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ADVENTURE - SPORT - LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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Pure and unimaginable Lesotho Wildrun 2013
VOL 5 • 6 • 2013
see page 38
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IMAGINE A TOUR WHERE YOU’RE TREATED AS ROYALTY. WHERE YOU ARE PAMPERED MORNING TO NIGHT. WHERE YOU CAN EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. WHERE ELSE BUT AT THE TOUR OF LEGENDS!
RIDE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BIG 5. TOP CLASS MOUNTAIN BIKING. 5 STAR ACCOMMODATION. EXQUISITE FOOD.
On the Cover - Day 1 of the Lesotho Wildrun 2013. Photo by - Kelvin Trautman
REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Alan Hobson Fly Fishing
Keegan Longueira Mountain biking
Deon Breytenbach Paddling
Francois Steyn Vehicle Reviews
Matthew Holt Hiking
Jacques Marais Photography
Amy Shaw BASE Jumping
André Troost Various
Steven Yates Travel
Xen & Adri Ludick Travel
Hannele Steyn MTB | Nutrition
Kobus Bresler Mountaineering
Damien Laird Trail Running
Neil Ross Recipes
Peter Fairbanks Insurance
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DO IT NOW (ISSN 2074-6117) is published monthly. While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the content of the DO IT NOW Magazine is accurate at the time of going to press, DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of utilising the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of our environment.
6 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
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There has been an ongoing debate around print versus digital at DO IT NOW Magazine for some time now. Although print offers the conventional way of reading, the digital offering gives the reader a more current and interactive experience. So, we started addressing this issue by ensuring that each monthly print issue was also available (excact copy) on a PDF reader online, and we introduced our own DO IT NOW Magazine apps on the Apple and android platforms, bringing it to life in a whole new way! Due to publication release dates being bound by printing and distribution timelines, we have decided to forgo a monthly print copy if it means that we can provide a more up-to-date, current and fully interactive issue of the magazine to our readers. To this end, it is with mixed feelings we announce that the July 2013 will be the final pre-ordered print copy of DO IT NOW Magazine. Having said this, it’s with great enthusiasm that we announce that from 1 May DO IT NOW Magazine has been available for free on the website (www.doitnow.co.za) and app platforms. We are now able to publish more articles, more frequently, thus ensuring that you receive the very latest news, views and entertainment 'hot off the press'.
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16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1. Interactive DO IT NOW Magazine app: for tablets and smartphones (Apple and android devices). Top features include video content, live links and search function. 2. Digital PDF magazine reader: for desktops, smartphones and tablets. Top features include pageable magazine layout with live links. 3. Plain text articles: for desktops, smartphones and tablets. Features include plain text, gallery and video content (where relevant). For more information on any of these options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We have one more cutting-edge option in the pipeline, but you’ll have to keep your eyes on DO IT NOW Magazine’s latest news for more information in the near future. Having touched on what you can expect in the next month, let's take a look at this month's issue. It features another impressive line up of adventure, sport and lifestyle articles from introducing new sports; Footvolley and Flying Disk League, to learning more about the African riders that are taking part in the 2013 Tour de France. For our trail running enthusiasts, this issue has some great articles on the Lesotho Wildrun, Arctic Marathon, Winter Trail Series and more. Don’t miss the water action articles on paddling and surfski paddling in South Africa. Camping tent reviews, vehicle reviews, travelling through the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, nutritional tips and so much more. Enjoy! I hope you are as excited as we are about the new direction that DO IT NOW Magazine is moving in, and we look forward to enhancing your overall reading experience as the boundaries on what is possible are being pushed by us daily. Until next time, take care and don't hesitate, don't procrastinate, DO IT NOW! Francois
You are now able to read the free digital magazine in one of three ways:
Here are some fantastic activities and events to look out for this month: Paddling // Paddling for the Planet - Fish Hoek (CT): 1 June Expo // Gauteng Motor Show - Zwartkops Raceway - Centurion (GP): 1- 2 June Running // Comrades Marathon - Durban (KZN): 2 June Surfing // Surf Carnival - New Pier (KZN): 7-9 June Festival // Top Gear Festival - Durban (KZN): 15-16 June Paragliding // Take to the Sky - Barberton (MPUMALANGA): 16-22 June Motoring // Toyota 1000 Desert Race (BOTSWANA): 21 June Trail Running // Grootvadersbosch Trail Challenge (NC): 22-23 June Festival // Oyster Festival - Knysna (WC): 28 June-7 July Hike // Giants Castle Hike - Drakensberg (KZN): 29-30 June
Cycling // Tour de France - Porto to Vecchio (FRANCE): 29 June-21 July Expo // Body Worlds - Newtown (JHB): until 30 June For a more comprehensive list of events and activities taking place throughout the year, check out the dinLIST Calendar on www.doitnow.co.za/calendar.
www.doitnow.co.za • 7
Vol. 5 • 6 • 2013 #26 | www.doitnow.co.za
// Team & Contributors: p. 6 DO IT NOW Magazine’s team and regular contributors. // inTRO: p. 7 Letter from DO IT NOW Magazine's founder. // dinLIST Calendar: p. 7 Calendar featuring Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle activities. // Enter & Win: p. 9 Enter our new website competition and stand to win great prizes. // inFOCUS Quarterly Reader Competition: p. 88 Stand a chance to WIN R500 by entering the quarterly reader photo competition. // inCLOSING: p. 98 A sneak preview of upcoming articles.
12 Footvolley Fever Hits Rainbow Nation 16 High Flying Action
20 On Belay!
26 Into Thin Air – World's Toughest Marathon 32 An Idiom Aboard 38 Lesotho Wildrun 2013 - Pure and Unimaginable 44 Winter Trail Series 2013
46 Riding for Hope 50 African Cyclists Take On Tour de France
56 SA Leads in Surfski Paddling 60 Basics, Keeping Warm and Saving Energy in Winter
64 Natural Selection 66 Sleep to Improve Your Performance
70 Nature’s Wonders 74 The Art of Fly-tying
78 Whisky Age - Nothing but a Number
82 Cheap is NOT Always Better!
84 SHOOT! A MTB Challenge
90 Camping Gear Review - Wherever I Pitch My Tent 94 In the Spotlight: What Motoring is About Key:
8 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
ENTER & WIN Visit www.doitnow.co.za during June and enter your name and email address in the Enter & Win Competition to stand a chance to WIN …
runtastic GPS watch value d at R2,200.00 The runtastic GPS watch records all important workout parameters including pace, laps, calories, distance, heart rate, speed and duration, as well as altitude and target heart rate zones.
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Words: Traci Brest | Video: Sergio Menezes
Footvolley Hits FEVER Hits
It is no surprise that the football-mad Brazilians were the ones who came up with the idea of footvolley; an action packed, fun and exciting sport played globally. Similarly, it comes as no surprise that this sport is also taking off in a big way in our footballloving rainbow nation.
12 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
So what is footvolley?
It's a game that combines field rules based on beach 'volley'ball and ball-touch rules taken from 'foot'ball. It is played by four people, with two players on each team, on a court of sand that is divided by a net, just like in beach volleyball. The ball can hit any part of the body except the hands and arms. A maximum of three touches are allowed to get the ball over the net, and each player is not allowed to hit the ball more than once in succession. Points are awarded if 1) the ball touches the ground in the opponents' side of the court, 2) if a team commits a fault and 3) if a team fails to return the ball over the net. Scoring is done using the rally point system (similar to volleyball rules). Match scoring is usually up to the event organiser's discretion, but generally speaking, matches are one set to 18 points or the best of three sets to 15 points (with the third set to 11 points). The court is 9 x 18 m (old beach volleyball) and the height of the net varies and is based on the competition.
Sounds simple and exciting? It is! Although it does take a certain amount of skill to be a footvolley player, it's nothing that a bit of practice can't get right. So how did this sport come about? History has it that, for a period of time, football was banned in Brazil! Enter Octavio de Moraes, a soccer lover who would not allow his passion for football to be denied, so he started a game called footvolley. He began to use Footvolley as a training exercise for Brazilian soccer players in the mid 1960s. In hindsight, it may very well be that one of the secret ingredients to the Brazilianâ€™s supremacy of the 'beautiful game' lies in the unique blend of control and touch that footvolley develops in the players that play it. Through the years, footvolley grew in popularity and due to the increasing numbers of players around the world, it became recognised as a formal sport. Not only was it an amazing game to play, it was just as exciting to watch and drew large crowds to the games and tournaments. By the 1980s, footvolley rules and regulations were formally established. Another leap in the historical advancement of footvolley occurred when it became recognised by FIFA as an official sport. Currently, the footvolley community is waiting with baited breath to find out if the application for the sport to be recognised as an Olympic sport for the 2016 Games in Brazil is approved.
