bottle and it dissolves and gives you all you need to keep going. No more sticky powders at the water tables.Another point that was discussed was the "Kick Butt" product that is a sucky ball of protien and gruaine made to keep you awake and alert. We have put in a big order for Garth and Netski to keep the Sleep Monster away at Trans Baviaans.
The day of the now legendary Half Marathon saw Plettenberg Bay pinch a bit of the action and host a second mountain biking event. The Tour De Plett with a similar format to the Festival weekends riding saw Saturday host a great Mountain Bike ride from Wittedrift and then a road ride on Sunday. I did the 75 km Mountain Bike on the Saturday on a brand new route. It was awesome. I had a great ride and piped some of the riders who had beaten me in Knysna and came in 23rd overall. Jeff was busy at the Half Marathon and ran a good 1hr 37 to finish his Big Five week in 13th place overall.

What’s next???

The next five months have now unfolded and we have a plan again after putting everything into the 500km Race we are refreshed and re focused for the next leg of the year.

August. We will all be riding the Trans Baavians Mountain Bike Race. It is 235km non stop mountain bike race through Rhino and Buffalo country. With a very late start a lot of the route is ridden in the dark and we look forward to that.

September is the Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Race and we will be well represented there. There is also the now well know Hitec Otter Trail Run and the team will all be involved there either running, or with sweeping the route or some safety aspect. Look out for something special in a report after that.

October sees the Eden Duo Adventure Race in George again and the Team has always done well there so the pressure to perform will be on the shoulders of the full team.

November will see the team head to the Witteberg Mountains again to complete the 105km long Sky Run. We are all really looking forward to this adventure at altitude. We all learnt a lot last year and hopefully we will fix what went wrong last year and all have great runs.

There are also a few short adventure races which are popping onto the calendar and we will be taking part in some of those that are closer to home.

And last but not least we will be organizing one if not two more trail runs just to fill up the calendar.