GOING SOLO…

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JEEP MSINSI MULTISPORT RACE – NAGLE DAM

  

We had some incredible racing down at Nagle Dam in the Valley of a Thousand Hills on the weekend. What made it different to any other race was that all my guys walked from home to the race venue, literally in their backyard – so logistically it was a breeze for me.

 Was really great to see some of the family members out supporting – Thomas’s mother & sister.

Eric blitzed the 5km run, coming into the transition first, but then had continuous bike admin with his chain coming off on the 20km cycle and dropped steadily back. Dissappointing for him as he is my strongest athlete in the ‘Change a Life’ team. Lucas performed best coming 7th overall. Close on his heels, Zonele came 8th. Kwanda raced superbly to win the juniors in an impressive 9th position overall.
Thanks for your continued support of my Academy, I really appreciate it.

The ‘milkshake’ (Muscle Fuel) as they call it, works wonders with getting much needed calories into their wiry bodies after intense workouts, as food is a long walk home.

 

Cheers

Martin
Then there are those like the appstorm team, and most of us really love writing, no matter where it gets done

JEEP MSINSI MULTISPORT RACE – NAGLE DAM

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….ONE YEAR ALREADY – plus Ozzie Gladwin report.

 

Ozzie Gladwin, the biggest 1-day paddle race in the country sees in the start of a new Dusi year, again… and with that, a very successful year gone by for my ‘Change a life’ academy.

 

My initial thoughts of training young black guys in the Valley of a Thousand Hills started when I was training with Bungi- Michael Mbanjwa, for the 2008 doubles dusi and spending endless hours at Nagle Dam. We were never the only two sweating it out, trailed by a mass of eager youngsters, on the dam and during our run sessions. It was always humbling for me to see these local warriors dragging the most porous of  vessels to the waters edge, not only to the start of training, but during the course of the session as their boats gradually filled with water and they finally had to succumb to emptying them before full submersion. And if that wasn’t hard-core enough, it continually amazed me as myself and Bungi bounded our way comfortably along the rocky and thorny trails with these barefoot youngsters nipping at our heels.

 

It took more than a few unsettled nights of waking and scribbling down ideas as to find the best way to make a project like this sustainable and a valuable learning experience for those involved. As I have seen with so many ‘development programmes’, disadvantaged children are bussed in droves to an event, given the sponsors t-shirt and a post-race cooldrink and hotdog and shipped home. No continuity and the organisers reap the benefits of feeling like hero’s for a day.

 

My years of professional racing have taught me that the factors that are needed to produce the most successful athlete are values such as dedication/focus, hard-work, discipline, team-work and goal setting etc… that apply to everyday life and are needed in order to achieve outside of sport.

Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Race

Apart from the debacle of a start, the race operated like a well oiled machine. Paddlers loved the extra technical river section with the finish further downstream.

Race Organisers NCC, applied all the Bells &Whistles to the Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Race – Hansa/Powerade girls at the finish, post race lunch race…. But this came at a cost in the form of an increased entry fee, normally R50, now R100. Was this the reason for the drop in entries? You decide….

 

Long time friends, Thomas Ngidi and Eric Zondi were the first ‘Change a Life’ athletes across the line, placing 6th overall. Chasing hard, only 28 seconds behind were team-mates Zonele Nzuza and Nhlanhla Cele, coming 8th. Hot on their tail, 10 seconds adrift, were the new combination of Skhumbuso Ngidi and Nkosi Cele in 9th position.

 

Juniors Mzamo Zondi and Mmeli Cele came an impressive 16th overall, second under 18 crew. The other newly formed junior crew of Siboniso Shozi and Scelo Mzolo limped across the line having damaged their boat enroute.

 

Lucas Mthalane’s Dusi partner John Ngcobo couldn’t make the race and so paddled K1. Mark Mulder’s misfortune (wrapping his boat a kilometer from the finish) was a lucky break for Lucas, allowing him to claim the honour of first K1 across the line.