Today, footvolley has become so popular that it is played in more than 30 countries around the world by both professionals and amateur players. South Africa is one of those countries and it is amazing to see how fast footvolley is developing and gaining in popularity on our local soccer scene. Ilan Herrmann, who played soccer with a number of top sides in South Africa, introduced the sport and established Footvolley South Africa in 2009. "We have had some really smashing events and the technicians of footvolley are growing our talented local players," he said. Already, successful tournaments such as our Footvolley Fun Day and Footvolley Open Day events have been held in Cape Town, and more recently in Johannesburg at various locations. It has also been covered by radio, newspaper and sporting magazines. Footvolley South Africa's team has also gone into schools to demonstrate the fun and sociable side of the game to the youth. A demonstration took place at Eden College last year, where Grade 8 learners had fun playing and learning about this great sport.ď€´
The footvolley network of players is growing rapidly and each event is met with huge excitement and anticipation. At one of the Open Days, we had the pleasure of a soccer celebrity join us, our very own Banyana Banyana’s newly appointed Captain Janine van Wyk. True to form, she and her partner won in the finals that day. Like others who have gotten to grips with footvolley, Janine was also hooked from the get go! Open Day events continue to be held frequently, as it is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come enjoy and experience this dynamic and fun sport. We are in the process of planning another event of this nature in the upcoming months. Throughout the year, there are a number of major events taking place in different continents and countries around the world, including South and North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The current World Footvolley Champions are none other than the country that invented it - Brazil. The current champions in South Africa are brothers Yoni and Jorge Herrmann. In the last tournament held in Cape Town, on the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, they defeated a team of Brazilian nationals in the final to be crowned champions. So who plays footvolley that you know? Try Messi, Torres, Lampard, Henry, Fabregas Ronaldo, Romario (who is the global ambassador for footvolley) and others. The most recent international celebrity, outside of the football spectrum, is Usain Bolt, who was recently seen having a great time playing footvolley in Rio De Janiero.
As footvolley continues to grow in popularity, major sponsors are also wanting to get a slice of the action and coming on board. These sponsors include Pepsi, Bud light, Emirates NBD (one of the largest banks in the Middle East), Corona and many more. With big-name sponsors such as these getting behind the sport, the future of footvolley is looking incredibly bright.
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So who qualifies to play this sport? Actually, whether you are a boy or girl, young or old, experienced or a beginner, you are guaranteed to get a kick out of this thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile experience. If you are skilful, then so much the better. And if you are still learning the game, it’s a great way to improve your general control and touch in soccer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this exciting sport that is taking the world by storm and South Africa along with it! So why not give it a try? • èRelated articles:
• New Ball Game in Town (Issue 23, p. 12) • Racketlon - The Ironman of Racket Sports (Issue 8, p. 60)
The next tournament will take place in early July and you can see updates and details about it on www.footvolleymania.com. To see more clips on footvolley, search for footvolley on YouTube.
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o ng tts i d r e por Acco ld Sdia, mors r o W lope ort yc ,000 sphout Enca 8 ug w n th s throand ne to t i d d e l ex add day. wor y the ies are r ve base entr ist ea's datan l ded e c th a Afri expa
f h n on o me Sout ust bee ucti o j d c o s e r ha int e as b the mor at h h r h t e i t h w t t r a y r r spo e ma new a hit ... o . Som Frisbee w e o t r qui a th ltimate ut like U ll, b s a t otba ms it's i o F w er ee kno isk risb an t fric or F ing D A y l h F t u e o h t ). in S n as (FDL know League
High Flying Action 16 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
FDL is an exciting, non-contact team sport that mixes the best features of sports such as soccer, basketball, American football and netball into one simple yet fascinating and demanding game played with a frisbee. It is based along the lines of Ultimate, a game that is very successful overseas, except that there's more action in FDL. The basics of Ultimate have also been modified so that men, women and children can play this very accessible, easy to learn and interactive game. And as no special equipment is required to play, the sport is affordable to many. Since being introduced to South Africa, the sport has attracted around 1,200 Ultimate players countrywide. Currently, there is a club in the Eastern Cape, and the league will be launched in June 2013.
The history of the frisbee, and the games that evolved from it, is a fascinating one, as the original 'frisbee' was nothing more than a tin pie plate from the Frisbie Pie Company located in New Haven, USA. In the early 1920s, students from Yale started playing catch with these pie tins. Then the truck drivers from Frisbie Pie Company began throwing the pie tins to passersby, and it eventually became a major activity introduced to soldiers around the country during WWII. In 1948, Fred Morrison developed a plastic version of the disc, which he called the Flying Saucer, and then in 1951 he created an improvised version known as the Pluto Platter. The Wham-O
Manufacturing Company bought the patent from Morrison in 1955 and renamed it the Frisbee.
The game of Ultimate, derived from Fred Morrison's original product, was invented by Jared Kass and Joel Silver, along with Jonny Hines and Buzzy Hellring, in 1967 at Columbia High School, located in Maplewood, USA. Its collegiate roots can be traced back to the firstever game played between Rutgers and Princeton in 1972.ď€´
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 17
the game The game is played on a 50 m x 25 m field, which includes a 42 m x 25 m open play area, as well as two scoring zones of 3 m x 25 m on either end. A team consists of six players made up of either men, women or mixed players, with anywhere from one up to four substitutes. The game is based on a 'pass and move' structure that is similar to netball. Players cannot run when in possession of the disc and have five seconds to get the next pass away. There is no tackling and defenders may only block or intercept passes by ‘slapping’ the disc down or attempting to catch it, to gain possession of the disc. As it is a non-contact sport, any contact between players can be considered a foul. The game is played for two 20 minute halves. The objective is to score the most goals, and goals are scored by catching the disc in the scoring zone, similar to a 'touch down'. The team with the highest score is declared the winner.
18 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
interactive Once the league is underway, FDL will host a website where players can see game statistics, including goals, assists and interceptions. The idea is to allow players to monitor their performances and stand a chance of winning prizes sponsored by Saf-fa Energy, FDL's main sponsor. In addition, FDL is looking at adding a channel on YouTube that is dedicated to showcasing all the highlights, skills and events to the players and general public.
BACK In continuing with the charity work Saf-fa Energy does for animal charities in and around the Gauteng region, FDL has committed to donate a percentage of all match fees to various animal charities around Gauteng.
So if you are looking for something new to try out, then why not consider FDL;
it's exciting, fun for all and, most importantly, different to the general sports you get in South Africa. •
• Footvolley Fever Hits Rainbow Nation (Issue 26, p. 12) • New Ball Game in Town (Issue 23, p. 12) • Racketlon - The Ironman of Racket Sports (Issue 8, p. 60)
For more information on the sport, finding out if there is a FDL in your area, entering a team or individual and what events are planned in 2013, visit www.facebook.com/flyingdiscleagueSA or Twitter @flyingdisclge
Words: Kobus Bresler | Video: Adventure Sports & Urbancrag www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFSaFu0FpVw & www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-a0FLqwPL8
Belay! “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” - Nelson Mandela
20 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Top rope climbing
With top rope climbing, the one end of the rope is attached to the climber’s harness and passes through a set of anchors at the top of the climb and back down to the belayer (someone who holds the rope for a climber). This simply means that the climber will fall only as much as the slack in the rope, so it will generally be a very short fall and not serious. This form of climbing provides a lot of safety and is a great way to boost your confidence and build your technique. In saying that, it is important to remember that the safety is provided by the belayer using the correct action; keeping the rope fairly tight and in the correct position. It therefore makes sense that the person belaying should know what they’re doing. During this early learning phase, be sure to investigate your local crags for important route information on gradings and equipment requirements. We have bolted climbing crags all over South Africa, but on many routes you may need someone to climb first, to set-up a top rope for you. This means you will need an experienced climber with the correct gear and climbing ability. If you decide to follow this route, my advice is that you start at the lower gradings, starting at grade 8 and working up to grade 15, but only top roping. If you have never climbed before there is no point in visiting a crag that only offers harder routes. For some this may be really easy, but you need to start somewhere and figure out what you are comfortable with.
I would suggest that any newcomer to the sport starts off with top rope climbing that's followed by some bouldering. Once you are comfortable with both these disciplines, you can progress to sport climbing and beyond. So let’s look at top rope climbing and the basics involved with it.
An alternative is to start out at a climbing gym, where you can get proper instruction. An added bonus is that an artificial wall provides some sort of assurance as opposed to a sheer rock face in the hills. Furthermore, the impact on your hands, fingers and other body parts is not as intense on a climbing wall as compared to the rough edges and course surface of a rock face. You also won’t have to deal with loose rocks and the natural elements. This is certainly the best way to introduce yourself to climbing as every step on the ladder will boost your confidence and keep you moving to the next rung. Never allow anyone to force you to move to the next level; don't give in to peer pressure. You should always be comfortable with your own progress and feel confident before going to the next level. You have nothing to prove and if done correctly, while having fun, you will have a lot to gain.
I am a rock climber and despite not getting to the crags as often as I used to, I still love the sport and every outing feels like it is my first. I blame this on addiction, which is inevitable with such a bare-knuckle pursuit. Sadly, many people also get put off the sport due to a poor introduction. I was introduced to climbing by a friend 14 years ago and not exactly in the right manner either. At the time, I had no clue what it entailed and for the most part thought it was crazy. It looked extremely cool though and I wanted to give it a go. My friend was more than willing to push me along and my first-ever climb was a successful grade 21 lead climb on traditional gear up a 25 metre rock face. What that basically means is that my friend and I were idiots, as no one should be introduced in this way. If anything went wrong that day, it would most certainly have put me off the sport forever. Fortunately for me, it went quite well and also showed that I had some climbing potential.
Over the years, I have been privileged to introduce many friends and co-workers to rock climbing and have always stuck to one principle. Climbing is a progression, just like most other things in this world. You don’t simply jump into a car and drive it safely. You have to learn how to shift the gears and clutch control, use your mirrors and so on. If you don’t get the basics right, you will more than likely drive into the first tree and crash, and it will be years before you get enough nerve up to sit behind the wheel again. My advice is to always start off slowly, to take your time. The rocks aren’t going anywhere and it is preferable to get to them with a positive mindset and all your fingers and toes intact.
