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TSC 2013

So, this year I opted for the pairs category in the Terra Firma.

While my riding partner, Omri Kleynhans, was responsible for the 50km road ride from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond and then the 25 MTB ride from Arabella back to Kleinmond, I did all the running work.

It did of course mean more energy during the runs and therefore better times too.

My first leg was the 13km road run from the outskirts of Kleinmond to the transition area on Botriver, next to the Arabella Hotel. It was into the wind all the way. With good family support and sharing some drafting with a fellow runner, the run was quite pleasant and I managed to do it in 1h03.

Omri was on his way into the transition area on the beach from his MTB ride while I was still chatting. I had to run alongside him to the the change-over in order to get the armband and leave for the beach. Having done quite a bit of beach running during December made for a slightly more interesting beach run. I was less intimidated by the 9km ahead and enjoyed the run much more than the two previous years.

In a total of 52minutes or so, it was a pleasant experience.

Overall we had a great event that was well organised as usual. Our team time was 1h13 less than my fastest time to date!

Yes, I will be back.

Once again, we raced for BeingSam.


My 2013 calendar: Q1

Yip, its time to plan again. Sure, by this time last year my plan was already sorted. Where-as in 2011 I attempted to do as many events as possible ( 40 in fact) and in 2012 my goal was km driven ( 3062km), this year I am aiming at one substantial event per month. That doesn’t mean that I wont do the small ones or even attempt to do more than one big one a month!

So, here’s my plan as it stands now:

  1. Bay to Bay 30km run. Did that one last week-end and yes, I am still suffering. Being more of a 10km runner and having only ever done 1 half marathon, 30 km is quite something for me. So, that should really be my ONE big event for January 2013.
  2. The Totalsports Challenge, Terra Firma. I did the solo Terra Firma in 2011 & 2012 so decided to try the pair thing this year. I’ll be doing the 13km road run as well as the 9km beach run. My riding partner, Omri Kleynhans will take care of the cycling legs. Good to have him on board. This takes place on Saturday 12 January from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond.
  3. Two smaller events for January are the 10km long course trail run at 7pm on 23 January at Constantia and the 49km MTB event in Paarl on 27 January.
  4. In February there are a couple of trail runs and road rides I’ll be participating in. The main event however will be the 3 day Grape EscapeThis MTB event starts in Riebeek Kasteel with Wellington being the race base. Day 1: 75km, Day 2: 60km, Day 3: 70km. It aint the distances or hills I’m worried about but the HEAT! Date: 28 February to 2 March.
  5. In March there’s the good ol’ Argus Cycle Tour. I am not a huge fan and so far have only done 5 in total. It is a good day out, especially if you stop twice for coffee along the way….Date: 10 March.
  6. Then there’s the Two Oceans Half Marathon on 30 March. I hear the biggest challenge is just to get away from the 16,000 strong bundle before one can actually start running.

So, now I am looking for suggestions for the second quarter of 2013. Any suggestions / ideas will be welcomed.

The only other definite for 2013 is the Big 5 at the Oyster Festival, 28 June to 6 July 2013:

  • Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna MTB race – 80km
  • Pick n Pay Rotary Knysna Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Road race- 100km
  • Salomon Featherbed Trail Run – Coelacanth – 14km
  • Totalsports XTERRA: Full (3km trail run, 23km MTB, 7km trail run)
  • Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon – 21 Km




2011 events calendar

Sure I wanna do more than I did in 2010!

Sure I wanna do more than what I actually think I’ll be able to. But then, as you know, there’s work, business travel, family engagements, etc,etc. With the Totalsports Challenge Terra Firma event behind me, I’m hoping to at least get my backside in gear for a few more events this year.

So, after working through the Ride Magazine’s Dirty Dates calendar, the Bicycling Magazine’s must-do events, some fun trail running events on the various trail running web sites and even the Pedalpower calendar, this is what I believe I can realistically accomplish in the first quarter ( and a bit) of 2011:

Trail running:

There are 5 events in total as part of the Cape Summer series. These are either 5km – 8km  or 10-15km options. There are events in other parts of the country too. I plan to do the following:

  • Sunday 3o January: Paul Cluver
  • Wednesday 2 February: Durbanville Hills

All Wednesday evening races will start at 18h00 for the Long and 18h15 for the Short. The weekend (Sunday) races will start at 07h30 for the Long and 07h45 for the Short

2Oceans Trail run:

This will be on Good Friday, 22 April and starts at 07h30 from UCT campus. Limited to 400 runners. I’ve entered for the 10km event. There’s also a 22km run.

