Merrell finish 20th at 2018 Adventure Racing World Championships

170 hours of vasbyt for Merrell finished 20th at ARWS – Adventure Racing World Series world Champs 2018.

Some words from the addicts as they completed the tough event (Photo’s from Kirsten Oliver):

Team Captain Graham “Tweet” Bird: “When the opening leg of an adventure race is 106km with over 8000m of ascent, it’s scary, wondering what lies ahead and how you personally and your team will handle it. Conversely, this feeling excited me and I looked forward to the challenge that Reunion offered.

The race did not disappoint. It was hard. You had to work for every km. Nothing was for free, including the downhills.
It had many literal and figurative massive ups and massive downs with times of complete exhaustion followed by times of renewed energy after rest periods.

We had a well-paced and managed first three days, getting through the first trek and packraft leg with our bodies still in good shape and having had a good amount of rest. We were confident with our position and our time at that stage, with the plan to push on hard from there and get comfortably into the top 10. Sore feet changed this year’s goal so we shifted focus and as a team we raced the course instead of the other teams, crossing the line shattered but totally overcome with an immense sense of achievement and happiness.

It is all these contrasting feelings experienced throughout an event that makes me love this sport and keep me coming back.

Thank you for all the support and well wishes we received.”

Hanno “Smelly” Smit: “This race in Reunion was my first Raid in France and it panned out to be a peach! I loved it, I loved the island, the diversity, the extreme, the richness, the fruit, the ocean blue and then the race thrown into this all.

At times I was confused whether I was racing or whether I was just having an adventure with three mates. This race demanded experience and an extremely strong positive mind as one was continually being tested for these attributes by the course designer: bike legs had sometimes more hiking involved than biking, hiking steep descents had sometimes more ropework than rappelling sections. These were unexpected and so tested the athletes resolve to the fullest.

It was nice to know the big wave of support we have back home as well as here and it kinda eased my apprehensions and fears that lay ahead. It was great being out there knowing I’ve got good gear and so allowing me to concentrate on the job at hand. I am also grateful to Tracey for hanging in there and biting the bit for a full three days where she could so easily have pulled the plug.

At some of our sleep transitions I heard whisperings of encouragement from my teammates and when I thanked them afterwards they denied that being the case. It must have been voices from back home…”

Tracey “Princess” Campbell : “There really is no “I” in team. Big thank you to the 3 soldiers that got me to the end of this race, I truly experienced the magnitude of team work. Thank you for your patience and motivation and never giving up on me.

This race exposed weaknesses that you didn’t know were there.
Thank you to everyone that supported us, knowing you were watching us kept me moving forward.

Thank you Merrell for giving me the opportunity to change my life and experience the true beauty of adventure racing.
I hope this is just the beginning of an amazing journey with many more to come.”

Grant “Freddo” Ross : “A big thanks for the support and dot watching from all back home. Yes. Amazing adventures, life lessons and epic stories from the trail. But ultimately it’s the guilt free filthy eating following the gruelling events that really makes it all so worth it.

To be honest, we go through these testing races just so that we can eat as many croissants and pan au chocolates as we like following the taxing 500km courses. We don’t really need major cudos for that:) And I can recommend it for sure.

In fact, the Addicts would like to wish all of YOU the strength and support needed for avoiding delicious treats at strange times. We don’t have to.

Or try adventure racing. It’ll change your life for the better.”

Thank you to our dedicated sponsor Merrell for always backing us. And to the brands who believe in our lifestyle: Black Diamond (The Edge), Squirt Cycling Products, Ocean Eyewear, Giant Bicycles South Africa, Trail Nuggets, Nuun Hydration South Africa



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