22 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
When starting out, your climbing technique is of no real importance because it will develop the more you get on the wall. At first, your main focus should be on safety, enjoyment and building confidence. What is critical during these early stages is understanding how to use your basic gear, learning the correct belaying techniques and how to tie one or two knots.
Belaying - This basically means creating friction between the rope and belay device. This halts the fall and allows the belayer, the person holding the rope, control over the climber’s safety. Belaying is probably the most important safety technique you will learn and forms the basis of any safe climb. It is an extremely easy technique to learn and once mastered, you will never forget it. I would love to go into more detail about the correct techniques, but space doesn't allow for it. So, the video above provides a simplified explanation of this technique and you will also find numerous books and web articles that demonstrate the right techniques to use, based mainly on the equipment you use. However, I cannot overemphasize the fact that no article or book can ever replace proper instruction. Find someone to teach you and practise with you until you are comfortable or ask your climbing gym to help.
www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 23
Belay! Knots - There are lots of different knots needed during climbing and as you progress, these will become more significant. In the beginning, I suggest focussing on only one; the figure-eight knot and some of its variants. This is one of the most important knots you will learn to do and is often used for tying onto your harness and other safety points. It is frequently used in rope anchor set-ups and numerous other safety applications where knot slippage is not an option. At this stage, you will only use the figureeight knot to tie the rope onto your harness. Practise it until you are comfortable doing it correctly and on your own. This knot has two variations, which you will use to connect the harness and rope; the retrace figure eight and figureeight loop. Both create a loop at the end where the harness connects. The above video clearly demonstrates how to make a basic figure eight, as well as a retrace figure eight and attach it onto the harness followed by your stopper or safety back-up knot. Another important aspect of knot making is the dressing of knots. This means ending up with a neat and clean looking knot. Ensure there are no sharp bends or unnecessary folds in the knot and that it has a neat appearance. This is good practise and will contribute to the lifespan of the rope. Some knots can reduce the strength of the rope, at that point, by up to 30%. If a knot is correctly made and neatly dressed, it will always reduce this figure. The guys at your climbing gym should be able to teach you correct knot making and it is always good to have someone double check your efforts.
The final aspect that is important in the early stages is understanding your equipment. I recommend you first rent gear at the gym until you are happy with your progress and the climbing bug has bitten, which inevitably it will. Try and avoid borrowing gear from others as you can never be sure how well maintained their equipment is. If you do decide to purchase equipment right away, then I suggest investing in four pieces initially. These are a harness, belay device, locking carabiner and helmet.
Harness - The harness is the critical point connecting you to the safety rope. There are lots of brands, all with their own variations and models, available on the market. We really are spoilt for choice, but choose carefully and correctly from day one. Shop around and never take the first option you find. Buying the same harness as your experienced buddy is also not the answer, as harnesses offer varying degrees of adjustment and comfort and are, in some cases, also gender specific. Ask the sales person for their input and insist on fitting it in store. My suggestion is to look at harnesses that are designed for both sport and gym climbing. Read the manual carefully, as it will provide lots of important and useful information.
24 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Belay device and carabiner - The first hardware you will need includes a belay device and carabiner. There are lots of different options here and this can be very confusing. More experienced climbers will all have their device of choice, but this may not be what you are comfortable with. Ask the gym to let you use different devices until you find something you like. My suggestion is to look for something simple and basic. If you are new to the sport, you will want to eliminate any confusion so that you can rather focus on your climbing. At the same time, purchase a locking carabiner. Helmet - The last piece of equipment you will need at this stage is your helmet. It is seldom that you will see someone climbing with a helmet on indoor walls and shorter rock routes. I personally prefer not to climb with a helmet, but when I started out this was very different. It provides security and prevents injury, which is always vital, especially in the beginning. Eliminate anything that can hurt and scare you, as you are trying to build confidence. I always use a helmet when belaying at a rock face, as you often find small pieces of rock falling off the face and if the rocks hit you on the head it will hurt due to the velocity built up while hurtling down towards you. Eliminate these dangers and focus on your safety and that of your climbing partner. You are no good as a belayer if you are lying unconscious at the foot of the climb. Now that we have taken a few steps in the right direction with your climbing progression, visit your climbing gym and work on the skills explained in this article. Once you are comfortable with the techniques and equipment, you will be ready to challenge yourself further and start focusing on climbing technique. In the next issue, I will look at bouldering and some more equipment and techniques, as well as climbing calls. Until next time, have fun and be safe! •
• Climbing in its Different Forms (Issue 25, p. 20) • Climbing the Western Cape (Issue 10, p. 42) • Taking You to New Heights (Issue 7, p. 62)
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Into Thin Air
Worldâ€™s Toughest Marathon
If you ever arrive at a race early in the morning and bemoan the fact that you have to park miles from the starting line, then hoof it to registration and finally wait for the gun, then the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is not for you. Getting to the start of this 42.2 km race involves a 66 km hike over 11 days and covers some of the most beautiful and toughest terrain on Earth. During this hike, you will ascend 2,500 m from the start at Lukla to Everest Base Camp. Only then will you have the privilege of joining a small group of 200 elite athletes, weekend warriors and adventure seekers from Nepal and all corners of the globe, and running in what is arguably the world's toughest marathon. Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, which starts from Everest Base Camp, has been run on 29 May since 2003, to commemorate the date that Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to summit Mt Everest in 1953. Organised by Kathmandubased Himalaya Expeditions, the race is growing in popularity due to international runners seeking something out of the ordinary and adventurous. Running marathons really is one of the best excuses to travel and see the world, and the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is a classic example of how to combine these passions.
Ram at the start.
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So if this marathon is something you can see yourself doing, this is what you can look forward to.ď€´
– SÉBASTIEN CAMUS, GARMIN TEAM ADVENTURE
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You will arrive in Kathmandu two to three days prior to departing for Lukla. This time can be spent sightseeing and being entertained in Kathmandu, an intoxicating, amazing and exhausting place. As the largest city in Nepal, its amazing cultural and artistic heritage is revealed in the hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillis and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops that have remained largely unchanged since the Middle Ages. Make your way to Thamel, a pre-base camp for mountaineers and centre of the tourist industry in Kathmandu, for some shopping and to stock up on any lastminute items. Thamel boasts a wide range of mountaineering gear shops that carry a range of branded products at very affordable prices, as well as some great pubs, clubs and nightlife. Expect to pay about R50 for a good curry and a few Everest Lagers. The day before your flight to Lukla, participants are split into groups of about 30 people, according to their choice of accommodation during the hiking period; either tea houses (lodges) or camping. I highly recommend the tea house option, but for those who want to save some money and aren’t averse to the fun of camping, then you have this option. Our group consisted of people aged from 24 to 74. The 33 runners in my group had done a total of 1,048 marathons amongst them, with Maraman (David Vaughn) having done 280 marathons around the world. Several people would finish with this as their first marathon.
View of Everest from Kala Pathar.
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You are then briefed on the first part of the adventure; flight times to Lukla. As you go through departures and board the plane at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, there's a buzz of excitement, an anticipation of what is to come. If you don’t know much about Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla, you've got to look it up on YouTube. Lukla is widely regarded as the most dangerous airport in the world, but don’t worry, the pilots are extremely skilled and only fly when conditions are suitable.
Lukla is a town in the Khumbu area of the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal. Although Lukla means 'place with many goats and sheep', few are found in the area these days. Situated at 2,860 metres (9,383 ft), Lukla is the starting point of trekking routes to Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Ri, the trekking summits of Island Peak, Lobuche, Mera Peak, Kongma Ri and Kwande Ri, and the three mountain passes route: Renjo La Pass - Cho La Pass - Kongma La Pass. When you arrive in Lukla, you'll be greeted with warm tea and lunch while you wait for your bag to arrive. Then you start hiking to Phakding (2,610 m). All days of hiking are moderate and fairly easy for anyone who is prepared for a marathon. The next 10 days will have the group hiking in the shadows of the Himalayas, across trails and staying in villages such as Namche Bazar (3,440 m), Khumjung (3,760 m), Thyangboche (3,860 m) home to the world-renowned monastery, Pangboche (3,860 m), Dingboche (4,285 m), Lobuche (4,910 m) and Gorakshep (5,140 m) - where you can hike to the peak of Kala Patthar (5,550 m) for panoramic views of Mt Everest, Nuptse and other peaks, until you finally arrive at Everest Base Camp (5,364 m). You get to spend two nights at Base Camp sleeping on a glacier, so expect to be cold and uncomfortable, but spell bound. The sights and sounds of the glacier, mountaineers and helicopters bringing equipment and people in is other worldly.
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Competitors powering ahead.
Finally the big day arrives. The race begins at 7 a.m. and you can expect a mad-cap start on the Khumbu Glacier, with runners jockeying for position as they clamber over rocks and skip across frozen ponds. The trick here is to pace yourself. Many a runner has gone out too hard and then had to slow down dramatically to catch their breath. The high altitude and technical nature of the trail makes it very difficult to get into your normal running tempo. Accepting this fact will make your day a lot more pleasant. Also, don’t try and keep up with the Nepali runners, as you won’t get too far.
