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 TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Knysna presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT. Stuart Marais and Susan Sloan were the victors.
Marais’ win did not come easy, going up against former SA mountain biking champ and 2010 XTERRA Knysna winner Kevin Evans.
“Today’s race was really hard,” says Marais (pictured above courtesywww.oakpics.com). “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 2 ½ 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 1:39:32. Evans came in second and 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,” says Sloan who had a winning time of 2:01:58. Alae Brand came in second, while Fienie Barnard finished third.
See images taken by XTERRA Pro Dan Hugo at www.dghugo.com.