 

Len and Hank were the last to set off from the disjointed start, but nevertheless powered their way up to the front bunch and then proceeded to drop everyone on the run, and paddle pat Malone to the end, beating the hot Dusi crew of Ant & Bungi by 64seconds (first & second in this year’s Dusi).

First woman crew were Hilary Pi

 

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CHANGE A LIFE ACADEMY UPDATE….

USN: At home with the Dusi Duke, Martin Dreyer (14.09.2012)

Play video

Affectionately known as the Dusi Duke, Martin Dreyer has invested a lot into the development of rural athletes in the Valley of 1000 hills. We sent Liezel to Durban for a catch-up with this amazing…

00:04:58

Added on 2012/09/14

“I LOVE MY JOB….”

Mpilo Zondi – athlete of the Future….

‘CHANGE A LIFE’ SPORTS DAY:
Twelve of my CAL Zulus and I hosted the Change a Life Inter-Schools X Country championships at Nagle on the other day.

Sport in its rawest form – Kids running barefoot as if their lives depended on it.

Barefoot Mania….

What a spectacular occasion….

Instead of the 14 Schools sending their 20 best runners, we reduced it to sending their 10 best. This was necessary due to the increased number of School’s participating, so as to give the kids a more memorable experience and allow us to keep a “handle on the occasion” – providing an all round great experience – DJ blasting Music, lunch afterwards, Cash Prizes to top 5 individuals in the girl & boy categories for Junior and High School. Then also an overall cash Prize going to the winning Junior and High School. A change from the “eat as much as you can” at the Spur (which was generously donated by Spur) & Movie.

African Time saw the kids line up, barefoot and raring to GO! Their faces resembling the innocent eagerness of a child about to receive a treat – oblivious to the heart thumping, lung burning deal that lay waiting ahead.

10 best from 14 Schools get to race at the CAL Inter Schools – Junior Start

Just before the start, my CAL Running League Coordinator John Ntuli said to me, “Mart, watch just how fast they run!” “I know how fast they can run,” I replied. “No,” said John with a big grin, “watch how fast they run now because there is money to be won!”

My Goodness, was he spot on – their little leg turnover was incredible. Both Junior 3km and Senior 7km routes are tough, each with a defining Hill climb. Some blew spectacularly, whilst others paced themselves to perfection. The USN Cytopower awaiting at the Finish was the Cherry on Top.

Tough Hill…. kids gave their all….

This occasion is something to experience and so I give you an open invitation to come and join us for the next Inter Schools X-Country Champs down in the Valley of a Thousand hills. Come enjoy the run or give a helping hand.

WINNING SCHOOLS:

Nhlanhlayayebuze High School, coached by CAL Nhlanhla Cele, absolutely dominated the High Schools, placing 1st to 5th overall.

Sansikane Primary School, coached by CAL Bethwil Ngidi, won the Junior School Title.

A huge thanks to ’Change a Life’, USN & Hi-Tec for their ongoing support of my CAL academy, something which is very close to my Heart.

Change a Life Update contd….

The ‘Change a Life’ Academy has now turned its focus to Paddling, especially with that the Fish River Canoe Marathon and Dusi are looming up ahead. However, those that are training for the Triple Challenge, still spend a fair amount of time on their bikes (here a major overhaul of worn drives drive chains is necessary) – I am so very grateful to Kobie for donating her old bicycle, which will go to Sizwe (hoping he will do the Cape-Epic next year) and to Michiel for purchasing a new bike for my top cyclist, John Ntuli, (45th in the 2012 Absa Cape-Epic). You have no idea how excited these 2 young lads are…. thank you.

Now having completed the annual fund raiser , ‘High Five Cycle Tour’, up in the Northern Province, I am pleased to say that 4 of my CAL Zulus (John, Mkhonzeni, Sizwe & Bethwel) played an integral part in helping behind the scenes, waking up most mornings at 2am to get the necessary done…. Great work from Usn’s Trevor & Riaan – the ice cold RecoverMax and Protein Fuel 25 after a big day in the saddle were real winners, amongst all the other Usn treats provided – thanks guys.

