“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.” Einstein.
Of course what is impossible, is relative. To the Merrell Adventure Addicts team – preparing for the upcoming World Series XPD Adventure Race in Australia – completing all five events of the Knysna Oyster Big 5 Sports Challenge back to back in one day was just a training exercise.
At 05h00 on Tuesday, the team set off on their bikes from captain Graham Bird’s Knysna home to cycle the Momentum 80km mountain bike route, coming into town grinning and filthy, where they reluctantly changed into wetsuits. The team with the country’s top canoeists who prefer being on the water rather than in it, then doggy paddled their way around the mile long lagoon swim through the waterfront, dodging the efforts of bad golfers trying to send balls to the floating driving range. The iconic ferry ride across to start the Salomon Featherbed 15km trail race along with 300 other runners provided a welcome breather and warm sunshine. Each ran their own race here, with Hanno Smit charging in 6th place. “Claim your race. You never know when it’s your last one.” Don’t ever hold back, he advises. Even in the middle of a tough day out. He and teammate Robyn Kime also won the mixed double canoe race on Sunday.
A short drive then took them to the Totalsports XTERRA course where they ran 3km, cycled 23km and ran a further 7km along the course still being marked in the Pezula estate Field of Dreams. Finally they finished with, and were finished by, the half marathon route of the famous Knysna Forest Half Marathon, to be welcomed back at 20h15 with pizza, milkshakes and bed.
“A bit stiff this morning. A bit of a waddle going on.” Said Grant Ross. But already back to work and discussing next weekend’s schedule. The team come together from different parts of the Cape and different backgrounds, but are united by their determination to live their lives from adventure to adventure.
There are no trophies and accolades for their efforts yesterday. It was an informal, spontaneous effort which took a bit of organization and gathering of permissions. But for the recent winners of the 450km Expedition Africa adventure race it was a confirmation of their ability to OUT.PERFORM, thanks to the continued support of their main sponsor; quality outdoor apparel and performance sportswear manufacturer, Merrell.
Other sponsors whose products complement the athletes’ attitude to adventure are PVM Nutritional Science, Black Diamond head torches, Extreme Lights, Giant Bicycles, Squirt Bicycle Lube and Island Tribe Sunscreen as well as Llama bars and Buttanutt Spreads.