Sean Tait shares his summer plans.

I’ve decided to get a blog going and keep everybody up to date on the goings-on with myself from a training and racing point of view. I look forward to it being a means for me to communicate with fellow athletes and share training advice too, so here goes…
So as the coaching is starting to settle down a bit leading into the festive season, I’ve found myself with some time to think…What are my own personal goals for 2016? What races am I going to target? Should I be brave and go big, or should I sink into the crowd and stay within myself?
I was really eyeing up the idea of doing Durban Ironman 70.3, as I have family there, and it’s Durban, and it’s a fast flat 70.3, something I’ve never done. Although, with the race’s future on an apparent knife edge, it seems unrealistic to bank on it happening. So that leaves me with the idea of perhaps doing IronmanSA – Ja, that’s the full thing, where you do insane distances in three different disciplines one after the other…about that going big thing ūüėź It makes sense to me. I don’t feel intimidate by any of the three disciplines and I feel that I have now aged enough, and most importantly, I am back to a good state of health. So that’s the plan, and I’m keen to give Xterra Grabouw a shot on the way, that’ll get me mixing up the training on the trails.
With that in mind, what will I be doing over the festive season? Eating too much food, sure, but I’m going to need to bank some training. I spent the majority of winter just running, leading up to CT Marathon, so over December the focus will be on swimming and cycling. I need to get comfy with sitting on my TT bike, in the TT position for hours on end. I need to fine tune my nutrition. I got my nutrition wrong at DC – I need to use more gels and bars and a little less of the baby potatoes. I miss being a cyclist to a degree, or at least I miss where my cycling was when I only had to think about riding a bike. Then, I will look to increase my running from the beginning of January.¬†So that’s me in a nutshell over the holidays. What are your goals? Any advice for me as I head into the unknown?
‘Til next time

Westcoast Beach Run; 11 ‚Äď 13 December 2015

Author mtbguy    Category Beach running     Tags

So, here are the details for the brave few wishing to spend 3 days on the beach, albeit without the cossies and cocktails!



Friday, 11 December at 07h00: leave from Koeberg Power Station parking lot. Run along the beach all the way to Silwerstroomstrand. Total distance: + 32km.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 7.00.58 PM


Saturday, 12 December at 07h00: Run from Grotto Bay beach to Yzerfontien beach. Mostly beach all the way. + 24km.

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Sunday, 13 December at 07h00: Yzerfontein beach to Tsaarsbank, 16 mile beach, West coast National Park, Langebaan. + 30 km. This is 100% beach! There is a picnic area with braai facilities and toilets here. A braai with ice cold refreshments sound like a plan!

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 7.02.11 PM




Your attire: old trail shoes (they will get wet), hat (that also covers your neck if you burn easily), water & food ( there is NO access to water or food en route), GoPro (if you have one) , GPS ( if you have one).

We will book accommodation for Friday night and Saturday night in Yzerfontein. We will then shuttle between there and the various start / finish points.

Your lift back on Sunday will need to enter the WC National Park to pick you up. From Cape Town, it is closer to the bottom gate. See the map to Tsaarsbank here: WCNP map

Anticipated costs:

Participation fee: NIL

Accommodation: +R 400 per person per night in a shared self catering venue.

Food: + R 100 per person per day: breakfast and dinner.

Contribution towards petrol and WC National Park access fees.

If you are keen, please email us ASAP in order for us to book the accommodation:


Trailrunning web sites

Are you always looking for information on local and international trail running events?
How about information on shoes, headlamps, hydration packs and other gear in general?
Here’s a number of web sites that I use often and which may be of help to you.
Have another that I did not list? Please comment below and I’ll update the list.

Two great motivators too….


sean conway












Totalsports Knysna Xterra feedback

xt 1I arrived in Knysna on Sunday afternoon, 5 July and was surprised how dry and pleasant the weather was. On Monday I took part in the ASWD cross country league, the Featherbed 15km trail run on Tuesday and the Knysna Marathon Club’s 10 km street run on Wednesday. Throughout this time there had been a few drops here and there and some cooler weather but really nothing like I have experienced in Knysna before.