Your trip back starts the next day after lunch and is thankfully much quicker, with only a sleepover in Monjo, because most of the distance has been covered in the marathon. The following day, you will hike to Lukla and spend the night there before flying back to Kathmandu the next day. Whilst in Lukla, visit the bars, coffee shops and restaurants for a well-deserved celebration. There's even a Starbucks! So, if you are looking for an excuse to visit the Himalayas, see iconic views and meet new and interesting people, then the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon should be on your bucket list.
Tips My tips to runners considering doing the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon:
The first 21 km of the race is the 'flatter section'. At the halfway point at Dingboche, runners have to do a 6 km loop, of which the first 3 km is uphill and then back down. Don’t let the drop in altitude fool you; the race profile includes 1,000 m of climbing. The climbs are tough, particularly the one from Pangboche to Thyanboche, the last 5 km after the descent from Thyangboche, and the climb back to the finish at Namche Bazar. Descents just don’t allow for a flying pace. They are technical and difficult, resulting in a relatively slow pace. The race finally ends at Namche Bazar to little fanfare; this is not the Two Oceans, Comrades or New York Marathon. Regardless, enjoy the experience at the finish line. Wait for your teammates to come in and swop war stories with the other runners. Due to the nature of this event, there will be an extremely diverse group of runners, with the racing snakes coming in between 3,5 and 6 hours after the start. Last year's winner, Phurba Tamang, won in 03.41:31, and the first foreigner arrived in 05.14:44.
Tip #1: If this is something you want to do, but cannot get any of your running mates to join you, then just do it anyway. Most people are travelling alone and you will quickly make friends with other likeminded people.
Later that night, and if you have the energy, enjoy the night in Namche Bazaar. Go for a post-race recovery pizza or some pasta and a few hard-earned beers.
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Tip #2: Be open-minded. Expect to leave your comfort zone behind. This is no ordinary race, don’t expect potatoes, jelly babies and vaseline at the aid points. Consider running with a camelbak in case the aid points run out. Tip #3: Travel insurance. Make sure you have insurance to cover any delays caused by weather and unknowns. We had to take a helicopter out of Lukla due to planes not being able to land because of fog. Tip #4: Medication. There are doctors on the trip, but make sure you know what medication you need, including anything to help with acclimatisation if needed. Chat to your GP and visit a travel clinic for vaccinations. Tip #5: Communicating with home. You can expect to find internet access and WiFi all the way up to Gorakshep. Having a smart phone or using their facilities means that keeping in touch with friends and family is possible, but it will hurt your pocket. WiFi is cheaper. Tip #6: Just go and do it. •
• The Kilimanjaro Marathon (Digital article - March '13) • Swiss Alpine Ultra Marathon (Issue 9, p. 72) • Namibia Ultra Marathon (Issue 6, p. 78)
For more information visit www.everestmarathon.com
Words: Dave Chamberlain | Photos: Stirling Keen
Aboard Finding oneself caught between a rock and a hard place is never an overtly enjoyable experience, especially when the aforementioned rock is the southern-most tip of the South American continent, Tierra del Fuego, a piece of land that quaintly translates to 'Land of Fire', and the 'hard place' is the steely gaze of my mother. I’m not a nervous boat traveller by nature. As a dive instructor, I’ve spent many hours bobbing about on little bits of motorised flotation. However, the thought of crossing water that is prone to vicious storms, driven up from Antarctica, certainly made me feel like I was trapped between the Devil and the deep blue sea. And before anybody accuses me of misrepresenting my mum, she really isn’t the Devil. In fact, she is quite a cool old duck. My sense of concern was ultimately unjustified as, barring just one day, we experienced what was probably the most incredible 10 days’ worth of user-friendly weather in the history of Antarctica, which was fantastic because the only reason I, and my family, was on that boat was to run the 2012 Antarctic Marathon in celebration of my mum's birthday. Held on King George Island, 120 km from mainland Antarctica, the reasons for choosing this race were: a) it didn’t require any pre-qualifications; b) it had penguins and other pelagics that had my dad drooling at the mouth; c) it's open to everyone, irrespective of one's ability; d) it's a race that attracts its fare share of South Africans, with whom we hoped to skinner in Afrikaans to in front of any Ozzies; and e) it was something the whole family could do.
A penguin takes an interest in Terrence Bell.
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Regardless of the personal reasons, a trip to Antarctica only comes around once in a blue moon. We flew from Johannesburg to Ushuaia, via Buenos Aires, and then boarded the Akademik Ioffe. While normally serving as a Russian science research vessel, no expenses were spared, particularly in the catering department, but in the confines of the quarters, a spirit of ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ certainly made life easier. Unless of course that back belongs to my dad, whose ability to compete with the silverbacks of the Ugandan highlands would have been of interest to both Leakey and Goodall. In saying that, one can’t help but feel sorry for the birthday girl. Apart from his shiny coat, my dad also belongs to that wonderful group known as twitchers, so it was heaven on deck for him as he watched the array of pelagic bird species, including petrels and albatross, wheeling effortlessly on the merest hint of a breath of air, above the boat. And so we chugged along over the next two-and-a-half days towards our destination of King George Island, which lies just to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea and the famous Elephant Island (the departure site of Ernest Shackleton's epic open-boat rescue attempt in 1916). Assembled onboard - our boat, not Shackleton's - were a 100 souls of every shape, age, ethnicity and size, including a Japanese runner who was attempting his 300th marathon.
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We dropped anchor the evening prior to race day and spent the time preparing for this race-with-adifference. Organised by One Ocean Expeditions and Marathon Tours and Travel, the race itself was spectacular. A series of figure-of-eight laps between the various permanent bases laid out the course that needed to be completed to cover the marathon distance. As luck would have it, race day was the only day of the entire trip that wasn’t sunny skies and the 100 enthusiastic runners were greeted by 70 kph+ gusts, horizontal snow, rain and temperatures that dropped at times to around -10°C. While it is a relatively flat course, the ubiquitous semi-frozen puddles of mud, rock and general slush made the footing treacherous. Each runner was also responsible for their own energy needs, but in the conditions, energy bars and drinks had to be sandwiched between thighs and even stuffed into running shoes, in an attempt to thaw them out. However, throw in some snow-capped peaks, bobbing icebergs and aquamarine-coloured lakes, and one couldn’t have asked for a more dramatic setting.
LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. A leopard seal takes a break, our home in the background. 2. The marathon start and finish line. 3. The marathon course. 4. Top four runners in the marathon.
Having just completed a 5,200 km jog down the length of Argentina, I felt well positioned to both enjoy the run and still put in a decent time. However, with the thrill of the trans-Argentine run still coursing through my veins, combining with the mind-blowing beauty of the setting, I was on such a buzz that I was not only unaware of the cold and the ups and downs, I totally forgot about racing. There were a few worryingly athletic-looking types hanging around, the stand out being a 5'11, blonde Australian lifeguard, the complete antithesis to my rather dumpy 5'6. On a rather important side note, Jane Fonda's fitness tapes will hold a certain ‘charm’ amongst males from a certain epoch, however, 'the Ozzie' is the only guy I’ve met who honestly watched them for their health benefits. Needless to say, my stumpy duiker legs managed fourth to Terence’s gemsbok first place, and to add salt to the wound, he’s also got a great personality. Unfortunately, due to the conditions, there wasn’t much opportunity to sit around and cheer the whole group in, and so it was with admittedly only a smidgeon of guilt that I sat in the steamy jacuzzi onboard the boat while waiting for two of my sisters to complete the marathon, and my parents and third sister to finish the half-marathon.
With the race formalities completed, the ship embarked on a five-day tour of the Bransfield Strait. This may sound slightly silly, but until you visit the Antarctic, you actually have no real concept of the immense amount of snow and ice. To fully grasp that some of the ice fields are many kilometres deep requires you to go and experience this amazing part of the world for yourself. Herein lies the crux of the problem though. Every time an alien species enters a region, it will leave a lasting impact. Tourism figures to the continent are approaching 40,000 per annum, with the majority sailing down on boats like ours, although there are also air charter companies that fly people in and out. To really appreciate the beauty of a place, some tour operators and environmentalists insist that people need to physically be there to experience its true value. In other words, if you don’t know about something, how can you appreciate and save it? It’s hard to say …
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 35
Antarctica Marathon 2013 Update The Antarctica Marathon 2013 took place on 7 March and in the Men's marathon, Alan Nawoj (USA) went on to win in 3:29:56, with second place going to South African Belthazer Nel in 3:37:48. Inez Anne Haagen (NED) led the ladies to win in a time of 3:41:52 and came third overall. One of the most impressive performances came from third-placed 14-yearold Winter Vinecki (USA), who became the youngest person to complete a marathon in Antarctica, finishing in 4:49:45. Also impressive is the record 17 runners who wrapped up their goal of running a marathon or half-marathon on all of Earth’s seven continents and were inducted into the Seven Continents Club.
LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Kayaking in the cold. 2. Danielle Nicholas explores the coastline. 3. A humpback whale surfaces near our landing craft.
