When your mantelpiece is filled with photos and trail trophies then you know it’s been a good year and grateful for a healthy body and great opportunities. 2018 was jam packed with events and adventure, as a team as well as many individual events. Had the opportunity to explore many different areas through our sport including new areas of the Garden Route, ADDO, Seychelles, Namaqua West Coast, Natal Midlands, Kouga and Durbanville wine farms to name a few.
During November myself and Jeanette Wylie (bubbles from team BUCO) joined forces and competed in the Sanlam Mountain Bike Invitational 2 day stage race in Cape Town. The routes are technical and the competition is fierce, it took us a while to get used to the type of riding which is very different to what we are used to in adventure racing but we got the hang of it. Start and finish from Meerendal wine estate in Durbanville. We finished in 3rd place in our category on day one, refueled with craft beers pizza and local wines and on day 2 we managed to keep our 3rd place finish. Proud to represent our home town with both local teams Buco Adventure and Plett Adventure in Cape Town. Training for this event included more single track riding than usual riding at local Cairnbrogie mtb trail park. The coastal route at Cairnbrogie has great technical sections which we incorporated with longer routes including Harkerville Red and Green route and Fisanthoek loops. For elevation training we ride the Soetkraal MTO route.
The adventure racing world championships took place during November on the island of Reunion, there we 6 South African teams represented, This is a showcase of South Africa’s spirit for adventure and being one of the Adventure Capitals of the world. We hope to send a team from Plett for 2019 World Championships which will take place is Sri Lanka.
2019 calendar filling up quickly. Myself and Tim Fey who I’ve raced with in Canada during the 2017 Raid International Gaspesie will team up again for the Non Stop Wartrail Challenge on the 15th of February as team Plett Adventure. Training has started and no better place than Natures Valley and surrounding areas to combine all the disciplines. The race starts in Lady Grey with a 65km self-navigating mountain run, from there onto the bikes for a 135km mountain bike and finishing off with a 70k paddle on the Orange river to finish in Wartrail. There will be more than one team from Plett competing in either the non stop or staged race, watch this space for updates! Training for the 65km mountain run will include combinations of the Rugpad, Kalanderkloof and Saltriver trails in Natures valley, these are all single track forest trails with enough elevation gain to build up endurance and you can link them together depending how far you want to run anything from 10 to 35km’s without repeating any section of trail. Bigger runs with more elevation gain will be Cradock and George Peak trails in George. Mountain bike training for the 135km distance will be more district roads and not as much single track but we will do back to back run ride training missions to get used to transition from the run onto the bike. Buffelsnek area is great for long distance rides or a ride from Wittedrift to De Vlugt and back, plus the bonus of milktart and carrot cake halfway! Paddling training will be on the Keurbooms and Bitou rivers or a combination of both for a longer paddle, Goukamma river (Buffalo bay) and Goukou river (Stilbaai) for a long out and back paddle.
Plett Adventure managed to confirm an entry for the 2019 edition of Expedition Africa Adventure Race taking place on the island of Rodriquez, we very excited about this race which takes place during September 2019, the race format is unique and we will keep you updated with details as it unfolds with an interesting new team dynamic, we would need to sharpen up on our swimming, paddling, sailing and paddling a local wooden boat, snorkeling and sub boarding…..well we have the best playground for all of the mentioned disciplines right here in our home town, so no excuses, how lucky are we!
Plettsummer brings the Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge and the NSRI 10km road run later this month. Great to see holiday makers running and cycling around our streets and trails! Kurland Polo Estate has opened up new mountain biking trails. #BikeKurland There are 3 routes, 15km, 10km and 4km routes plus access to MTO for bigger epic rides (ensure you have your MTO permit available through the bike shop). See facebook Kurland Trails or contact Johan 082 889 6515 for more details.
During every run, bike ride or paddle, remember to pick up any piece of plastic or litter you may come across, leave the trails, beach or river better for you having been there.