Road rides:

  • Sun 6 Feb: Rollercoaster, Constantia: 88km:
  • Sun 13 Feb: 3 Passes, 77km, Newlands
  • Sunday 13 March: Pick ‘n Pay Argus: 109km
  • Saturday 16 April:  Sea Otter Classic Gran Fondo, 40 miles, Monterey, California:


  • Sat 5 Feb: Franschhoek Lions MTB: 46,8km
  • Sat: 19 Feb: Wilde Cycle: Wellington: 50km
  • Grape Escape: Stage 1 (4 March) Eden on the Bay to Nelson Wine Estate: 85km. Stage 2 (5 March), Nelson Wine Estate to Boschendal Wine Estate: 76km. Stage 3 (6 March) Boschendal Wine Estate, Argus MTB: 67km
  • Sun: 17 April, Seaotter Classic, Monterey, California: cross country:

My TSC experience: 2011

And so it came to pass that I finally participated in the Totalsports Challenge 2011. Being weary of too much water, I entered the Terra Firma event. This encompassed a 50km road ride, a 13km road/trail run, a 25 km MTB event and then a 9km beach run.

I started at 07h45 on Saturday, 8 January with the other 91 Terra Firma individuals as well as with the Terra Firma road ride team members taking part in the team, pairs and trips categories.

For a first time road event on a road bike, I must say, it was ideal. Really great weather and an excellent route on Clarence drive from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond.

Arriving in Kleinmond it was time for the first transition and that was where I dumped my bike, helmet, cycling shoes and changed into running gear, cap and sun glasses. The first half or so was on tarred road and then we went off the Kleinmond – Hermanus road into the bush. I really loved this part and know that trail running is going to form a great part of my 2011 event schedule. The 13km run ended on the edge of the lagoon just next to the Arabella Sheraton where we exchanged running gear for mountain biking gear. It was a smooth transition, especially with such a dedicated and committed support team ( my wife Debbie and 2 kids)

The MTB section took us across the tarred road and up onto Highlands road. Having done that road a few times I knew it wasn’t gonna be my friend, especially not at about 11h00 in that scorching heat. Little did I know that the turnoff left out of the road into the bush was going te be even worse. Long uphills on soft sand made that a difficult stretch. All the while I was of course thinking that “what goes up must come down” and that a great long and fast downhill was awaiting me. Alas, that was not the case. The downhills were even more rocky and sandy than the uphills and at that stage of the day, it required concentration to stay on the bike. Taking chances were therefore not an option. It was a LONG 25km.

The mtb ride  to beach run transition happened at the same place as the event finish line. Though nice to catch the vibe right there on the beachfront, it wasn’t great thinking that the 9m beach run was still ahead. The air next to the sea, however, was remarkably cooler and there was enough of a hard sand section to make the run bearable. In fact I did considerably better on the beach run than planned.

Crossing the lagoon on the little foot bridge coming into the finish area was a very emotional experience for me as I realized I actually made it. Hearing Paul Valstar doing his “welcome home” announcements really felt great. I did not have anything to say to my wife and kids at the finish line for at least 5 minutes and that after 2 Powerades!

All in all a great experience a and great way to start the year. At least on 9 January I could say that I’ve already given 2011 a serious go!

Thanks to Hendrik Steytler for the great pics! A job WELL done.

I took part in this event in aid of BeingSam, an initiative to get SA Men (SAM’s) to start taking charge of their health and lifestyles!

Check it out at


TSC briefing session

I just returned from the Totalsports Challenge 2011 briefing session. This event takes place on Saturday, 8 January from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond. The main event includes 7 disciplines. Within that event is the Terra Firma. This is the one without all the water disciplines ( ocean swimming,  surski and K1 paddling).

The Terra Firma includes a 50km  road cycle, 13km road run, 25km MTB and then 9km beach run.

