With just over two months to go until the 2013 Adventure Racing World Championships, it is time for the Merrell Adventure Addicts to come out of hibernation. After the disappointment of withdrawing from the Expedition Africa in May, the Addicts headed for the hills for some time out and reflection.
The success of the Merrell Adventure Addicts has been built on the strong dynamic of the core team of Graham Bird, Tatum Prins, Donovan Sims and Hanno Smit. This has been developed over years of racing together. At the beginning of 2013, Captain Graham Bird suffered a major injury, which sidelined him for the majority of the year, while the teams resident “chick”, Tatum Prins gave birth to her first child in March. This left team regulars Donovan Sims and Hanno Smit to guide the team through the first half of this year, together with team reserve Craig Carter Brown and SanMari Woithe.
The Addicts now regroup for the assault on the World Championships, which is being held in the first week of December. The champs will see teams racing “Coast to Coast….Border to Border” over 800km in Costa Rica for the title of World Champions. The Merrell Adventure Addicts, who finished in 7th position in their last outing at the World Champs in 2011, will be competing against the top teams in the world, in a race that is expected to take the lead teams six days to complete. “It has been a long time since the original team raced”, stated Graham Bird. “We enjoy racing together and have a strong bond. The 800km, six day course in Costa Rica is the type of race we live for and we can’t wait to get outside racing again.”
Graham Bird returns from injury to lead the team in Costa Rica. “It has been a long recovery and rehabilitation period, but the injury seems to be good now and I look forward to adventure racing again.” However the team will once again be without their “Hobbit”, Tatum Prins, as she continues to spend valuable time with her son. “It is unfortunate that Tatum can’t join us, but this has opened the door for Susan Carter-Brown” reflected Bird. Susan, sister to Craig, has the pedigree and mental strength to preform at the top level in this demanding sport and impressed while racing with Team Cyanosis at Expedition Africa earlier this year.
The addicts maintain a general level of fitness throughout the year as part of their active lifestyles, but the next two months will see the team focusing on the endurance and mental strength that is vital to succeed is this demanding sport. First phase of the build up sees the foursome head into the country side this weekend for a tough 500km, four day training exercise to build the dynamic and get the team “race” ready for Costa Rica.