Expresso TV shoot

Expresso (via Usn) host Liesel van de Westhuizen visited our home to get the inside scoop re my Change a Life Academy. It was aired on the 14th Sept, here is the YouTube link to the show.

She also interviewed John Ntuli & Kwanda Mhlophe, which will be aired in a separate time slot.

A huge thanks to USN, as this was great exposure for my CAL Academy and for their continued support of my ‘Change a Life’ Academy – with the popular Muscle Fuel, fondly called the ‘Milkshake’ and CytoPower the foundation of its success.

Canoe Nite Race

Many of my CAL Zulus did a 15km Canoe Nite race in ‘Maritzburg – Paddling on the Flat water of Campsdrift, the pace was explosive – The best results were: Lucas 10th, with Kwanda a close 12th and was 3rd u/23. CAL U16 paddler, Mthobisi was the 4th Junior (which is U18). Mpilo Zondi was the 1st U/14 and got a little cash prize.

Lucas says to me after the race – “I think it was Mpilo’s first prize money ever, in that he didn’t want to show us how much was in the envelope, I even asked him to open it but he was too shy. He is so very happy”

Jock Claasens Canoe Race – 16th Sept

This popular Canoe Race is on a forgiving part of the Umgeni River, just below Albert Falls Dam.

The start is chaotic, as Paddlers run 50m with canoes, jostling for position to begin racing downstream for 16km.

Results: Lucas-6th, Eric-7th, Kwanda-8th, Mhlonishwa-11th, Mmeli-13th, Nhlanhla-18th, Emmanuel-38th, Bethwel-51st, Mthobisi-59th U16.

Change a Life Inter-Schools X Country championships

Twelve of my CAL Zulus and I hosted the CAL Inter-Schools X Country Champs at Nagle on the weekend. What a spectacular occasion. Kids running as if their lives depended on it.

Instead of the 14 Schools sending their 20 best runners, we reduced it to sending their 10 best.

This was necessary due to the increased number of Schools participating, so as we could keep a “handle on the occasion” – providing an all round great experience – DJ blasting Music, lunch afterwards (thanks to Parklane Spar), Cash Prizes to top 5 individuals in the girl & boy categories for Junior and High School, going down to 5th position. Then also an overall cash Prize of R1000 going to the winning Junior and High School, R800 2nd & R600 3rd.

Nhlanhlayayebuze High School, coached by Nhlanhla Cele, absolutely dominated the High Schools, placing 1st to 5th overall.

Sansikane Primary School, coached by Bethwil Ngidi won the Junior School Title.

Fish River Canoe Marathon (1400 paddlers) – thanks Morne from Hi-Tec for so speedily sending my Zulus the Hi-Tec ‘Durango’ bootie – the ideal Aquatic shoe for this legendary Canoe Race which involves numerous portages around dangerous weirs. The CAL Zulus had a fantastic journey in all aspects – not only fun big water paddling, but also seeing a part of the country (Eastern Cape) which is quite desolate and poverty stricken – making the Dusi Valley look like an oasis.

Donate your Birthday campaign by Hi-Tec

This exciting venture by Hi-Tec, trying to raise added awareness and funds for the Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy continues….

Please visit this link: http://on.fb.me/QBxo80 to see how you could “Donate your Birthday”, starts at R90…. And for that you receive a customised CAL Buff.

This coming weekend the CAL Zulus are assisting their Lembethe Canoe Club’s hosting of the Dam 2 Dam Canoe Race. A race which helps raise funds for the Club and literally finishes in their back yard – at Nagle Dam.
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Change a Life at Umpetha Challenge….

