Momentum Health Dual Cross National series #2

So super stoke to be part of the Momentum Health Dual Cross National Series again.  I had a blast last year racing the series.  Was really bleak I missed the first one but glad I got to race the second event in Pretoria “buffelsdrift”.  I had a really big training block leading up to this event.  I just wanted to use this event as a tester too see where my form is at.  I have been working really hard on my running so this was really a good test for me.

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I had a bit of bad luck leading up to the race.  A week before the race I tore my calf on the track.  As a athlete when one get an injury it really hit you big time.  I really knew I need to be patient and let it heal before my race.  I really Trusted God for healing.  Everyday it was better by Thursday I was running with no pain.  I was really stoked and there was a big smile on my face.  Sometimes we just need to let go and let God.

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Setting up in transition is always so exciting.  Making sure everything will run smoothly when I come in after the first run while my heart rate are so hight that I can’t even see straight.  No really I keep on forgetting how hard a Duathlon is.  Well when its not hearing you ant going hard enough.

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Getting the stoke levels up with the new Mumford and Sons Album “Wilder Mind” Like I always say music is food for the soul.  Was standing on the start line with a beat.  Thats one way to get the nerves down and the stoke up. :-)

IMG_6339 My mom run up to the start line and gave me a big fat sloppy kiss about 5min before the start.  There is only one that will do that and I love her dearly.  My hero, my mom.

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As always the start is crazy.  When that gun goes its flat out like a lizard drinking as the Aussies say.  in about halfway I starting to feel my calve again so pulled a bit back. I really didn’t wanted to hurt it again so just taped off the pace a bit.  Into T1 3rd place with second place holding on to. We got the word that Conrad Stoltz the “Cave Man” pulled out due to a calf injury.   Renier Grobler  and I rode together for the first km then after that I picked up the pace and rode him off my wheel.  Brand had 30sec on my and was chasing really hard.  The cap stayed the same for a long time. After a good opening bike leg I was feeling really good.  Then I was starting to hit the wall big time!!!! hahah was really broken then that 30sec stretched to 2min after the bike.

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doesn’t matter how broken I was I still had a lot of fun hitting the single tracks.  There was one called “supper tube” really had a lot of fun riding it. So nice an flowing with some sick burms. Had some flat out foot out moments but great fun.  I really wish there was a photo of me in the end of that trail. I was really like a little boy with a big smile on my face.  Look in the end of the day its all about having fun.  I had a ball!!! :-)

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By the time the second run came I knew I had a big gap on 3rd “Nico Sterk”, so I really just jogged the last 2.5km trying to save my calf.  I was happy with the result ending second to the best Duathlete in South Africa Brand Du Plessis I can deal with that but I am coming for him. :-)

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Happy boy, so nice to have my family supporting me all the way.

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Shearing my race with the SuperSport crew, Praise the Lord for healing my calf so I could race and do well also doing what I love.  In the end of the day its not about winning or coming second. the juerny that one is taking to get to ones dream make it worthwhile.  I always say it will never be easy, but for you to get the most out of you, you have to take big hits and keep moving forward. So do what you love and never give up when its starting to get hard.  Grab the bull by the horns and say lets dance!!!!

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It was my brother in laws 30th birthday and as you can see from my Mom and step dad that when all out!!! Love them so much!!!

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I went as Matthew McConaughey HA HA HA I had to pull something off. It was a really blessed weekend. Now its back to training and next ups is the big 5 in Knysna.

Have a stunning week and remember keep it in the big blade.

Cheers

Blikkies

2015 Get Muddy Off Road International Triathlon Mauritius Bois Cheri

Racing the Get Muddy off-road international triathlon in Mauritius was an unbelievable experience. I have raced in Mauritius before, but always on the coast. This time it was in Bois Cheri at the tea estate, promising a real jungle experience.

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Tim and Marie Cartwright did a great job putting the event together, and the passion they have for the sport is just amazing. We stared off with the 1500 m lake swim, comprising three 500m laps.

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The swim was a super fast with my Orca RS1 skin suit.  Was a nice hilly long run up to T1.  When I ran out to T1 I saw that I really have a good lead to the brit Sam Gardner.  I knew he is a really hot shot mountain biker so I had my work cut out for me.

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As always I have a really fast transitions thanks to ITU racing I am in and out of there in no time.   Around the first corner it was flat out foot out!!! Real wild boy style.