During our five days of cruising, we kayaked amongst humpback whales and leopard seals. We explored the shoreline of the continent, with its seal and penguin colonies, and we had the chance to climb up some of the ridges and look out over the ocean in some of the clearest and cleanest air on the planet. We sailed past icebergs bigger than the Johannesburg CBD and saw pods of juvenile orca learning hunting techniques under the supervision of circling adults. The sense of peace and naive tranquillity as life just calmly goes on was very palpable in Antarctica. The urge to jump ship and spend a bit of time at a research station was hard to resist. As we sailed back to Ushuaia to disembark for the final time, an air of melancholy filled the boat. It was partly a reaction to saying goodbye to some pretty funky people, as would be expected, but it was also tinged with sadness that this incredibly brittle, innocent and mind-blowing part of the world is slowly disappearing, whether through natural environmental change or through human exploration and exploitation. Antarctica is a place that leaves a very strong impression. Directly, seeing the huge range of personalities amongst the resident penguins motivated my 2,700 km conservation run for the endangered African penguin and BirdLife South Africa late last year. Indirectly, having finally visited a place that has always intrigued me, and a place where survival is so finely balanced, keeps me motivated to visit other parts of the world as part of a grand conservation awareness run, which will hopefully culminate in a circumnavigation of the globe. The penguin run has been ticked off. Next stop will be Canada and polar bear conservation. Slightly bemused people keep asking how I continue to run such distances while living in a tent in the middle of nowhere. Having travelled as I have, and engaged with the world as I have, I can’t help asking people why THEY haven’t run such distances yet. I understand how incredibly privileged I was to be able to visit
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Antarctica and that it isn’t a destination that is achievable to the vast majority of people. But one thing that the penguin run brought home was just how fantastically beautiful the world is right here in our own backyard. Running is easy. Running is simple. Best of all, running is something that you can do anywhere. You don’t have to wait until you can afford to go to Antarctica to have your eyes opened. The next time you are on holiday or simply away from home, take some time off, lace up some shoes and go find out what wonderful places your feet can take you to. All it takes is a small shift in outlook and a small adjustment to your lifestyle, very much like a diet in fact. And like all diets, don’t wait to start it tomorrow, DO IT NOW. •
èRelated articles: • One Man, One Pram for the African Penguin (Issue 25, p. 34) • Green in Africa (Issue 18, 128) • Running for Cheetahs (Issue 8, p. 22)
To find out more about the Antarctic Marathon and Half Marathon and exploring the most pristine part of our planet, visit www.marathontours.com. Due to the incredible popularity of this event, it has already sold out for 2014 and 2015, so you will need to set your sights on 2016 and book now!
Words: Owen Middleton/Wildrunner | Photos: Kelvin Trautman & Nikon | Video: D4 Productions
The Lesotho Wildrun is a pure mountain-running journey through the magnificent, remote and wild mountain kingdom of Lesotho. This threeday, 120 km mountain wilderness experience traverses the Ketane Ha Mothibi and Thaba Putsoa ranges, roughly 60 km south east from the capital of Maseru. The unrivalled magnificence of this majestic kingdom promises participants trail running like none they’ve experienced before.
This year’s Lesotho Wildrun took place from 18 to 20 April 2013, and started near the mountain-frontier village of Malealea. Entries for this unique experience were limited to 50 runners, to allow runners to experience long stretches of serene solitude through the extensive network of trails that cross the mountain ranges and valleys, from village to village in Lesotho - an area only accessible on foot. The weather forecast for the three days of remote mountain running looked pretty grim as the Wildrunner team left Cape Town, with a massive cold front pushing through to reach Lesotho on the evening proceeding the start day. The minimum temperature forecast for Semongkong was only 8°C! True to the forecast, the first rains arrived on Wednesday evening at just about the same time as the runners congregated at Malealea for their event briefing and welcome dinner.
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unim Day 1
43 km from Ha Searle to Semonkong The rain continued to fall unabated the next morning, breaking only for the start shortly after 7 a.m. Later that morning, the sunken clouds began to break apart and open up the views across the magnificent Ketane Plateau, which had a light dusting of snow on the higher peaks.
Two kilometres into Day 1 and the going gets tough.
Lesotho Wildrun 2013
Pure and maginable Day 1 was a 43 km linear route that took runners almost due east from Ha Searle to Semonkong, passing the remote mountain villages of Ha Poriki and Ha Hlalele. One of the most spectacular sections of the day’s route comes after the checkpoint and Hammer Fuel Station, at around the 26 km mark, where runners cross the Ketane River, then climb and traverse the slopes just behind the massive 162 m Ketane Falls and sheers cliffs of the downstream gorge.
Due to the constant onslaught of rain, the going was tough as the ground was soft and slippery underfoot. The 2,000 m plus altitude gain had also begun to take its toll on the runners, and the combination of cold weather and a slower speed meant that some of the participants found themselves a bit short on gear to keep themselves warm. Some even pulled into the tiny village of Ha Poriki and holed up in a hut for a few hours to try and warm up! After a long, tough and muddy day, it was Jacques Mouton who forged ahead of the chasing pack to finish the day in 7:10:09, with Stephen Kriel and Sean Doherty in joint second place and Andy Stewart just a minute back in third.
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 39
Day 2 near the 7 km mark - looking back along the route with the Maletsunyane Gorge behind.
Linda Doke made her intentions clear from early in the Ladies race to win and take second overall in 7:20:11. Tracey Almirall was just 13 minutes behind, placing second in the Ladies race and fourth overall. Robin McDonald was the last runner in that evening before the cut-off in 11:45:28.
28 km circuit around the Maletsunyane Gorge Day 2 of the race saw runners tackle a fantastic 28 km circular route that traversed both the eastern and western edges of the magnificent Maletsunyane Gorge. The cherry on the cake was being treated to what is arguably one of the most breathtaking waterfall scenes in southern Africa - the 192 m high Maletsunyane Falls. This was certainly a highlight of the event and offered the runners, fast or slow, a chance to take a break and immerse themselves in these truly mindblowing surroundings. Straight out of the blocks, the runners found themselves clambering over some big boulders along the Maletsunyane River valley upstream from the falls, followed immediately by a winding trail along the riverbanks. The route wound its way to the edge of the eastern side of the Maletsunyane Gorge and offered sudden and unexpected views into this 500 m deep chasm. As a result of the rain, other smaller - but no less unimpressive waterfalls cascaded over the edges of the gorge to plummet into the Maletsunyane River below.
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The route then descended to the bottom of the gorge, where runners crossed the Maletsunyane River, at the 16 km mark, before facing the biggest climb of the day, a mammoth 3 km climb with 700 m of vertical height gain, to the western rim of Maletsunyane Gorge. Then, as the runners reached the top of a hill at the 24 km mark, they were greeted with one of the most spectacular views of the waterfall you could ever wish for. Magically, it’s also a view that can only be seen from one direction. Nothing can quite prepare you for this visual feast; the gorge is so wide that it can’t be contained in a single image, so the impact is just out of this world. In front of you, water thunders off a 192 m single drop to the gorge floor below. From the viewpoint, the drop is vertical and all around you are scenes of rock spires and other smaller waterfalls. Pure magic that has to be seen to be believed, and for the rest of the day, these beautiful images remained in the runners' minds. To top off the magic, the surrounding peaks had a dusting of snow that became visible when the clouds opened up from time to time, to reveal a landscape straight out of a fairy tale. The short run back to Semonkong Lodge was hardly noticeable as the mind was still reeling from the impact of the fantastic vistas witnessed throughout the day. Later, everyone congregated around a log fire, sipping cold Maluti beers and shooting the breeze with fellow Wildrunners; it had been a truly memorable day. After a disastrous first day, Tim Ellerbeck stuck with front-runner Jacques Mouton. The duo was joined by Andy Stewart for most of the 28 km, but somewhere in the last few kilometres, Andy dropped back slightly to finish less than a minute behind in third, with Tim Ellerbeck and Jacques Mounton in first, in a little over 4:18. Linda Doke once again took the lead in the Ladies race to take her second win and place fourth overall in 4:33:46. Tracey Almirall placed second and fifth overall in 4:47:03, running in with Stephen Kriel and Sean Doherty.
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The Noel brothers pass below the 3,096 m high Thaba Putsoa peaks on Day 3 near Baboon’s Pass.
40 km from Semonkong to Ramabanta The final day arrived and tired bodies appeared from warm rooms, to step into another brisk Lesotho day, with temperatures hovering around the 8°C mark. Retracing their steps along the last kilometre of Day 1, runners then wound their way out of Semonkong before heading north west upstream and along the Maletsunyane River. The first half of the route made its way on an ancient footpath to the top of the infamous Baboon’s Pass. This is one of the most scenic sections of the three days, with the trail traversing along the slopes of narrow river valleys that are rimmed with limestone cliffs. Freshly fallen snow greeted runners as they climbed the final 100 m up Baboon’s Pass. The high peaks of Thaba Putsoa to the north east lying thick with snow. The last 20 km wound down Baboon’s Pass to the Makhaleng River valley far below - a descent of more than 1,700 m. This was one of the easier sections and a welcome relief to the tiring runners. The final river crossing presented itself in the form of a 50 m rocky stagger across the frigid Makhaleng River - this year being a little fuller than normal and requiring a support rope to be put in place! Immediately after the river, there was a final ramp up 600 m to the finish line on the lush lawns of Ramabanta Trading Post Lodge - a fitting end to three awesome and unimaginable days of pure trail running.
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Tim Ellerbeck smashed the second half of the day to finish in 5:17:07, clocking up a lead of almost 20 minutes on second placed Andy Stewart. Jacques Mouton came third, but he had already done enough to secure overall victory and the 2013 Lesotho Wildrun title in a total time of 17:09:11. Linda Doke proved too strong for her rivals in the Ladies race, notching up wins over all three days and a third place overall in a total time of 17:50:10. Tracey Almirall placed second in a total time of 18:37:16. In the end, only 30 brave, hardened runners completed this pure and magnificent journey through the mountains of Lesotho and received the prized Royal Quality Basotho finisher’s blanket, complete with the 2013 Lesotho Wildrun logo embroidered in one corner.