On the weekend a strong Change a Life contingent took on the challenging Umpetha Canoe Race. A unique race in that the finish line is on top of a mountain.
Umpetha Challenge - tricky Mussons Rapid....
Tricky Mussons Rapid….
Going into the 2015 Dusi, Change a Life’s mission is more on applying the “multiplier principle”, expanding its base, giving opportunity to younger paddlers. And with this in mind, the focus will be on the upcoming juniors paddlers.
Change a Life Mthobisi Cele - 1st junior in the Umpetha Challenge (2)
Change a life Junior winner – Mthobisi Cele
The Umpetha Challenge afforded me the opportunity to observe our juniors up close in racing conditions. Taking numerous photos, I was able to analyse mistakes, poor choice of line down rapids and incorrect strategy when it comes to race tactics [pacing/surging to get close onto a more experienced paddlers tail in a tricky rapid/drinking sufficiently/paddling “softer” down a rapid so as to not throw yourself off balance if your paddle strikes a rock….etc ]
Change a Life juniors - Mpilo Zondi - Siyanda Gwamanda and Msawenkosi Mtolo paying their 'School fees' in the Umpetha Challenge
Young Change a Lifers learning from mistakes – paying their “School Fees”
I just wanted to say, it was a huge learning curve but most encouraging watching these juniors in action. Come the Dusi 2015, I think you will feel the same….:)

Albeit a local Kzn race, Change a Life achieved 7 out of the top 10 positions.

With Change a Life ambassador Eric Zondi, taking line honours.
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The 15-inch model has gotten a sizeable under-the-hood upgrade too

MANDELA MTB MARATHON….

RMB Change a Life Mtb Team
With the prospect of great prize money, every ‘robber & his dog’ arrived at the renowned Mandela Capture Site, for the start of the inaugural Mandela Mtb Marathon. Close to zero temperatures and gale force winds, made for testing racing conditions.

Bongumusa chasing to catch the group ahead….

RMB CAL Mazwi Smimango
Newcomer to the team, Mazwi, had the ride of the day, ticking off the third requisite to officially become a RMB CAL Team member, by beating Jeannie.

RMB Change a Life John Ntuli….
Sthembiso started fast but couldn’t keep up with the Kargo Pro riders Travis Walker & Stuart Marais whom placed 1st & 3rd respectively), dropping back he finished a credible 7th overall, with John Ntuli just behind him in 9th. John was ahead at one stage but his shock locked and he lost valuable time over the rocky technical sections.

Maza is Mister consistency…. placing 17th.

Newcomer Schoolboy Siyanda Masango….
Results:
Sthembiso Masango – 7th
John Ntuli – 9th
Masa Dontso – 17th
Bongumusa Zikhali – 22nd
Mazwi Smimango – 24th
Mboneni Ngcobo – 27th
Jeannie Dreyer – 29th
Sipho Kupiso – 33rd
Siyanda Masango -37th
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MANDELA MTB MARATON….

RMB Change a Life Zulus to tackle Mandela Mtb Marathon on the 30th AugustThe Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash taking place on Saturday 30th August is an event that is attracting many different people for many different reasons.

When Sibusiso Khuzwayo was a youngster growing up near Durban he used to ride his bike because the carefree days of youth allowed for this but more importantly, because he loved it. As time went on and he got older and “life” started to happen, his riding days became less and less until they were non – existent and it was only when the doctor told him that his blood pressure was getting high and he needed to exercise more that he rediscovered his joy of riding and over the past while has gotten back on the bike and feels a whole lot better for it.

“This is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life now because it’s good for me, it helps me control my weight and has allowed me to bring my blood pressure down and I just love it”, said Khuzwayo. He has ridden the Amashova and the Tour d”Urban in the past and on the 30th August he will tackle his first long distance MTB course when he rides the 42km route at the MTB Dash.