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I push hard on the first part of the bike course. Noticing that I had a bit of a gap, I just kept a good tempo. I wanted to reserve some energy for XTerra Reunion and Xterra Langkawi, coming up in the next 2 weeks. The bike route was really cool and covered some cool single track sections in the tea plantations. It was really wet but all was good, with some serious sliding around corners, but what’s not to like!

Out on to the run I had no idea what my lead was so I just kept on hooking it all the way to the end.  this run was crazy a real jungle run.  This run course was a first for me.

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From open grass lands we went in to the jungle and the real running started well sliding that was.  I did lose my shoe every now and then from all the mud.

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after the first lap I saw I had a big lead so I just took it easy all the way to the end.  I really had a lot of fun on this course as the run was the best part for me. I was like a real kid again.

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This section of the run course was crazy.  I had to pull myself up with the fence it was so muddy I really needed some Rugby boots to find girl in the mud.  This was a real off road triathlon!!!!

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On my way to my first international victory as you can see I am a really happy boy.

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Sam and I with Tim the race organiser.  Thanks Tim and Marie for all the great work you put in to make this event happened.  A big thanks to all my sponsors for all the support with out you this won’t be possble.  Now it was great pack and move on to Reunion the next weekend for Xterra Reunion.  Its been real Maurituis See you soon again.

Keep it in the big blade

Cheers

2015 Xterra Grabouw

Xerra Grabouw must be one of the best if not the best Xterra in the world.  If there is a race to win this is it,  I have dreamed of winning Grabouw after my first race as a xterra rookie back in 2012.  The last months have been really good. Training has been going  really well.  I really do have great people around me helping me to make this happen. The support is just unreal.

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The last months I have been training really well on the xterra course and I knew it so well.  I new what the time must be when I get to some points in order for me not to blow up and over cook it.  Race plan was to swim hard and make my gap so that I don’t have to go too hard up the frist big hill.  Well lets just say the race plan didn’t work out….. :-)

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I went out really fast in the swim just to make sure no one jumps on my feet.  I got away really easy and was solo for a long time.  I followed the girl on the paddle board assuming she will point me in the right way to me.  Never follow the gril on the paddle board. :-) I think I swam about 200m extra.  I was really bleak when I saw that I have swam so wrong and didn’t have the lead that I was hoping for.  Plan 1 out the window. Improvise!

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Onto the bike and what do you know FedEx didn’t make it in time with my legs.  Man my legs was broken and dead. I really had nothing to give.  I really don’t know why that happen but one has to keep going.  I made it up the first climb and lost some time to the other was in 4th.  I count even push the flats and thats normal my strongest part of the bike leg.  I am not called  Big Blade Blignaut for nothing. :-)

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The only hope I had on the bike was the downhills.  I knew the route so well and had all my lines dialled in. I had to hook it.  But for some reason I wasn’t smooth at all.  I got so upset with myself.  After a while I just told my self just stay calm and keep going.  I started to ride bit better but still had no legs.

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There was really some sick trails and loved it really so much.  Even having a bad day I still had fun.  Hitting it hard in the single track.

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Once I got off the bike I really felt good,  Started running and legs was good.  I said to myself I am going to run my heart out.  I had to finish in the top 3 South Africans to get my slot to World champs.  I just said to mysfel there is no way I am missing out on that.  Antonie had 30sec on my out of T2.  I knew Antonie  is one of the fastest runners in out sport.  I saw that I was closing the cap to him so I knew I was running well.  Once I bribed the gap to Antonie it was race on and we ran together for the next 7km.  We dropped one another a cupple of times and we just couldn’t break one another.

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Then I knew its time to give it all.  I ran so hard down the hill and passed Antonie then I had a small gap, I kept on running super hard till we hit the first beach section,  I looked into the distance and saw there was Roger the 2014 U23 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion.  Some how I found another gear and kept on pushing hard.  I saw that the gap was closing.

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What a shot, Chopper struggling to keep up :-) #DirtyFast I really wanted that top 3.  Also after a really bad start to my race how I came back in to the race.  When it was 1.5km to go I had to close 50 seconds.  I had to fight  as hard as I could.  As I got closer and closer I saw that I was going to run out of road.  I ran hard up the finsh shoot and there I saw Roger just 15seconds in front of me.