The 2013 Lesotho Wildrun was proudly sponsored by First Ascent, who provided world-class gear for the runners; aQuelle provided bottled water throughout the event; and Hammer Nutrition provided endurance fuel at the checkpoints and for the runners' goodie bags. •
• Muizenberg Mountain Run - A Quantum Classic! (Digital article March '13) • Trail Running Safety (Issue 18, p. 70) • King of the Mountains (Issue 17, p. 90)
Entries for the 2014 edition of the Lesotho Wildrun will open on 26 September 2013. For more information on this and other events, visit www.wildrunner.co.za
Words: Claire Davidson | Photos: Jacques Marais
The final race of the Cape Winter Trail Series 2012 at Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Kleinmond.
Winter Trail Series 2013 Wintertime for most means hunkering indoors and foregoing one’s gym routine - unless you’re a trail runner! Wildrunner is proud to
present the 6th Cape Winter and Gauteng Winter Trail Series events taking place in the months of June, July and August. Whether you like to run for fun, adventure or to race, don’t miss out on the original Trail Series action. So get your warm running gear out and prepare yourself for some slipping and sliding in the great outdoors. 44 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
These Trail Series race events are a unique combination of four stunning routes in nature reserves, game ranches and wine farms, over four event days, so runners really get to experience trail running at its best. With two distances to choose from (either Long 10-15 km or Short 5-8 km), runners of all levels of experience can participate. And for those who want even more, each Trail Series has one XL event (approximately 20 km in distance) to get the legs going! Pick your distance and either run them individually or run three out of the four to compete in the overall Trail Series. Series runners, who run three out of four races, will receive a medal and there are category prizes and spot prizes at each event, as well as series cash up for grabs!
Trail Series tips for first-timers: 1. Entries to these events are limited. The limit is
dependent on the different event venues. On-the-day entries are only accepted at certain events and only if the maximum capacity of the venue is not reached with online entries. If you are worried about the entry limit, best pre-enter online at www.trailseries.co.za.
Gauteng Winter Trail Series 2013 Dates and venues in June:
Race #1: Sunday, 9 June 2013
2. There will be no water points out on course, with the
exception of the XL routes, where there will be a single water point at roughly the halfway mark. Please ensure you take suitable hydration with you if needed.
Venue: Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Pretoria (GP) Distance: 11 km Long course, 5.52 km Short course Start Time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Race #2: Sunday, 16 June 2013 Venue: Hennops River (GP) Distance: 12 km Long course, 5 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15 Distance: 21 km XL course - This is a stand-alone event and is not scored with the Gauteng Winter Trail Series results.
3. Highly recommended kit: Cell phone, 500 ml water, wind breaker and whistle.
4. Be polite! If you want to pass someone, ask! If you wear
an iPod while running, please keep it low enough so that you can hear someone asking to pass.
5. Have fun and enjoy the great outdoors! With trail
running, it’s about the journey and not the destination.
6. Trail shoes are a benefit, although these are beginner
courses and you will get away with road shoes. Just bear in mind that in winter, the trails can be wet and very slippery (hence, the extra support and grip of trail shoes are beneficial).
Start time: XL 08h30
Race #3: Sunday, 23 June 2013 Venue: Segwati Game Ranch (GP) Distance: 13.2 km Long course, 7.4 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Race #4: Sunday, 30 June 2013 Venue: Pelindaba Nature Reserve (GP) Distance: 11.3km Long course, 6.9 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Cape Winter Trail Series 2013 Dates and venues in July and August: Race #1: Sunday, 21 July 2013 Venue: Paul Cluver Estate (WP) Distance: 16 km Long course, 9.15 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Race #2: Sunday, 28 July 2013 Venue: Tygerberg Nature Reserve (WP) Distance: 11.4 km Long course, 6.1 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Race #3: Sunday, 4 August 2013 Venue: Taal Monument & Paarl Mountain Reserve (WP) Distance: 15.3 km Long course, 7.8 km Short course Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15
Race #4: Saturday, 17 August 2013 Venue: Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Kleinmond (WP) Distance: 13.8 km Long course, 5.6 km Short course, 23 km XL course - This is a stand-alone event and is not scored with the Cape Winter Trail Series results. Start time: Long 09h00, Short 09h15, XL 08h30
What the Runners think
Still not convinced to give it a try? Check out what some of our Trail Series runners have to say about our races on our social media platforms (Facebook at Facebook.com/ Wildrunner and Twitter @wildrunnerza)
Seen on Facebook Superb event as always, guys! Really enjoyed tonight's course, and the start/finish venue is the best! Really great to see public space being put to such good use. Cape Town needs more events like this. - Hela Strez I am loving the variety of the routes - long and short distances, morning and evening, weekends and midweek! I think it's brilliant and definitely caters for many more! - Mel Binos Brown
Tweeted on Twitter @wildrunnerza such an amazing experience yesterday at my 1st #TrailRun ever! I'm already hooked!!! Can't wait for the next one!! - Awie (@Awie_10) Well done @wildrunnerZA on another incredible event! :) The numbers, near 1000, show what great events you produce! #TrailSeries - Robert Le Brun (@Robert_LeBrun13) •
• Merrell Night Run Series (Digital article, April '13) • The Soaring Eagle Flies High (Digital article, February '13) • Shoot! An Extreme Trail Run (Issue 18, p. 120)
Entries are limited, so pre-entry online is advisable. You can enter online at www.trailseries.co.za, where you can also check out the route profiles, directions to the venue and get in touch with other trail runners! www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 45
Words: Helgard Müller | Photos: Mike Lerios (Photo Caps)
Adversity is something we all go through at some point in our lives. It can hold us back, damage our motivation and make us feel like there is no way out.
But for those who have looked at adversity as a lesson instead of letting it drag them down, they have emerged from the experience stronger and more determined than ever before. One such man is Helgard Muller.
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Photo: Paolo Bettini, 2012 Tour de France.
RISE OF THE TOURMINATOR. Liquigas-Cannondale’s Peter “Terminator” Sagan and his SuperSix EVO are proving to be a lethal combination. With the EVO’s road-hugging SPEED SAVE technology and exceptional frame stiffness, Peter is out-cornering, out-handling and out-sprinting the competition from California to France. Hop on an EVO and start killing it on your own rides. Green jersey. Terminated. Congratulations Peter!
“The Best Bike In The World”.
The SuperSix EVO is the ultimate road racing machine. Designed to be the perfect blend of all the key factors of performance - weight, stiffness, strength, compliance, handling and aerodynamics - the EVO is so good that Tour magazine in Germany named it the “Best Bike in the World” (Mar 2012).
On 22 May 2007, Helgard's life changed dramatically while working inside a grain bin, in the town of Roscoe in South Dakota, USA. He fell through one of
the non-covered draining holes and ended up having his left foot amputated. Now his life has taken another turn, this time for the better, and he is about to embark on a 6,000 km cycle along the border of South Africa, to inspire and motivate others who have lost limbs or were born ‘different’. This is his inspiring story. I can still remember every detail of that rainy, cloudy morning. I'd been working in America for six weeks when my world came crashing down around me. I was sweeping some corn that had fallen in front of a running auger (drilling device), which was turning and feeding the draining hole with corn. Suddenly, I fell through one of the non-covered draining holes and my left leg ended up inside the churning grain bin. I grabbed the edges of the drain hole to pull me up, but it was too late. My left foot was caught between the chain and conveyer belt and was being ground away. Luckily, my friend and colleague, Mike Stroman, came to my rescue by climbing through the small, narrow door of the grain bin and switched off the machine. It took an hour before I was released from the machine’s carnivorous grip. My foot had been ripped open and was only barely hanging on. The damage was irreparable. Although my left foot had to be amputated, I will always be grateful to Mike for saving my life.
For more info visit
48 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
The road to recovery was a long and painful process, and all I could see was the things that I loved doing - being active, enjoying the outdoors and travelling - disappearing from my life. I became emotionally disorientated. It was as if something had died within me and when I looked in the mirror, I did not like what I saw. I no longer felt like a man and there were times when I thought that there was no reason to live anymore. I felt sorry for myself, my emotions and temper flared out of control and when I was at my lowest, I would try to break my prosthesis. Sadly, I lost some of my closest friends and their rejection really hurt. I was in a downward spiral and sought help from a psychologist, but after two visits, I realised that I was my own salvation. And that salvation came in the unexpected form of a TV programme about American soldiers, who had lost both arms and legs in a battle that happened three months after my accident. It stopped me cold and made me realise just how fortunate I was. I still have both arms and one foot. From that day onwards, I began to recover, day by day, until I felt emotionally strong enough to re-enter life. I became very aware of how my thoughts affected my outlook on life and discovered that a simple shifting of my emotions from negative to positive could change my entire day – and my life! Before my accident, I was always in the background and had no voice. Now, I am a changed man, I am fighter, a high flier in life and I believe I can overcome anything that comes my way. As my mind became stronger, my focus moved to healing my body and I started cycling, something I have always been fascinated by, but had never done. This came about after I received a phone call from a friend in Louis Trichardt, who told me about Oscar Pistorius. I didn’t know who he was, so I googled him. When I saw him running on his blades, I felt inspired. It also reminded me about a conversation I had with my brother, James, when I was in hospital; that I was going to do a sport that would inspire and motivate others who had lost limbs or were born ‘different’. Six months after the accident, I returned home to the physical and emotional support of my family and friends. Shortly after arriving in South Africa, I bought myself a plane ticket to Egypt, with the intention of doing a walk from Dahab to Nuweibaa, on the Sinai Peninsula, which is about 70 km. I needed to prove to myself that I could still live a 'normal' life. Walking along the beach, it took me two days to reach Nuweibaa, at which point my battered prosthesis broke off and was irreparable. For the next three weeks I walked through the desert of Sinai and in Israel using my cane. Although the people I passed thought I was a beggar, I was happy because my life, with some slight adjustments, would continue as it always had. My disability does not define who I am, my spirit does! A year after the accident, I purchased a mountain bike – best buy ever! Cycling every day helped make my legs stronger and I even convinced my wife (at that time my girlfriend) to get herself a bike and join me. I entered a number of mountain bike races, including the Cape Argus in 2010 and Kremetart, and even though I found it very difficult to climb up mountains, go through rocky valleys and keep pace with the other riders, I still loved every moment of it.
