Merrell saddle up for The Cowboy State

Tickets booked, it’s off to the Cowboy State of Wyoming for South African team Merrell Adventure Addicts as they head to the United States in August for the2017 Adventure Racing World Championships.

Along with compatriots Team Cyanosis – who earned their place at the competition with a strong win in the Paraguay Expedition Race – they get to explore the home of the Rocky Mountains and the least populous state in the country; a good combination for what should be an exciting expedition race.

Complementing veterans of the AR scene Graham Bird and Hanno Smit – aka Tweet and Smelly, Grant “Freddo” Ross will hope to step up onto the podium at his first world championship event, having already raced with the team to top three finishes in Swaziland, South Africa, Australia and Patagonia.

Long time Merrell athlete, Tracey Campbell nee Almirall joins the Addicts with her ever present  huge smile and fierce competitiveness. She was initiated into the sport by jovial and well-loved Team Castle Lite, and following their recent Expedition Africa is back out training hard, eager to compete overseas amongst all the top teams.

Coming together from the Western and Eastern Cape, the four will meet in June and July to train together over long distances as the rules dictate any newcomer needs to hear all of Hanno’s jokes at least three times before an actual race.

In line with the Addicts’ approach to demystifying the sport, their training camps will be an open affair, as interested athletes are invited to share some or all of the routes. With the popularity of the Merrell Mentored initiative – where the old school racers have taken on complete newbies and  guided them successfully through actual expedition races – it is clear that there is much interest and scope for development of the extensive talent we have in this country.

Some racers are happy to portray themselves as superhuman when the public admires their achievements but the Addicts prefer to convince people that it’s just a matter of hardening your head. “Of course you have to put the hours in to practising and training, and some will be faster and more technically skilled than others, but the ability to persevere will lead everybody to their own accomplishment.”

For information on the upcoming training venues keep an eye on the website and Adventure Addicts Facebook page.

With the continuing support and shared vision of Merrell, the Addicts will continue to be driven by the “DO WHAT”S NATURAL.” philosophy of Merrell. Other team sponsors include Black Diamond head torches, My PVM, Giant Bicycles, Sram, Ocean Eyewear, Squirtlube, Island Tribe Sun Protection, Llama Bar, Buttanutt tree nut spreads.

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