Team MERRELL Torn apart

_KIR4740The Merrell Adventure Addicts have suffered a major set back as they begin their preparations for a busy 2013.  Team Captain, Graham “Tweet” Bird, has been sidelined for a minimum of three months.

Team MERRELL Adventure Addicts have been one of the top Adventure Racing units in South Africa over the past few years competing in numerous Adventure Racing World Series Races around the world. Much of the Addicts success comes from the team’s vast experience of competing together as a tight unit over the past five years. The core team of Graham Bird, Tatum Prins, Hanno Smit and Donovan Sims have formed a strong bond that is vital in a sport that demands teamwork and most importantly team dynamics.

The team Hobbit, Tatum Prins is already on the bench for the first six months of this year as she prepares for motherhood. South African Mountain Biking Legend, Yolande de Villiers had been drafted into the team to fill the void. “We have done a few smaller races with Yolande and she fits into the team brilliantly,” says  Bird. “It is great for Hanno as now someone understands him when he speaks Afrikaans in the dead of night!”

Bird has been diagnosed with a torn tendon insertion at the top of his ITB and has been advised that it will be a minimum of three months recovery time. This leaves Bird unavailable to take his place amongst the team at the start of Expedition Africa.

The 500km Expedition Africa in May is the Adventure Addict’s first major event for the year. This race forms part of the Adventure Racing World Series and has attracted huge interest from the top international teams. “The race is being staged in the iconic Northern Drakensberg region,” says Bird. “Adventure Racing allows you to see and experience an area better than any other way, so it is frustrating to be missing out on exploring this region with my mates”. Bird added: “This is the first injury in 25 years that I have had that has stopped me from competing, so I can’t be upset. I’ve had a good run!”

Photo: Peter Kirk

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