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This was me telling him he was lucky, then a big congrats for the 3rd.

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This photo says it all, Man look at my face I never seen it like that. It just showed how hard I really pushed on the run.  I was really bleak about 4th.  Man 4th sucks!!! :-) BUT a big but, I am really proud that I didn’t give up and get going all the way to the end.  On a race that didn’t go as planned I was really happy to make it happen even when nothing is working out.  Got my slot to world champs and super stoked.

Xterra Grabouw will always be a great and special event one day I will win this event and I can’t wait for that day.

Now the racing kicks off and will be doing some travailing.

Will make my racing calendar public soon.

Till I blog again Keep it in the big blade.

Cheers

2015 Xterra Buffelspoort

My first race of the season didn’t go as planed. ‪#‎BuffelspoortXterra‬ is one hard fun race. Out of the water first and was leading the bike till about halfway. From there in it just went backwards. Had a big crash, kept going.

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I was 3rd of the bike with 2nd in sight but just didn’t have any legs after a hard bike. Not happy with my end result 4th but happy with the first part of the race. Thanks to xterra South Africa and  Stillwatersports for putting on a great show! ‪World class‬ event!

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Next up for me will be Xterra Grabouw, Till I blog again keep it in the big blade.

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #4

I have had a month with really good training and have been hitting high numbers on my #PowerTap, showing some great form. I was so hungry to race, and race hard!

I love racing at Van Gaalens Cheese Farm with really cool single track there, it can also be a hard route but for this race it was flat and fast.

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Loved having my hero there (my Mom) this woman is just amazing. What she has done for me I cannot describe in words.

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Last prep before the gun goes off!

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Getting in the zone, game face with my Oakley Radarlock. That first 5 km is so fast and hard but honestly I don’t go all out on the first run and keep just under my threshold. When I jump on the bike I recover faster and then I go all out on the bike.

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Starting this race is like watching a horse race, once that gun goes, man, it’s crazy going to get in to the single track first.

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I had these 2 youngsters running with me the whole way. Was good to run with them, we got into transition in about 5th place. I knew I would ride away from them in the first 5km though.

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At about halfway on to the bike Phillip Buys bridged the gap with me and went for it on the one climb. I let him go because I knew if I tried to go with him I would blow up like a science project gone wrong. I knew there was a long fast flat after that and if there is one thing I can do really well is push a big gear on the flats. After time trialing my way back to Philip I said to myself there is no way he is going to ride away from me now. The mind is an amazing thing as I managed to ride with him all the way to T2. Look I have to be honest it wasn’t easy, my legs were burning like a bon fire but I kept going. Here is a really cool photo they got of us crossing the river at full speed.

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Into T2 and by the look of my face you can see I am pretty much in the box there. I left it all out on the bike so the legs were cramping big time. But I only had 2.5km left and I was saying to myself that I can win!

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I was broken but really happy to come in second again and to finish second in the series. Brand was really amazing and he did show great form during the entire series. Very well done to him.

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At the end of the day if I look back on how the race went I was really happy. Was so stoked to stick with Philip and ride with him, that was a really good confidence booster to see all the hard work I have put into my biking beginning to show.

Thanks so much to Team Jeep for bringing me into the team for this series, it was great to be part of the team.

‘Til I blog again. Keep it in the big blade!

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #3

It has been crazy since I got back form the race. Moving in to a new place and training for the Enduronam; the long stuff has been killing me but starting to feel good now.

The 3rd round of the Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS kicked off just out side Pretoria. A really flat and fast venue, a so called big man’s course. When it’s flat sometimes people think it’s going to be easy. They are thinking wrong. It’s full gas from the start! S-Works Epic renegade tyres, yes, it’s Strava time.

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Setting up my Wit Blitz. Specialized S-Works Epic World Cup. We really got to know each other so well over the last few months. Its such a fast and comfortable bike. Oh yeah that’s right, that’s Neon yellow Supacaz silicon grips.

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Nice and strong field here at the 3rd round of the series. Even my good training buddy from Stellenbosch came to race. Antonie runs like a vlak haas!

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The first run was super fast and Brand came in at 15 min so that’s not messing around at all! I lost 1:15 on the first run. I had no more speed but I knew when I got on to that bike I was going to fly.

