The MERRELL Adventure Addicts are people who lead healthy, active life styles, living life to the full – competing in a wide array of disciplines from road running to cross country running, mountain biking, road cycling, canoeing and of course adventure racing. Why MERRELL? “MERRELL believe in encouraging everyone to get outside, from beginner to seasoned pro. And once out there, MERRELL provide the performance and style to keep you going. Further. Fater. Comfortably.”
MERRELL believes in encouraging and equipping everyone to get outside.
The MERRELL Adventure Addict squad consist of a core group of “Outventure” Addicts, that compete in a wide variety of outdoor sports. The core squad was formed in 2004 and has successfully competed in numerous adventure races and multisport events throughout South Africa and around the World.
The MERRELL Adventure Addicts core squad:
GRAHAM BIRD: Age 43. B.Comm. The team is led and managed by Graham Bird. Graham has been involved in sport since 1986, when he starting canoeing. Graham has been one of South Africa’s top canoeists since the early nineties, winning 28 South African titles and being selected for 14 national teams (7 as captain). Over this period, Graham has also had numerous top five finishes at World Canoeing Championship and World Cup events all over the world. He has also won the majority of the major canoe races held in South Africa. Graham now focuses his energies on competing in adventure racing, trail running, mountain biking, canoeing and multisport events around the country, regularly finishing in the top 5% of these races. Graham brings a strong leadership quality to the team, having served on both the Canoeing South Africa and Gauteng Canoe Union committees. He has also been a regular organiser of events and managed teams competing at the World Championships.
TATUM PRINS: Age 38. Travel and Tourism Diploma, ACE Personal Trainer and Outdoor Fitness Instructor. Tatum gives “adventurer” and “endurance athlete” a new meaning! She is a very firm believer in living each and every day to its fullest! Coming from a river guiding background she developed a love for adventure and the outdoors which led to her involvement in AR since 2004. She races locally and abroad ranging from short sprints to massive expeditions. Her commitment to the sport has taken her twice to the Adventure Racing World Championships – in New Zealand in 2005 and more recently in Scotland where her team came 14th after completing a shattering 500km race. Amongst many other achievements in trail running and mountain biking she recently completed the 2007 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike race. Tatum loves all forms of challenges and being pushed to the limit and her experience and all round abilities will be an asset to the team.
HANNO SMIT: Age 46. B.Bldg Art (UPE). Hanno, also known as “Houtkapper”, is involved in commercial forestry in the Knysna/Sedgefield area. Hanno comes from a triathlon background and later paddling. Surfski fishing constitutes the bulk of his training. The highlight of Hanno’s paddling career is having been the only person to partner Martin Dreyer on the Dusi and not win, not once, but twice!!
DONOVAN SIMS: Age 41. Donovan is a market agent on the East London Fresh Produce Market , this means up at 3 am but home by 13h00 , lots of training time. Donovan co mes from a rugby playing background and made the switch to adventure racing in 2004, and has never looked back. Donovan’s strengths in this sport is that he is not strong in any one discipline but pretty much the same throughout all of them. When his not training for an event he enjoys spear fishing and anything even closely related to the ocean. Don also bring’s some eye candy to the team, something that is vital to keep Tatum amused on the long races!
GRANT ROSS: Age 30. Whilst at UCT studying to submerse himself in an office job, Grant accidentally found himself in his first 250km expedition style race back in 2004. He had no idea the effect that this “mistake” would have on his life going forwardSince then he has expressed his love for the outdoors and competition through adventure racing, and this has even stretched as far as him pursuing a career in mountain sports, avoiding finance all together. Adventure Racing for over 10 years around SA, competing at the highest level on an international basis was the logical next step.