According to the organisers, it will be the biggest field yet with a total of 304 participants in the full challenge and 269 in the Terra Firma.

This includes teams and individuals. 30 brave souls will do the 7 leg event and 91 individuals will do the solo Terra firma. 90, excluding me, that is.

So, if you are around that day, come and say hi.


Total Sports Challenge 2011

For years I’ve been toying with the idea of entering as part of a team in the seven-discipline event from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond. When they introduced the Terra Firma ( road run, MTB and beach run) I seriously wanted to enter in a team.

Well, now I’ve finally done it! I just entered and paid for the Terra Firma event in the solo category. Sure, it ain’t such a big deal: 50km road ride,  13km road run, 25km MTB and then 9km  beach run. It’s just that you do it all consecutively and will really have to rely on different muscle groups to play along. And of course there’s that long December break filled with braais and too much of everything else that wont help my case. That’s the REAL challenge.

Will you join me? Please……!

Anyway, this is what the Totalsports people sent me:

TOTALSPORTS CHALLENGE Kleinmond “One Team, Seven Challenges”

Entries are now open for one of South Africa’s most exhilarating and much loved multi sport events, the Totalsports Challenge presented by New Balance and Powerade!  Starting in Gordon’s Bay on Saturday, 08 January 2011 sport enthusiasts can choose between the 7-discipline Totalsports Challenge or the less daunting 4-discipline Totalsports Terra Firma Challenge.

According to Dezroy Poole, Race Director, the Totalsports Challenge is a fun event that can be enjoyed by athletes of all skill levels.  “Although we do have our serious athletes competing on the day, the Totalsports Challenge also attracts a large number of social athletes whose main aim is to have fun with family and friends.  For these athletes the team category of the Totalsports Challenge or even the Totalsports Terra Firma Challenge is the ideal event of choice.  In the past we’ve seen team entries include the likes of professional athletes such as Christoph Sauser, Burry Stander, Conrad Stoltz, Kevin Evans and Warren Petterson.  It really is a treat watching these stars in action.  We trust that all finishers will go home with a feeling of great accomplishment on the day,” says Poole.


DATE: Saturday, 08 January 2011


Start – Gordon’s Bay Beach Front

End – Kleinmond

START: Totalsports Challenge – 06h00

Totalsports Terra Firma Challenge – 07h45


Totalsports Challenge – 12km surfski, 1.5km swim, 50km road bike (from

Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond), 13km road run, 13km K1 canoe, 25km mountain bike and finally a 9km beach run.

Terra Firma Challenge – 50km road bike (from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond), 13km road run, 25km mountain bike and 9km beach run.


Totalsports Challenge – compete individually or in teams of two, three or seven (male, female or mixed)

Terra Firma Challenge – compete individually or in teams of two or four (male, female or mixed).

Enter online:        

WHAT’S UP FOR GRABS AT EACH EVENT ~ awesome lucky draw prizes compliments of Totalsports and New Balance.

Family and friends are encouraged to show support on the day.


Totalsports Challenge

With just a little more than one month to go, I’ve started thinking about entering this event.
On 12 January those macho guys and girls will attempt the 7 discipline event that commences in Gordon’s Bay and ends in Kleinmond on the beach.
I have twice been to see the participants off at the start and then to welcome them at the end.
As much as I like being part I just could never see myself doing all seven disciplines:

  • 12 km surfski
  • 1,5 km swim
  • 50km road bike
  • 13 km road run
  • 13 km K1 canoe
  • 25 km mountain bike
  • 9 km beach run

Sure you can do it in teams of 2 or even teams of 7. Finding partners with surfski’s, canoes and who can swim always seemed to be my big challenge though.
Enter the new Terra Firma Challlenge within the event: stay on dry land and do the 4 non-water elements of the event.
This can also be entered by an individual, teams of 2 or teams of 4.
So, having been offered a slot by Totalsports as part of 4 member team for the Dry Land category, I’m finally part of this grand event, be it only the 25km MTB section!
My master plan: next year, I’ll enter in a 2 member team and the year there-after, I’ll attempt all 4 events. How’s that for a long term plan?
See the NewBalance web site for details and entry forms.

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