Then two months ago, I made a decision that would fulfill my long-time dream of motivating and inspiring others by cycling 6,000 km on my mountain bike along the border of South Africa. To my knowledge, I will be the first person with only one leg to do such a journey. I will also raise funds for the Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities (WCAPD), because too many disabled people can’t afford to buy the right equipment for their needs.
The adventure begins
September 1, 2013 has been set for my departure. Although I have yet to secure any sponsors to assist me financially, my family and friends have been fantastic and their support and belief in me is what inspires me to keep going – for myself and the people I am riding for. My thanks to Tour De Frans Cycles in Boksburg, Gauteng, for sponsoring my cycling gear. Merida S.A. for my road bike; GT Bicycles S.A. for my mountain bike; and USN for the supplements. When asked what my biggest fear for this trip, I can honestly say that I have no fears because life has taught me to have no fear – just live and let live!
I plan to start in Cape Town and then head north to Oranjemund in Namibia. From there, I’ll cycle to Messina, Louis Trichardt, Nelspruit, Richards Bay and Durban before heading back along the eastern coastline to Cape Town. I’m aiming to do the trip in three to four weeks, but realistically, I think it will more likely be six weeks. The route is mainly on tar roads, with some off-road sections along the west coast to Oranjemund.
My wife, Hanlie, is cycling with (and supporting) me and, for safety reasons, we’ll have a support vehicle to transport our food, drinks, clothing and other baggage. Along the way, we’ll sleep in lodges and guesthouses, and where this isn’t an option, we’ll camp. Our progress will be monitored by a Garmin tracking device and I’ll keep my followers updated daily. But more importantly, I will be spreading my message of hope along the way, and encouraging other amputees (actually anyone) to believe in themselves and that they can do anything if they set their mind to it. No matter how big the challenge or what your history is, you can change your situation by doing something great to inspire others. And what better way to express yourself than in a sport you love. I got myself a mountain bike, which I proudly cycle everywhere, and it worked for me! •
• One Man, One Pram for the African Penguin (Issue 25, p. 34) • Climb Kilimanjaro and Help Save a Life (Digital article, March '13) • Teachers and Children Fly High (Issue 17, p. 144)
If you would like to contribute toward Helgard's admirable cause, you can either visit www.givengain. com/activist/98213/projects/5392/ or Helgard on www.helgardmuller.com. You can also follow Helgard’s progress by visiting his website or on Twitter - @mullerhelgard
www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 49
African Cyclists Take On Tour de France Words: Morne Labuschagne | Photos: Zoon Cronje
It’s the 100th edition of the Tour de France (TDF) and Africa’s hopes at this year’s race are pinned on Darryl Impey (Team ORICA-GreenEDGE), Robert Hunter (Team Garmin-Sharp) and Chris Froome (Team SKY). For us Africans, this occasion is even more momentous because one of these riders has a very real chance of winning the tour. How awesome would that be?
From humble beginnings in 1903, the TDF has become the largest annual sporting event in the world. The race is broadcast to 3,5 billion people and an average of 12 million spectators come out to support their favorite riders and heroes along the route. This year's event starts on Saturday, 29 June and finishes on Sunday, 21 July. Covering a total distance of 3,479 km, there are 21 stages to be completed with just two rest days. Stage profiles include seven flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages with four summit finishes, two individual time trials and one team time trial. The first stage is from Porto to Vecchio and these two towns, as well as eight others, will be seeing and experiencing the TDF for the very first time.
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There are 19 pro tour teams taking part in the event, so this only leaves three wild card entries to make up the total of 22 teams participating. Those three wild card entries have been allocated to three French teams, but this doesn't come as a surprise as this is, after all, the Tour de France.
Over the last couple of years, the tour has received its fair share of media attention, with doping being at the centre of it all. The Lance Armstrong doping saga shook the sport to its core, with stories and rumors of hired couriers on motorbikes delivering performance-enhancing substances to hotel rooms, blood transfusions being done on rest days and the UCI (international controlling body for the sport) accepting payments to cover up positive tests. Armstrong, who was stripped of all his TDF victories and later admitted that he did use performance-enhancing drugs, left cycling under a huge shadow of doubt - a hero had fallen. Since then, there has been more shocking stories implicating some of the world’s best cyclists and as a result, the sport has lost a lot of its credibility. However, all is not lost, as the last two years' victories at the TDF were drug free! Let's hope that in 2013, we will build on the legacy of our 'clean' winners; Cadel Evens (2011) and Bradley Wiggins (2012).
Chris Froome Team SKY
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport â€˘ 51
Moving on from all the drama and controversy that surrounds this still-awesome sport, let’s take a look at our riders from Africa, whom we can be extremely proud.
Born on 20 May 1985 in Nairobi, Kenya, Chris is 1,86-metres tall. He attended St Johns College in Johannesburg and then went on to study at UJ. He started his cycling career as a mountain biker whilst living in Kenya, and received guidance from the well-known Kenyan mountain biker David Kinjah. Chris’s strengths lie in mountain climbing at time trialling, two of the main criteria required to win a grand cycling tour. South Africans have always had a soft spot for Froome and this was reinforced at the 2006 Road World Championships in Salzburg, Austria. Froome, who was representing Kenya, was seen making his way to a team manager’s meeting on his bike in the pouring rain - a duty that is not normally undertaken by a rider. Seeing this, the South African team manager, Tony Harding, immediately took him under his wing and told him there was a place for him at the SA team hotel and that they would take care of his race number collection and logistics surrounding his participation in the event. That was the same year when Chris crashed into an official at the 2006 World Championships as he left the time trial ramp at the start of the event, causing both men to take a tumble. Undeterred, Chris got back on his bike and finished in 36th place! In 2008, he joined up with South African Robert Hunter, on team Barloworld, to ride in the TDF. He finished 84th overall and 11th in the Young Rider’s category. Then in 2010, Froome was diagnosed with bilharzia and this adversely affected his cycling career during the 20102011 seasons. Down but most definitely not out, Chris went on to claim an individual stage win at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Things were looking up for Chris, but at the start of the 2012 season, his bilharzia flared up again and, to add insult to injury, he was also involved in a collision with a pedestrian whilst on a training ride in March 2012. By the start of the 2012 TDF, it looked like he had put all his problems behind him, but this was not to be. He had to contend with a flat tyre on stage 1 and a crash on stage three, problems that would have taken a lesser man down, but not Chris. He went on to clinch a stage win in magnificent style and placed 2nd overall. In 2013, he already has three impressive wins under his belt, at the Tour of Oman, then the Critérium International and, most recently, the Tour de Romandie. You couldn’t ask for a better start to the season and this just reinforces that Chris is not someone to be taken lightly at the 2013 TDF.
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Darryl was born on 6 December 1984 and is 1,81 metres tall. Known as' Zulu' by his South African fans and friends, Darryl comes from a sporting family. His father, Tony Impey, was a cyclist and represented South Africa in his heyday! He has also rubbed shoulders with road cycling legends the likes of the late Allan van Heerden, Willie Engelbrecht, Rodney Fowler and many other South African greats.
During his career, Darryl has ridden for Pro Continental, as well as in pro tour teams such as Team Barloworld from 2008-2009 and Team RadioShack in 2010. In the same year he rode the Argus with Lance Armstrong and is rumored to have flown in Armstrong’s own private jet to South Africa. In 2011, he rode for Team NetApp and then he joined Australian team ORICAGreenEDGE at the beginning of 2012 and he’s been there ever since. Darryl made his grand tour debut at the Giro d’ Italia in May 2012 and solidified his position as one of the world's best leadout riders around. His incredible strength in the sprint train inspired his TDF selection in 2012, where he posted no less than five top-ten finishes over the three-week race. Darryl was due to ride the Giro d’ Italia this year, but has had to pull out due to the birth of his first child, leaving Matt Goss, Orica-GreenEDGE’s top sprinter, without his key lead-out rider. Matt, who dubbed Darryl as the ‘incredible Impey’, has made it publicly known that if he went to war, he would want to take Darryl with him to fire the ultimate shot! That kind of comment just goes to prove how far this 29-year-old has come in the world of professional cycling.