The advent of the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash and Sibusiso’s love of the bike is a very happy coincidence as he is also the Municipal Manager for the uMgungundlovu District Municipality who are the overriding controlling body for the Mandela Day Marathon and its associated activities. He is a man that wholeheartedly embraces Nelson Mandela’s ethos of providing opportunities for all and this became evident when asked why a mountain bike event has been added to the Mandela Day event’s programme this year, saying “Madiba belongs to us all – to all walks of life. By bringing a MTB event into the programme it was another way to honour Madiba’s life and to open his legacy to other people apart from runners.

Sibusiso Khuzwayo, like many others on the 30th August will be riding his bike just because he loves it and wants to be part of something that is already touched by Madiba’s magic.

The boys from the “RMB Change a Life MTB team” on the other hand who were also at the Capture Site where the start and finish of the event will be checking out the course before the big day, are competing for very different reasons.
This is a professional team that is making waves in MTB circles with many talented riders within its ranks and are a product of a well organised and successful development programme and no one will be surprised if one or more of them climb onto the winner’s podium of the day of the race. Team leader John Ntuli was adamant that they were competing in the event to win it for the prestige and the prizes on offer and with all eight members of their group riding the 42km race, competition is bound to be fierce on the day across all the categories.

The Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash has a 21km and 42km race that has lots of prizemoney attached as well as a 10km family ride with the first race starting at 9am on the day. Entries are open for the event at www.roag.co.za and will close when the first 600 x entries have been received. General event information can also be found at www.kznmtb.co.za.

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CHANGE A LIFE – JULY 2014 UPDATE….

Change a life Paddling:
A ten strong Change a Life Team travelled down to the Berg Canoe Marathon, half of which was made up of the up and coming Juniors in the Change a Life Team. What a great opportunity for them to be on a road trip to the Wine region of South Africa. This Berg Canoe race was made so much tougher by the wet and extreme cold conditions paddlers had to endure. Thanks to Hi-Tec for couriering Herman base layers and Boreas wind breakers to the boys upon their arrival in Paarl. Eric finished Day 1 in the sort after top 10 but then had two unfortunate swims in the icy waters on Day 2 and struggled to recover from that, finishing 17th. However after four days Eric finished 13th overall. Similarly 2013 race winner Lance King had a swim at Daljosofat weir and subsequently cramped profusely, dropping back to 16th. All in all, a most encouraging performance from a young team, with final results of 8 Change a Life paddlers in the top 44. The highlight being Change a Life scooping 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall in the U18 Junior category.

Sent Lucas to a two day Development Coaching Summit which I attended as well and did a presentation on sustainable development.

As mentioned last month, a mentally disturbed person broke 8 Change a Life paddles in the equipment container for no apparent reason. I would like to order new paddles.

RMB Change a Life Cycling:

July has been quite a busy racing month with John and I racing the World Master Mtb Champs in Pmb. Undoubtedly the toughest75km one day Mtb race I have ever done, with 750m elevation gain in the first 12km for a warm up. John and I placed 9th & 6th in our respective age categories.

The following week, Bongumusa, John & Sipho cycled in the 45km Holla Trails Mtb Classic. A lot of single track made it most enjoyable. A great ride saw John place 2nd overall, with Bongumusa 3rd U 23 rider. To add value to his day’s training, John cycled 87km back to the Team House in the valley.

The RMB CAL Zulus were very excited to ride a new race called the Durban Stars. With big prize money, as expected the pros arrived on the day – Rourke Croeser (SA X-Country Champ) & Brendon Davids, which upped the ante. Sthembiso rode like a machine in the second bunch, coming 5th overall having been in a group 3rd to 6th. John came 7th & 2nd subvet, Mboneni 8th, Bongumsa 13th, newcomer Siyanda 24th.