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No photos of us on the bike, the photographers said we where way to fast. Gopro guys that’s all I am saying. :-)

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At about 10km to go I had a side wall cut so you know what that means! Long walk or tube. I took a chance and plugged it, said a loud prayer, AMEN! Off I went and it held up all the way to the end of the bike leg.

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That second run was so hard. Giving it my all on the bike after that flat I knew I just had to push it.

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Was happy that was over as you can see from my face, that was fun lets do that again!

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All smile after a great race. Thanks Team Jeep once again, you guys rock!

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Brand giving his age away with his boy on his hip. “Ballie Krag” very well done to the guys on the podium you guys did not make it easy for me out there! But it’s always great racing you guys. Until next time.

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Having a Crafty with that Vlakhaas himself. Antonie jou Legend!

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After the race we Braai! Great to spend time with my family; always fun and entertaining. Here is JP my brother in law singing to my sister. It was also my mom’s birthday the next day so was great to celebrate with her. Love you loads mom, you are my Hero!

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The next day its was back on the grind in the pool for 5km swim set!

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So this is my new place! The view from my bedroom window. Not bad hey?

Its been real!

Until I blog again, keep it in the big blade.

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #2 Hakahana

4 weeks down the line and its racing time again! The past 4 weeks was really good training and I can feel I am so much fitter than what I was at the first race. Give me 2 weeks and I am good, give me 4 weeks and I am great, give me 8 weeks and I am excellent. Second round of the series took me back to my roots, North West province, Hartebeespoort dam. I knew I was back to my roots when I stayed at the Oxwagon Lodge. Ok, really now I slept in an Oxwagon. See photo below, that was my room. Very cool!

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After I had my pap and vleis it was time to get ready for the race the next day! A cold winters morning at Hakahana and so ready to race, setting up in the transition and getting ready for the race. My Specialized Terra Off road triathlon shoes made for fast transitions and they are super stiff and comfy.

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Got to love my big wheels! Fast track 2.2 Control in the front and Renegade 2.3 control at the back! Talk about a crazy combination. Loved it, supper fast rolling and very good grip!

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Trying to help Phillip Buys with some fast transition tips. Was great to have him there on the start line with us!

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Out on the first run I knew my running was better but still not at the normal running pace that I am used too! So I didn’t kill myself on the run. I got in to the transition in 3rd place but was feeling good and didn’t over do it at all! A fast T1 and out on to the hard bike leg! I did ride the course the day before so I knew the first section was very flat and fast but after that there was a lot of climbing. I kept it under 350 watts but I was very aerodynamic with my Specialized S-Works Evade helmet saving a lot of watts there by going the same speed. As we know aerodynamic is everything!

Have a look at this video. #AeroIsEverything

On the bike I was in second for a long time chasing hard to catch Brand but he was riding really well. When Phillip bridged the gap I rode for a while with him but when I saw over 800 watts flashing on my PowerTap I knew I had to back down, I knew if I kept on going like that I was going to blow up big time and probably end up walking the run!

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Oh yeah rocking Blue Supacaz grips and yellow plugs! Got off the bike in 3rd. Legs were really good after the bike and I was running fast. It wasn’t long before I passed Phillip. We did have some words as I passed him. He said that T2 was so much harder than T1. I just smiled and passed him.

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It was great to come second but I am still not too happy with it! 2nd is first loser! I am on the hunt for 1st now! “Its ok to lose but you can never get comfortable with it” Wise words from Eric Thomas.

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Was great to stand next to these 2 amazing talented Athletes. Very well done to Brand and Phillip. Cool combination on the podium. Duathlete, Triathlete and a mountain biker! Who is fitter?

After a great weekend at the race and time spent with family and friends it was time to return to the promised land. As we approached the Airport I saw that the surf was amazing! I called my friend Roger and said, ‘Roge get the boards and lets go surf, the waves look amazing!’ Yeah, so called rest day turned out to be a surf day! Man we had loads of fun!

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Roger and I sitting behind the brake. Yip that’s where the sharks are at. :-)

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All big smiles after I got worked by a big wave!

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Best feeling ever when you get up and a wave takes you!

Thanks again to all my Sponsors that make all this happen for me without you the Big Blade Blignaut will not be here! A special thanks to Team jeep for letting me race this series!

Till I blog again! Keep it in the big blade!

Cheers!