That changed when the rain came down hard on Wednesday evening and again for a short while on Thursday morning. What was this going to do to the single track trail run sections as well as the mountain bike trail out at Pezula, was all I could think.

Like most other trail runners and mountain bikers ( I guess) I dont mind riding or running in or through water and mud. I can handle running and riding while it rains too. It is having to start an event in the rain that ain’t really that much fun.

Well, how blessed we were with excellent riding and running weather on the day. Cool, at times overcast with a few drops here and there but no rain when the event commenced and no rain throughout my time out there doing the full Xterra.

This was my 4th event at Pezula and every time I have such fun and always feel that it is over too soon. The registration on the day, goodie bag, start area, coffee station, transition area, track out there and  overall vibe was one of great excitement and enjoyment.

The first 3km trail run always gets a bit crowded at the first turn from the concrete road onto the single track, causing a huge bottleneck with no choice but to walk (unless of course you are in the very front!)

Knowing this from previous years I took it easy, aware that there would be plenty of other opportunities to catch up ( should I indeed wish to do so.)

The transition from run to bike went smoothly and it was great to be back on a bike again ( have not done much of that lately).

xt 2

Sure, there was mud! It was however not as much as I had experienced in previous events and it was above all, rideable! Once again the ride was finished before I was ready to end it. Fun all the way.

The last leg, the 7km trail run, is the best part of the lot. It starts with a nice slow ( for me) and steep uphill on the concrete road to the top where it joins the entrance to the Pezula estate. A fast downhill section to a welcome water table awaits before you join a muddy single track after another section of concrete path. The ultimate fun and way too short section is what I refer to as the canopy section. Ultimate trail running through trees on a very narrow single track over roots and dodging low hanging branches. Give me a whole day of that, please!

Back to the concrete track for the last 2km or so and I was home! A nice medal, big smiles and a cup of REHIDRAT Sport awaited me at the finish. All and all, a great experience.

xterra partyYet, it was not the end. All full Xterra participants were invited to a Hawaiian after party on Thursday evening at Cruise Cafe, Knysna. Windhoek light sponsored every one with 2 beers and tasty food was served throughout the evening. All on the house.

The big announcement of the evening was the fact that Fedhealth will be the lead sponsor of Xterra come 2016.

xterra party 2I even walked away with one mighty powerful headlamp courtesy of Extreme Lights as one of the lucky draw prizes of the evening.



Knysna Oyster Festival: 2015 edition


I have been visiting Knysna on and off during Oyster festival week for many years now. In the initial years always for just one event: the mountain bike event on the first Saturday of the Oyster festival. I think my first one could’ve been in 1994. Since then it has been hit and miss. Every HIT has been a most enjoyable experience and every MISS a sad memory…

Four years ago I entered the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula for the first time, my first XTERRA ever, and loved it. That same year I also particiapted in my first Salomon Featherbed trail run and enjoyed the experience very much.

In 2013 I thought I’d give the¬†BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE a go and did not know that one can have so much fun ( in such miserable weather ) in one week. Sadly 2014 was a miss again.

Not so 2015! This year I decided to order my own list of events from the big event menu. It turns out that I will be doing 4 such events between Monday 6 July and Thursday 9 July. Yip, an event a day keeps the doctor away ( or something like that!)

Here’s what I have selected from the great Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival menu:



The Athletics SWD & KMC Cross Country League 5: If you’ve never run a Cross Country (XC) event, you may want to try this one. It starts at 10h00 ( what a great time while on holiday) and consists of 5 diferent races between 10h00 and 13h00. Runners participate according to theiur age category with the maximum distance being 10km for senior men and women. I am in for an 8km run. It is not quite trail running but definitely not road. “Off-road” would be my best description.

See here for details:



The Salomon Featherbed Trail Runs provide much enjoyment. Sure, when you look at the entry fee you may feel that you can do a whole lot beter for that fee. If you take into consideration that you run through a private nature reserve, not otherwise accessible, that you enjoy a cruise across the lagoon on one of the Featherbed ferries and that besides a great run, you are rewarded with a meal at the end, it seems worthwhile to enter.

