On Saturday 27th Oct the Addicts took to the marked 130km route around the Garden Route for the 2012 Merrell Eden Duo. The Addicts Mens pair of Hanno Smit and Donovan Sims won the race overall with fellow Addicts Graham Bird and Yolande de Villiers winning the mixed pairs category. A great day outside. Download the Google Earth tracks taken by Graham Bird and Yolande de Villiers at the 2012 MERRELL Eden Duo here.
Report from Nikki Smit – “With the sun warming up the day, competitors taking part in this year’s Eden Duo took to the cool waters of the Touws River for the first of 8 legs which make up the 150km route. The course, relatively unchanged over the past few years, takes competitors to many beautiful places in the Garden Route. After an initial 5km paddle from the Ebb and Flow North Camp to the Touws River mouth, racers donned their running shoes for some beach running and a chilly kloofing section up the Kaaimans River made all the more exciting this year by the increased water level due to recent rains.MERRELL Eden Duo
Once out the kloof, a short section of tar up to Saasveld saw the start of the 3rd leg, a technical and hard cycle through the forest paths to Witfontein Forest Station and up the notorious Montague Pass, hard even on fresh legs! The start of the next leg, a mountain trek from Herald Wines, over the George Mountain via Tierkop and finishing at Groeneweide, proved to be the undoing for many teams, with the back teams arriving a full 5hrs behind leaders Hanno Smit and Donovan Sims! The bike leg along the 7 passes road to Hoogekraal low-level bridge seemed a walk in the park compared to the earlier climb up Montague pass and racers met up with with seconding crews who had canoes ready for the longest paddle of the day which saw them navigate their way through Ruigtevlei and Swartvlei to the camping site near Guericke’s.
Race leaders Hanno and Donovan had the luxury of daylight as they took to the beach for the long and much dreaded (by some) run to Wilderness. Hitting low tide was a luxury that the leaders were not afforded as they made their way to the river mouth where they met their seconds for the final paddle back to Ebb and flow, smashing the course record in an amazing 11hrs31min.
The Eden Duo offers an amazing variety of experiences to those who take part, not only because of the exquisite scenery that the Garden Route has on offer, but because the competitors experience it from different perspectives. The winners of the race, Hanno Smit and Donovan Sims did the entire race in daylight, whereas many of the back markers only finished in the early hours of Sunday morning, having to cycle, paddle and run under the beautiful full moon.
A big thank you to Merrell for sponsoring event and giving everyone the opportunity to GET OUTSIDE!”