The Final Before the Finale… Jeep Msinsi #4

 

Eric Zondi blasted off on the run at the start of the final Jeep Msinsi Albert Falls race, no doubt putting some hurt into the rest of the top male competitors as they kicked into top gear in order to stay as close as they could to this ‘Change a life’ warrior.

Well, it seemed to be a great day for my team of new multisport athletes, as we watched Eric maintain a second place behind Andrew Birkitt for much of the bike route. It was incredible to see the improvement of my guys as they negotiated the thorn trees and fast-flowing single track in true mountain biker style.   

Having tagged each other on the run, Zonele, Nhlanhla and Kwanda all had a steady ride. Kwanda, racing as consistenly as he does, powered his way up a few positions and led his team-mates into the bike/paddle transition. Each of these three had to deal with some minor bike mechanical issues en-route but kept up the fight till the very end.

 For the first time during this Jeep Msinsi series, the dam was like glass. There was little chance of my conditioned paddling boys making any significant moves up the field as the top contenders and only seasoned paddlers, were relieved by the breathless and ripple-free conditions.

Eric, although having run like a gazelle and biked to the best of his ability (at this stage), had to surrender two more positions to experienced mountainbikers, Jeep athletes Trevor and Justin. Even so, Erics 4th place was a great indication of his awesome multisport potential. 

Kwanda cruised in in 6th, Zonele 8th and Lucas into 9th.

Now is time to pick up the distance in preparation for the Triple Challenge on Sunday 15th November, which will be another exciting quest for me at ‘extracting’ the raw multisport talent of my ‘Change a life’ team.   

After loading the bikes and boats and feasting on my ‘secret’ racing and recovery food, banana peanutbutter samies and USN Muscle Fuel ‘milkshakes’, my guys chaperoned 40 or so U/8 kids, mainly orphans, from the Valley of a Thousand Hills, who had been brought by ManLine to take part in the days racing activities.

For most, their first racing experience… a 2km dash along the edge of Albert Falls Dam. As usual with little and highly excited kids, there was no such pace as slow as they all sprinted for as long as their tiny legs could hold out and from there on my boys encouraged them till each ‘broke the finish line tape’. 

 

 


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