Archive for August 2011

CHANGE A LIFE DOMINATES MULTISPORT….

STARS OF THE DAY – ERIC ZONDI & JOHN NTULI….
Shongweni Dam Nature Reserve, nestled in a hidden valley close to Hillcrest, was a fitting venue for the showndown of the second TimeFreight Multisport Race. Not only did the up and down technical course keep the Heart Rate sky high but so too did the potential to ride straight into ‘a wildlife’ of sorts, including Rhino or Buffalo!
CHANGE A LIFE ZULUS – READY FOR ACTION….
For the first time since I have been managing my Zulu athletes, all were on the start line to hear the briefing and no one had to make a mad dash back to the car during the race to collect forgotten important blow up jumpers gear [ In 2010, Nhlanhla had to return to our vehicle to retrieve his life-jacket for the canoe section – car was locked – come and find me to get keys…. & still managed to make a top 10]
I caught a quadbike ride out onto the route to see how the Zulu magic unfolded.
ERIC ZONDI EXTENDING HIS LEAD….
My ‘Change a life’ boys belted off the line along with the top competitors in both the MultiX (run/bike/run) and Multisport (run/bike/paddle) events.
Eric Zondi, running like a gazelle ahead of the pack, didn’t seem to notice the incredibly steep and winding trail underfoot that snaked high above the Dam and which slowed many to a walking paceCrayon Playland 4 en 1 Combo.
JOHN NTULI CHASING HARD….
Following hot on his heels were Kwanda, John, Richard and Lucas and just behind was Michael (my 2008 Dusi partner- pleased he’s taking part – excellent cross-training).
KWANDA MHLOPHE CAUTIOUS ON THE  TECHNICAL….
It is always wise to keep a little bit in the tank for the bike course at Shongweni, as there is no place to recover while you ride here. The climb straight out of the transition reminds you that you have to pace the first bike lap well otherwise you may just have to surrender to pushing your bike up second time around buy inflatable giant water slide. I watched as my boys descended with skill down a tricky piece of the course and carry their bikes over a stream which had been barred from riding across.
SIZWE – NEW TO THE GAME – note cycling in his Infinities….
I then met up withthe race again at a floating bridge and a very long stretch of sandy track that required easy gear pedalling and lots of momentum, causing havoc with many participants.
KWANDA CRUISING THE FLOATING BRIDGE….
LUCAS MTHALANE FINDING IT EASIER TO RUN THE ENERGY SAPPING SANDY SECTIONS….
Having survived the 20km bike leg, the multisporters would usually be relieved as they launched their boats onto the water for a 5km paddle, but the wind that had been blowing since early morning and creating waves on the water, had even the top end paddlers nervous.
ERIC ZONDI – EXITING EFFORTLESSLY OUT OF HIS KAYAK….
Eric’s first Multisport win was incredibly exciting and even more so being on his home turf.

JOHN NTULI – CLAIMING 3RD PLACE IN THE MULTI-X
KWANDA SPRINTING ACROSS THE LINE – 4TH POSITION….
BROTHERS RICHARD & NHLANHLA WINNING THE TEAM CATEGORY….
INDIVIDUAL MULTISPORT:
Eric 1st,
Kwanda 4th, Lucas 6th, Michael 11th,
TEAM MULTISPORT:
Richard & Nhlanhla Cele – 1st
MULTI – X:
John Ntuli 3rd
Sizwe 1st [short course]
PODIUM FINISHERS IN THE MULTISPORT RACE

Go Big or Go Home….

PAULOS & MMELI FLAT OUT ON THE PORTAGE….

Tomorrow sees the junior ‘Change a Life’ K2 combination of Paulos Shozi & Mmeli Cele take on our Country’s best youngsters in the fiercely contested South African Marathon Champs at Shongweni Dam – KZN. Placing in the top two positions, will ensure selection into the South African Team, to compete internationally in the World Championships in Singapore come October.
Last week, the young ‘Change a Life’ duo, dominated the u/18 KZN Championship, winning comfortably, but SA Champs is another story. Here you will be racing the cream of SA’s paddlers, where there is no room for error – a simple stumble on a portage could see your chances disappear out the back door.

A DISAPPOINTED MTHOBISI & NQOBILE AFTER THEIR RUDDER BROKE OFF….

The u/16 ‘Change a Life’ crew of Mthobisi and Nqobile were out in front, however a costly mistake of knocking their rudder off(steering system) on the put-in of a portage, caused these youngsters to lose their ability to steer their kayak and ended their race right there. Distraught, they stared at the rudder in disbelief, trying to take in the fact that they had just thrown away the opportunity to be the Kzn u/16 Champions. I felt terrible for them. Later, ‘CAL’ coach Lucas reassuringly told them – “….at least  this is not SA Champs, next week show them what you can do!”

BUNGI & ERIC – PLAYING CATCHUP….

Although Eric comically fell into the water on the take-out of a portage midway in the race, Bungi & himself hung in for a well deserved 3rd place finish in the Senior Men.

NHLANHLAYEYABUSE HIGH SCHOOL & KWANDA

This week the top performing Schools from the CAL Inter-Schools X-Country Race, enjoyed their ‘eat as much as you can’ prizes at the Spur. The first placed Junior School – Phangindawo and High School – Nhlanhlayeyabuse had the added bonus of watching a movie as well. Especially the youngsters, many haven’t been out of the Valley, so eating out at the Spur is a huge occasion. On goes that colourful paper crown – I get such pleasure watching them enjoy themselves, but do worry a little that those little bellies might explode.

KWANDA, MART & LUCAS CLAIMING THE HIGH POINT – INANDA DAM IN THE DISTANCE

Lucas & Kwanda’s cycling has improved exponentially since riding in the CAL Cycle Tour in Malawi last year. Mostly because their barriers of distance were redefined when on one of the days we all cycled 192km (their furtherest had been 60km) – so now they know in training how far a long ride should really be. To challenge their fitness, the other day I took them on a long Mtb ride in their backyard – Valley of a Thousand Hills. For the first few hours I found myself ascending the top of the climbs in third position – thoroughly impressed by their power output. So I added in a detour to our ride and took them where they had never been before. With the ride suddenly longer than they had planned, the ‘showing off’ soon caught up with them, and we ascended a mountain so high that at the top, we could see Nagle & Inanda Dam simultaneously. After this monumental effort, they gritted their teeth in survival mode, with no USN left to fuel their muscles, cramps got the better of them as we neared home and so I sneaked into the top dog position as I supposedly should.

EXPRESSO FRONTMAN EWAN INTERVIEWING  MART….

Last week saw the Expresso TV crew come to my home to film Jeannie and I doing this and that…. it was televised this week in a 7min slot Monday to Friday on SABC 3 at 6:30am. If you would like to view these 5 clips, here are the You-Tube links:

8th of August – www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tOgHzqKT2Q

9th of August – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co1ms2RLq9U

10th of August – www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA3bQpyBJ00

11th of August – www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI-UpgB_vOo

12th August     –  www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDVzJumlA3o