CAL Running:

The ten strong Change a Life Trail running team competed in the 8km & 17km Sportmans Warehouse Trail run in Pmb.
17km 3rd-Joe (CAL Run assistant), 4th-Mthobisi (CAL) and 5th-Noyo (CAL). In the 8km, juniors 1st-Thobani(CAL), 2nd-Siyabonga(CAL), 4th-Mxolisi(CAL), 5th-Phaka(CAL), 8th-Mvelo(CAL). Then in the 8km seniors, 1st-Kwanda (CAL), 2nd-Boyboy (CAL).

The next Trail took part in their backyard, the Crazy Store 1000 Hills Trail Run. Here CAL dominated the top positions, placing 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the 10km and 20 km races. Receiving prize money for their efforts put huge smiles on their faces 
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RMB CHANGE A LIFE ZULU MTB TEAM – JUNE UPDATE….

RMB Change a Life Zulu Mtb Team

The month started with the popular Howick Mtb Classic. Technical single track and amazing scenery made the race most enjoyable. Best RMB Change a lifer was 6th placed Sthembiso Masango, closely followed by Mboneni Ngcobo. Next was Ndumiso Dontso, coming 11th. He has been a sensation with his exponential improvement over the last few months. Thereafter John Ntuli placed 13th, Sipho 14th and Bongumusa came 29th after having a mechanical.

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Dusi2c Start….
The two day Dusi2c was the highlight of the month, where the RMB CAL Zulus had the opportunity to showcase their skills to Family and friends in the Valley of a 1000 Hills. The Dusi river was the directional backbone of the race and so had some interesting improvisation of getting from one side to the other.

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YMCA Weir – not popular amongst Dusi paddlers….
Our strongest team of Mboneni & Sthembiso came unstuck 7km into Day 1, where Sthembiso crashed and buckled his wheel. They courageously soldiered on to finish 10th for the day. They had a great Day 2, finishing 4th.
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RMB CAL Sthembiso Masango….

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Sipho & Bongumusa crossing the Dusi River….
Sipho & Bongumusa finished 6th on Day 1 and dropped to 9th overall after Day 2 due to a couple of punctures.
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Ndumiso (above photo) teamed up with John and had a phenomenal ride, placing an incredible 3rd overall
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RMB CAL John Ntuli….

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Dusi2c 2014 Prize winners….
Final Results:
John Ntuli & Ndumiso Dontso – 3rd First ever PODIUM for Development Riders in a Stage Race in South
Africa in overall standings
Sthembiso Masango & Mboneni Ngcobo – 7th
Sipho Kupiso & Bongumusa Zikhlai – 9th
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RMB CALifers Bongumusa & Sipho….

Although I followed the race on Day 1, no spectators were allowed in the race Village at Mfula Store deep in the Valley of a 1000 Hills at Day 1 end – to keep numbers down and the rider bush experience at an optimum. So that made it impossible to follow their race on Day 2 until they reached Durban. So instead I used that morning to take part in the Hilton MTN National Series Mtb race where I sneaked a win in the VET category 
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Jeannie embraces the RMB CAL Mtb Team, trains with my Zulus when she can and wears the Team cycle top with pride, as can be seen in this lekker photo above, of her recce’ing the World Champs route 3 days before the big showdown.

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Am so proud of her courageous 8th overall in the World Marathon Champs a few days ago. It was a brutally tough course but then that played right into her hands…. :)
Jeannie was one of two South Africans in the top 10. First was SA Champ Robyn de Groot in 6th and Jeans in 8th overall. The next South African was Candice Neetlingh in 15th.
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RMB Change a Life John Ntuli [30 to 35yr category] and I [45 to 50yr] raced in the Master World Champs the day before – referred to as the Rainbow Challenge. With the rain the night before, it was a mudfest. But whose complaining, it was the same for everyone. John and I placed 9th & 6th respectively in our age groups.

How privileged we were to take part in a World Champs on our doorstep.

Thank you RMB for your support of this grassroots Mtb Development Team, and Computershare, USN & Hi-Tec, continuing to change lives in the Valley of a 1000 Hills

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There are bound to be possible battery fixes as well as apple aims to further improve the performance of ios