There are three time slots to choose from ( morning, lunch time and afternoon) and 2 different route options. I’ve opted for the long run ( 15km Coelacanth) and the midday run. I’ll enjoy a hearty¬†Chef‚Äôs beef lasagne with a side salad at Cruise Cafe, where the run ends. I may of course have some refreshing beverage to go along with my meal. See here for all the info¬†:



Some road running on Wednesday to let the trail shoes dry out! The Athletics SWD Knysna Marathon Club 5km & 10km run. Registration takes place at 13:00 at the Knysna Festival Grounds (Knysna High School)
5km ‚Äď R10 pp
10km ‚Äď R40 pp
Temp license ‚Äď R35 pp

The 5km run starts at 14h00 and the 10km at 17h30. No early Wednesday morning for me!

Go here for an online entry:




My favourite event of the week: the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula¬†presented by Rehidrat Sport. This is the only XTERRA event I’ve done to date and that’s only because it¬†does not contain a water discipline. Well, that depends on the rains the weeks and days before the event, I guess. I suppose what they mean is that you dont¬†need to swim. You may however see a lot of water ( or more like mud) while running and cycling. It is the type of mud you embrace, rather than cringe about!

The FULL event follows a Trail Run/MTB/Trail Run format. Run 3km, ride 26 km and then run another 7km. There is also a LITE version and several kids events on Wednesday, 8 July.

This event is a must and one that I simply don’t miss when I go to Knysna for the Oyster Festival. There is a great vibe at event venue. Last year I arrived in time for breakfast cereal and coffee. After the event I stayed for a beer and something to eat and just to soak in the vibe. Over the years I’ve been participating I was there on the start line with professionals such as Conrad Stoltz, Dan Hugo, Stuart Marais and Kevin Evans.

I’ve heard that there may be a great post-event party on the Thursday evening. Once I have the details, I will post it on twitter at @mtbZA

Go here for entries:

I have previously participated in the Knysna Marathon’s half marathon and love that one. The marathon itself is always a favourite and also gets fully subscribed in a matter of days. I will be missing those events this year in favour of the¬†Salomon Bastille Day Trail Run 2015¬†on Saturday 11 July. This time¬†I will be attempting the¬†35km run. More on that at a later stage.

So, what will you be doing in Knysna between all the craft beer tastings and oyster shucking this year?


Westcoast Beach Run, December 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.44.10 AM

So, here are the details for the brave few wishing to spend 3 days on the beach, albeit without the cossies and cocktails!

Friday, 12 December at 07h00: leave from Koeberg parking lot. Run on the beach as far as we can until we have to take a sandy road inland towards the R 27, close to the Grotto Bay turnoff. Total distance: + 36km.

Saturday, 13 December at 07h00: Grotto Bay beach to Yzerfontien beach. Mostly beach all the way. + 27km

Sunday, 14 December at 07h00: Yzerfontein beach to Tsaarsbank, 16 mile beach, West coast National Park, Langebaan. + 27km. There is a picnic area with braai facilities and toilets here. A braai with ice cold refreshments sound like a plan!

Your attire: old trail shoes (they will get wet), hat (that also covers your neck if you burn easily), water & food ( there is NO access to water or food en route), GoPro (if you have one) , GPS ( if you have one).

Your travel arrangements: you need to get to each start and have some-one pick you up at each finish point daily.
I will be spending Friday night and Saturday night in Yzerfontein and shuttle between there and the various start / finish points.
Your lift back on Sunday will need to enter the WC National Park to pick you up. From Cape Town, it is closer to the bottom gate. See the map to Tsaarsbank here: WCNP map

Jacques van Dyk has kindly offered beds and couches at his place in Grotto Bay. If you wish to take up that offer, please email me for his details:

Hope to see you on the beach!


CWC Durbie Dash 2014: feedback

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 3.12.01 PM

So, last week-end saw 4 mtb and 3 road events being hosted by the Durbanville High School in conjunction with the guys at Chris Willemse Cycles and PPA.

