What a great day out in Knysna! The sun was shining and the skies were clear. For the duration of the event, anyway.
This was my second Knysna Xterra event so I had some idea of what was lying ahead. Of course I knew there would be mud out there, as it had been raining in Knysna the few days prior to the event. Running and cycling in wet and muddy terrain is not as bad as actually having to participate in the rain.
The set-up at the Pezula field of dreams was excellent once again. Various stands for coffee and drinks, a Facebook photo booth and a Bokomo breakfast stand offering free cereal set an almost carnival atmosphere on the day. It is of course great to start an event at 12h30 on a winter’s day.
Off we went on the first leg, the 3km trail run. After about 1km on a concrete road, we were funneled into a single track. This was a mess. Trying to push about 300 runners into single file so soon after the start just does not work! After the quick 3km run we were back at the transition area where we picked up our mountain bikes to head into the forest.
The only comment I have about the mountain biking ride is AWESOME. Sure, there was mud and lots of it. The vibe in the forest and the actual route itself made for an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it. The cool but sunny weather together with the beautiful scenery made for a ride that is difficult to beat. I did not want it to end and was surprised when I was back at the transition area sooner than expected.
Off with the helmet and bike shoes and on with the muddy trail shoes again. The next run was a 7km one and even more muddy than the first one. This time, however, we got to experience more single track and some serious trail sections through a canopy of trees with protruding roots that called for some careful footwork.
The last km or so was on the concrete road again with a nasty short little uphill just before hitting the soggy field towards the finish line.
That welcome voice of Paul Valstar at the end made for a great finish. Two cups of Rehidrat later and I could catch my breath again.
Yes, the Totalsports Xterra Knysna 2013 is on my list of “must-do” events.
Great to also be in the company of pro’s such as Stuart Marais and Kevin Evans.
Thanks to Michael Meyer and the Stillwatersports team for a great event, once again.
What a great day its was on Sunday, 1 April out at Lourensford.
The Vineyard Races and trail runs took place at the same venue where the 2012 ABSA Cape-Epic finished. The morning start was slightly chilly, but is was clear that it would be a great day for riding.
With quite a large field for the 56km (52km eventually) the start was quite slow. In fact, for the first 5km my pace was determined by those ahead of me. Even though it was all jeep track, one simply couldn’t pass due to the uphills and masses of riders. That really annoyed me in the first section of the event.
At 11km, we all came to a dead-stop. That was where we headed into the forest for our first section of single track. With the amount of riders, it was necessary for the marshall to control the entry into the forest by only letting small batches into the forest at a time. This is a definite NO for me. I had to stop at least 3 times after that to wait for riders ahead of us to ride single track sections.
The single track though was excellent! It has been quite a while since I had ridden a big event like that with so much awesome single track sections. Through forest sections, little wooden bridges, tightly cut paths through sections of fynbos and river crossings made for an exceptional route.
Don’t get me wrong, the uphills were long and there were plenty of them. From the top of the Helderberg Mountains, the view was awesome and very clear on Sunday.
There were two waterpoints. The first had water, energy drinks, pieces of banana as well as baby potatoes, always very welcome on a long ride. The second stop had only water and energy drinks. Now I know I should be taking my own food, and I always do. Still, when I pay R 230 for an event, organised by the same guys that run the Epic, I expect a little more.
All-in-all a great ride. I will however not participate again unless there is a batch start, even if they use the 2012 results to seed the riders.
Being at the finish of the Epic, though, was a great experience in itself. Seeing those brave riders, ride up to the finish line is indeed very motivating. Family and friends crowded the finishing zone.
Being in time to see the award ceremony for the general category was an extra bonus.
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: www.totalsports.co.za
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.
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