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.
Loved having my hero there (my Mom) this woman is just amazing. What she has done for me I cannot describe in words.
Last prep before the gun goes off!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
This Friday morning started off with a 5:30 am swimming session as it does every friday , it turned a interesting corner. I saw on twitter my fried Hendrik said its snowing on the mountains surrounding Stellenbosch. I looked out the window and I saw it was so white and I have never seen it as low as that. I called Antonie, said you keen to run up the mountain? He was like yes please. Hendrik picked us up and off we when to Jonkershoek. If I feel like doing something crazy I know I can always count on these to crazy guys! What Legendary mates!!!
That’s me jumping up like a crazy guy! So excited as this was going to be my first time in the snow ever. Yip it took me 24 years to get to that point to make a snow ball and chuck it as someone. Boy and did it feel good. Felt like a kid again. 🙂
After about an hours run up the mountain we got to this amazing snowed up hill top of Jonkershoek. It didn’t take a long time before the first snow ball started flying around. Man it feels so good to live.
Hendrik thinks he was on the titanic. “I am flying jack”
Antonie the(mountain gout) and I showing big smiles on the mountain.
This being my first time in the snow. They said initiation time!!! So that’s why this happens but they were good sports and did it as well. Trust me it was cold. Good fun!
Like a kid again! moments like these will stay with me forever. Living every moment full out!
On our way back down. What a run with 2 great friends, So glad that they was part of it!
We just had to finish this amazing moment with a great cup of coffee at Rideinn cafe.
Here is a sneak peek on what video is coming soon.
Till I blog again Keep it in the big blade!
Listen have a great weekend! 🙂
One of the things that I absolutely love about Xterra Grabouw is the red couch that they interview the pros on that they plonk on the beach. It is just so incongruous and cool and has really become a fixture in the race.
Xterra Grabouw was supposed to be my most important race this year. I have pretty much been training for it since I returned from Germany last year. I was so ready and keen for the race, but then about one month before the race I came down with a nasty flu that kept me from racing Xterra Buffelspoort and since then I was just really struggling through training and not feeling good at all. I was feeling okay doing easy stuff, but as soon as I needed to push a bit harder I just had nothing to give.
I went into Grabouw hoping that it would just all come together on race day, but in my swim warm up I just felt like a rock. When the race started and I started to feel even worse I knew it was going to be a long day.
During the first part of the bike I felt dizzy and I was getting strange pins and needles in my limbs and I knew that if I pushed on the day might end like it did last year at Buffelspoort – on the ground.
It was very tough to pull out of the race. That is just not like me at all. But it was the right thing to do.
It was still nice to spend some time there and to watch the race. Oh my goodness, but did the guys put on a show! Conrad came into T2 with a 40sec lead on Richard Murray and Richard then passed him on the run. But Conrad continued to run well and held on for second place.
Richard’s performance was truly world class.
The top 3 was Richard and Conrad, followed by Dan. Sadly, Conrad was then disqualified as he had unintentionally run last years route which had a slight change in it. He handled the DQ like the true gentleman and champion that he is. I have huge respect for this boereseun.
I am also so proud of Robyn who did her first Xterra on one of the hardest Xterra courses in the world. Well done Robs!
These past few weeks have been incredibly hard and frustrating – not knowing what is really wrong with me and not getting better.
I don’t know what my plans are going forward, but one thing is for certain and that is that I am not giving up. I will keep on pushing on.
Stuart Marais with his boy Luke.
God has said that He will never leave nor forsake me and I trust Him. I know that there is a way.
Thank you for all your support and prayers. You know who you are 🙂
My focus for now is just to get better and to be able to train again.
Thank you Stillwater Sports for this world class event!
Thanks to Cherie Vale for all the amazing photos and and also to the awesome Stillwater Sports media team.
Keep it in the big blade!:-)