Registration started at 14h00 on Friday, 24 October at the Chris Willmese Cycles store in Durbanville and when I arrived a bit early at 13h45, the buzz was already developing! I finally picked up my 2014 Pedalpower number and prepared for my first MTB event post my cracked ribs incident. I was happy to test my body on the 36km Contermanskloof Rock Buster.

According to the event’s web site, it was suitable for the more serious weekend warrior looking for a decent workout associated with spectacular scenery and that a fair amount of technical skills would be required. Fitness levels should ideally be at least average to high.

The event started on a hot summer’s morning in Durbanville with not a breeze to be felt and not a cloud in the sky.

We had a 3 km or so neutral zone following a car until we reached Clara Anna Fontein from where we hit the dirt. From that point on it was mostly jeep track, crossing various vineyards and then a long 3-arrow-steep climb to Bloemendal.

From there we took the single track all the way up to the radio towers at the top of the hill, the highest point of the ride at 10,6km and an altitude of 467m.

After a quick Coke at the water table, it was downhill all the way on the expertly built Contermanskloof trail, courtesy of the Tygerberg MTB club. A compact track with plenty of switchbacks, jumps and berms makes for excellent riding. I must admit, a 29er hard tail might not be the most ideal bike for such a ride, as my very hard fall and beautiful blue chest bruise can attest to.

At the 20.4km mark, we were down to 108m elevation, from where some fairly flat and fast sections followed. We rode up to the Malanshoogte tarred road heading towards Hoogekraal where we took a right up the road for about 2,2km before taking and another right into some wheat fields. Riding right through the dry yellow wheat field, standing about waist high, was in sharp contrast to the green vineyards just half an hour earlier.

From there it was mostly flat again until we started climbing a short steep “sting in the tail” uphill after the last waterpoint. The last kilometre or so was on a tarred road to the finish line, 3 km from the start zone, near the Durbanville High School.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 3.34.04 PM

The waterpoints (all 4 of them) were well-manned and stocked with water, Coke, fruit juice, potatoes, jelly beans, other sweets and banana pieces.

All in all a great ride, well organized and one I recommend. I hope to tackle the 54km Fair Cape Chain Breaker in 2015. That one promises to challenge your stamina and technical ability and provide an experience well worth discussing over a camp fire. ( according to the event web site)

Below is a clip of the Contermanskloof trail, courtesy of the Tygerberg MTB club.




Heritage Day Kids BMX event

Author mtbguy    Category MTB     Tags ,

The guys & girls at have decided to celebrate Heritage Day, Wednesday 24 September, by holding an informal kids BMX meet at the Songo BMX track in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch. There are very few BMX races in the Western Cape and they thought that it would be great for the Songo BMX kids to have a fun day doing what they love with others kids.

“This is an informal meet, rather than a race. It‚Äôs more about letting the kids socialise, have fun & celebrate life together!”, says Kathy Crabbe, the Songo¬†General Manager

“If you are able to contribute in any way to make the day more special, it would be greatly appreciated but its not expected ‚Äď we would just love for you to join us, support & share in the magic of seeing the young joy of riding bikes! Our kids are the rock stars of the future so the more people we have to encourage & cheer them on, the better!”

The details are as follows:

  • DATE: Wednesday, 24 September.
  • REGISTRATION: 08H30 – 09H00
  • RACE STARTS: 09H30 – 11H30
  • VENUE:, Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
  • DIRECTIONS: From the R44 turn into right into Kayamandi, from the N1. Go straight over the circle & up the hill. At the T-junction turn left and go through the gate.
  • For more information contact: Songo Fipaza 083 244 0734 /¬†
  • See their Facebook page for more about

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I always wanted to know my sugars.

I have always wanted to know what the difference is ( and what difference it makes) whether I take in sucrose, glucose or fructose. All I know is that it is all sugar, right? Wrong!

Sucrose, glucose and fructose are important carbohydrates, commonly referred to as simple sugars. Get the full ( but abbreviated ) scope on


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