Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Wrap up

Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team 2013

The year of 2013 is done and dusted. As a Team we have had a real roller coaster of a year- highs of great results, mother hood for one team member and the happy faces of people finishing our events and as always lows, races that did not go our way, injuries and disappointments. All these things go into the bank of experience and this is one of our biggest assets as a Team. We know what needs to be done when and how.

Summary of 2013

January 2013:

 Attakwas Extreme Mountain Bike Race 135km. Jeff flies the flag and does well in his 5th Attakwas MTB Race considered the toughest single day MTB ride in the country. Training began in earnest for Expedition Africa 2013. Garth takes part in the annual Surfers Marathon in East London and knocks a few minutes off his PB after getting a seeded start which is a big help in this race.

February 2013:

 The month flew past with the Garden Route members (James, Netski and Jeff training in the Knysna Forests and preparing the trails at Cairnbrogie for the Easter Trail Run. We all meet at the Allermans Kraal Dam in the Free State for the Double Moon Adventure Race (250km). After a really hot and interesting race we finish a good second behind the Red Ants.

March/April 2013: March becomes a busy month with everyone training and getting into organizing the inaugural Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend scheduled to be part of the Discovery Plett Easter Games.

Good Friday 2013: The first Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend. The Team organizes three events as part of the Discovery Plett Easter Games. The Cairnbrogie Easter Trail Run starts the weekend off. The weather is challenging to say the least with rain and wind keeping a few people at home. . Of these the kids with special needs from the Sterreweg Day Care Centre had their own route around the farm yard and past the claves. An amazing experience for them all. We still have a great morning with about 200 runners pitching up in all shapes and sizes. As the last runner crossed the line the Team set about setting up the route for the first Mountain Bike Night relay to be held at Cairnbrogie. 50 cyclists braved the single track route and had a ball. We expect huge growth in this event. We donated R4000-00 to the Robberg Coastal Corridor Conservation effort from the proceeds of the Cairnbrogie runs and ride.  We also had a great community input with cakes, cool drinks and home bakes from the Griekwa Ladies Organization.

Saturday morning saw us setting up for the Pennypinchers Easter Surf ski Challenge at Central Beach in Plettenberg Bay. The wind was pumping and the sea was on its head but the paddlers headed out and Dawid Mocke and Michelle Eray claimed honors in a tough lap course around the bay. From this we donate R2000-00 to the NSRI for their help on the day.

The weekend was a huge success despite the weather not playing along for any of the events. 2014 looks to be bigger and better.


May 2013

Expedition Africa. 500km expedition Adventure Race. We travelled Mount Aux Sources for our third Expedition Africa. We went in with a new girl due to stalwart Jeannette Wylie being pregnant and unable to take part. The route, the teams present, everything about the race was going to be tough, challenging and a once in a life time experience. For the Team it proved to be one of our most challenging races as we never really got going and were of the race pace very early on and never made up that time later on. It was frustrating but I feel we all learned valuable lessons on the way and have built more into the experience bank. We finished a disappointing 16th but finished as a full team and that was one of our objectives.

June 2013

Jeff took on the Comrades and James was supposed to join him. James decided that it was too soon after Expedition Africa (two weeks) so did not go. Jeff was forced to bail in the hottest and toughest Comrades to date. Our replacement girl Helena Ferreira had a good Comrades despite only having two weeks to recover.

July 2013

Jeff takes part in the Knysna Oyster Festival big 5 competition (taking part in 5 of the festival events in 8 days). James ran the Full Marathon and joined Adrian Saffy who was on a Cancer Fund Raising run and supported him taking pictures of his 20 press ups every 5km. James takes part in the X-Lakes with junior cyclist Amy Williams, they finish second in the mixed pairs category. At the end of July James and Jeff travel to Lady Grey for the Winter Wartrail. 250km staged Adventure Race. After taking on icy windy conditions James finishes 5th and Jeff 7th. Good results all round

September 2013

The Team organizes its first Nite Run in the Harkerville Forest... The event attracts a field of 63 runners who once again braved the high winds and forecasted rain to attend. The run was a huge success and we plan to have a Nite Series in 2014.

October 2013

Eden Duo (165km multisport. Garth and James both picked up injuries in September and early October so it was up to Jeff to carry the flag. He teamed up with Knysna based Svelka Sharpe . James seconds the two as they have a tough day around George and Wilderness

November 2013 With Garth and James still injured Jeff headed to the Sky Run. Once again the weather gods turned it on and the race had to be called off after 65km as the conditions on the mountain tops become out of control. Jeff was comfortable up till then but all the athletes will have that thought of what if I had carried on.

December 2013

Kurland Summer Trail. We attract 100 Runners. GU and Pennypinchers brand the finish area. Donate R1500-00 to mind the Gap Foundation (Crags based charity) and employ members of the Kurland Neighborhood watch as marshals. The 21km new route is won by top trail runner Kane Riley.

Jeannette gives birth to a daughter Amber on the 9th of December.

The Blog.

The blog continues to be well supported and the face book page allows us to do live posting to the web from our phones while we are at a race. The blog now tops over 14700 views despite it not being as active as the Face Book Page. The Face Book page has become our main source of media and has got a great following and during the Easter weekend we had thousands of page views as we updated information for the races etc.


With the whole Team being together over the weekend of the Kurland Trail Run we were able to work out our main objectives for 2014 and work out the best possible way of achieving these goals .

From an event point of view it was decided that we would all continue to compete in as many local races as we can in terms of trail running, mountain biking and canoeing as well as any multi sport events that may occur. (Most of these dates and calendars are not finalized for 2014 yet).

The main focus of the Team for the first 6 months of this year will be The Expedition Africa 500km Race to be held in June 2014. In the Transkei .James, Jeff, Garth have decided to 100 % commit themselves to this race and have in fact already entered.




 The reasons are as follows

1)      The race is now sanctioned by the World Adventure Race Series and will attract quite a few overseas teams ,giving us the opportunity to compete against these teams.

2)      The race will be held in Transkei an area that we have a big advantage with due to local knowledge and language use

3)      It is the biggest race in the country and all the top South African Teams will be there

4)      It is a true adventure race and that is what we do

5)      We have got unfinished business from last years race

6)      We have an opportunity to race against numerous overseas teams

With this in mind we have plotted a route that will include the local trail runs and mountain bike races and the Double Moon 250km Adventure Race as build up. With Jeanette still not in the running we have been we have got some great potential girls in the mix and are looking forward to that challenge. The second six months of the year will include the Trans Baavians, The Eden Duo and the Salomon Sky Run as key events.

Event Organizing

This extra arrow to our quiver is turning out to be really successful. This last year we hosted 2 trail runs with a total of just under 400 runners taking part. The aim was to host a family fun filled day with a choice of routes for everyone to enjoy, young and old. The addition of a Niter Run was great to give people a glimpse of what our sport is about. This year we will once again organize 7 events. Over Easter we will host the Cairnbrogie Easter Trail Run, mountain bike relay and Easter Surf ski Challenge and expect huge growth from this. We also plan to have a series of three Nite Runs on the Garden Route. At the end of the year we will once again hold the Kurland Summer Trail Run

These events have three objectives

1)      To create an awareness and promote our sponsors using, branding ,media and a quality event

2)      To raise some funds for a local charity close to the event venue

3)      To promote the Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team brand

4)      To introduce and show case the world of adventure type sports to the Garden Route which is already becoming known as the Adventure Sport Capital of South Africa.


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