Marais tops in XTERRA
Stuart Marais (www.oakpics.com)
Knysna - PEZULA Private Estate’s Field of Dreams was the equivalent of a battle field on Thursday when just under 800 eager XTERRA warriors toed the line to take on the fast paced XTERRA Knysna.
Stuart Marais and Susan Sloan were the victors in the individual men’s and women’s races respectively.
Marais’ win did not come easy on the day going up against former multiple SA mountain biking champion and 2010 XTERRA Knysna winner Kevin Evans.
“Today’s race was really hard,” said Marais. “I had to build a lead on Kevin Evans and Nico Pfitzenmaier, which meant that I had to go out really hard on the first 3km run. Kevin caught me quickly on the mountain bike leg, it felt like I was standing still. I tried to stick with him, but in under a minute he was gone. I waited for Nico Pfitzenmaier and Tyronne White who were in 3rd and 4th place and cycled with them pretty much into transition. I heard that Kevin had two-and-a-half minutes lead on me, so I put my head down and just tried to find my rhythm. XTERRA Knysna is perfect for those athletes that want to compete for the first time. I just loved it,” says Marais who crossed the finish line in an impressive time of 01 hour, 39 minutes, 32 seconds.
Kevin Evans came in second, while Nico Pfitzenmaier finished third.
Though she doesn’t consider herself to be a good swimmer, Susan Sloan found it tougher to transition from the run discipline to the mountain bike discipline than from the swim discipline to the mountain bike discipline. “It’s really hard on the legs going from a run to the mountain bike. I had some technical trouble with my mountain bike today, forcing me to work harder. The runs were good, however I had to push hard as I knew that Alae Brand and Fienie Barnard were right behind be, both of them being really strong runners. Running is fun and mountain biking is fun, if you put them together you get XTERRA, it’s the best. I’ll definitely like to be back next year,” said Sloan who had a winning time of 02 hours, 01 minutes, 58 seconds.
Alae Brand came in second, while Fienie Barnard finished third.
Team Perde was the first men’s team home on the day with a time of 01 hour, 58 minutes, 24 seconds, followed by Team Brittain in second and Team Just Relax in third.
Team Giant Mavic was the first women’s team home on the day with a time of 02, hours, 15 minutes, 30 seconds, while Team Locarno finished second.
Team Fun Freaks was the first mixed team home on the day with a time of 02 hours, 18 minutes, 28 seconds, followed by Team DT in second and Team New Balance Legends in third.
Dan Howitz took honours in the individual men’s category of the XTERRA Knysna Lite with a winning time of 01 hours, 02 minutes, 43 seconds.
Matthew Lombardi came in second, while Philip Van Niekerk finished third.
Heleen Rossouw walked off with gold in the women’s category of the XTERRA Knysna Lite with a winning time of 01 hour, 18 minutes, 40 seconds.
Marguerite Van Niekerk came in second, while Jade Hooke finished third.
Team Pa en Seun was the first men’s team home on the day with a time of 01 hour, 06 minutes, 39 seconds, followed by Team C and D PRG in second and Team Austin Powers Squared in third.
Team Lombardi Salomon was the first women’s team home on the day with a time of 01 hours, 17 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by Team Rola in second and Team Dream It in third.
Team Cyclerun was the first mixed team home on the day with a time of 01 hour, 07 minutes, 42 seconds, followed by Team Merrell Mixed Lite in second and Team Jimmy’s in third.