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 53
Robert Hunter Team Garmin-Sharp
Robert’s cycling career has been an illustrious one, having ridden for teams Mapei, Rabobank and Phonak, which were all ranked number one in world cycling at the time. And who will ever forget the 2006 TDF that saw Robert’s team leader, Floyd Landis, win the event and the huge role that Robert played in getting Floyd through each stage. However, Floyd’s celebrations were short lived because two days after the TDF, while having coffee with Robert, it was reported that Floyd had tested positive for doping and was stripped of the title. This bad news also cost Robert his tour winnings, which the winner splits with his team, as well as the tens of thousands of Euros that event organisers would have paid to Floyd and two selected teammates (Robert being one of them) just to enter the one-day criterium circuit races in the weeks following the TDF.
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Robert has earned himself an enviable reputation in the cycling fraternity because amongst his many achievements, he was the first South African to compete in the TDF and is still the only South African that has won a stage in this event. He has won stages in all three of the grand tours, two stage wins in the Tour d’Espania and a win in the team time trial at the Giro d’Italia. Whilst all eyes will be on Chris Froome for the overall victory in the 2013 TDF, Robert’s role in the Garmin-Sharp team will be to assist his teammate and fast sprinter Tyler Farrar to get to the finish line for a stage victory. This is a very different role to the pure sprinter role that Robert is used to playing, where he was winning his own stages in the Tour d’Espana and the 2012 TDF. But before we see this as an injustice to our local hero, we need to remember that cycling is a team sport; when Tyler wins, the team wins.
Roll on June
Now that we know a bit more about our African riders to watch out for, we can look forward to an action-packed Tour de France! Make sure you don’t miss any of the action by following the DO IT NOW Road Cycling web page on www.doitnow.co.za/roadcycling. We wish our riders the very best of luck at this prestigious event, and we will be watching and cheering you on every step of the way.
TOUR DE SAN LUIS 2013. PHOTO: TIM DE WAELE / WWW.TDWSPORT.COM
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ONLy AVAILABLE ON APP VERSION
Interview with Robert Hunter
I caught up with Robert at the recent Mzansi Tour in South Africa, where he claimed the top podium position, to chat to him about the upcoming TDF.
Q: How does this year’s TDF route
Q: Will your training change
The TDF is always a difficult event and there is so much that can happen and does happen on a daily basis that you can never compare previous years. Crashes also play a part, as the riders get tired and fatigued. For a sprinter, the mountains are always challenging and, at times, you will notice a lot of the riders (sprinters, domestiques) getting together in one huge ‘autobus’ to get to the finish within the daily cut-off time. This year will be really interesting as we do the mighty Alpe-d’Huez twice on stage 18 and this will go a long way in deciding the overall winner.
My training has been great this year as I spent some time back home in South Africa, which allowed me to train in good weather. This was a difficult decision to make as I have not spent much time with my wife and children this year, but with the bad weather in Europe it was the right decision to make. It’s all part of being a professional cyclist. I had some good training at the Mzansi Tour before taking part in the Giro d’Italia this year and from there, I should be good for the TDF.
compare to previous years?
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due to the route change?
Q: What kind of rider is the Tour de
France 2013 course suited to?
It’s suited to anyone that can climb, time trial and climb some more. To choose a winner this year is difficult, although Froome is showing some good progress and form at present. In saying this, there are at least five other riders who will be hungry and ready for the overall general classification, and aiming to wear the Yellow Jersey at the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Q: How has competing in South
Africa’s Mzansi Tour helped with your preparations?
I’ve had great weather to train in and the areas around Nelspruit are some of my favourite training areas in the country. The competition was good and I was also able to test where I was before the Giro.
Q: What are your expectations and goals for this year’s TDF?
I am always on the lookout for a stage win, however, I now have a defined job within the team and we will be looking to get Tyler Farrar stage wins, as well as have him compete for the Green Jersey. Riding in the 100th edition of the TDF will also be a great honour, but it will still be work as usual. •
1st - TTT Giro d’Italia (2012) 1st - National Road Race Championships (2012) 1st - Tour de France, one stage (2007) 1st - Vuelta a España, two stages (1999/2001) 1st - Tour of Qatar (2004) 1st - Sprint Classification - Tour de Suisse (2004) Best young rider | Ronde van Nederland Best young rider | 4 Jours de Dunkerque Best young rider | Ronde van Nederland
èRelated articles: • Mzansi Tour Prepares Hunter for Giro d'Italia (Digital article, May '13) • Argus 2013 - What a Ride! (Digital article, March '13) • Clever Nutrition for Mega Long Races (Issue 18, p. 84) www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 57
Words: Nikki Mocke, Surfski World Series & SA Champion 2012 | Photos: John Hishin | Video: Dawid Mocke
SA Leads in
Surfski Paddling Did you know that when it comes to surfski paddling, including design, development, manufacturing and, most importantly, winning races in the World Series, South Africans have taken the lead? This is a significant achievement when one considers how dynamic and well represented this sport is around the world.
Says Dawid Mocke, four-time consecutive World Open Ocean Surfski Series Champion, "I am so proud to be a South African paddler as we really have top-class equipment and the best Open Ocean paddlers in the world living in our country. The gene pool is very deep, especially in Durban, with Hank McGregor, Matt Bouman and Grant van der Walt to name and few. From Fish Hoek, there is Sean Rice, Tom Schilperoort, Simon van Gysen, my brother Jasper and I. So, most of the time, when we have a South African Championship event, it could double as a World Championship event."
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The origins of this sport date back to 1912, but it was only in 1946 when surf lifesaving associations started including surfskis in lifesaving competitions and championships. Over the last 15 years, there has been a huge growth in ocean surfski racing in South Africa, as well as mainland USA, Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific countries, because it is limitless. All you need is a beach or span of water, it can be social or competitive and as itâ€™s a non-weight bearing sport, it can be practiced for an entire lifetime. Proof is two paddlers from our club in Fish Hoek, who are in their late 70s and still training and competing. Surfski paddling is also not weather dependent. On a calm, flat day you can do a coastal paddle along the rocks, backline or wherever your boat takes you. For the more adventurous, there's playing in the big waves, but downwind is the ultimate for adrenaline-seeking paddlers.
Paddlers line up to take on the challenge of the Surfski Series at Seaforth Beach
Each race has a grading, which is dependent on the prize purse, amount of international paddlers attending and the number of downwind stretches the race has. The higher the race grading, the more points you score towards the World Series points.
South Africans, be it 'professional working' or 'studying' paddlers, are spoilt for choice as there's basically a race every weekend throughout the year to keep you fit and your skills honed. The main selection factors are the costs to get to the event, how the conditions suit your padding ability and the prize-money up for grabs. Currently there are three or four paddlers from South Africa on the world circuit that make a living racing surfskis. Locally, paddlers can participate in the KwaZulu-Natal and Cape surfski seasons. The KwaZulu-Natal season is divided into three distinct series. The first runs from January to April. The second, which attracts the world’s largest fields, is from April through winter. The final series starts in autumn and ends in November. The Cape season is as dynamic and runs from October all the way to March, with a short break in December splitting the series in two halves.
For our more competitive paddlers, there's open ocean surfski racing. A typical race is around 20 km, with the competitors starting in the water and then making their way out and around a series of buoys before returning to the beach. The shortest leg of the race is into the headwind section, as paddling into the wind is the least fun part of surfski racing. But once you reach the turn marker and are into the open ocean swells, it all changes. Paddling downwind is a skill that is developed through hours on the water and practice, practice, practice. It’s all about chasing ocean swells and riding them for as long as possible. Sounds easy, until you try it. Imagine being on a 6.8 m long boat that is just a bit wider than a ruler (40 cm) and catching a massive ocean swell as high as a two-story building, shooting forward and reaching speeds of over 40 km per hour. On a windy training day, a top paddler can do 12 km in 37 minutes; that’s an average of more than 19 km per hour.
Big events include the Surfski Series in Cape Town and Durban, the Dunlop Durban Surfski World Cup, the Fenn Cape Point Challenge in Cape Town, the Southern Shamaal between PE and East London and the Varsity College Marine Surfski Series in Durban. One event that is attracting countless local and international paddlers is Cape Town's Millers Run. Heading out from Rumbly Bay, Cape Point, you paddle to a rock that's about one kilometre out to sea, then you turn your ski towards the Roman Rock Lighthouse and start your watch, ‘hooking’ the first ocean swell there is. What makes this paddle so awesome is that the wind- and ground swell usually run in the same direction, making conditions perfect for going downwind with the ocean swells.
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 59
LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Surfski paddler taking on a wave. 2. Heading out at Fish Hoek Beach. 3. Dawid and Nikki Mocke. 4. Dawid Mocke.
Says Dawid Mocke, "My favourite race in South Africa has to be the Cape Point Challenge. It’s a tough race, 50 km from Scarborough to Fish Hoek, it's always a challenge and it's in my back garden. “I also get a kick out of looking up from the water to the top of the tip of the southern Peninsula. I don’t think there are many people who get to see this view from that angle. It's breathtaking.” Adds Jasper Mocke, who placed second in the 2012 Ocean Paddler World Surfski Series, "Locally, I would say that The Peter Creese Lighthouse Challenge, in Fish Hoek, stands out for me because of the history associated with the race. It's relatively short at 10 km, but has the same course regardless of the conditions, normally pumping south east winds, so it stays true to the adventure and hardness of surfski paddling. The Cape Point Challenge is the pinnacle of surfski racing everywhere. The distance, conditions and sights make it stand alone." On the international front, World Series events are staged in Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, Guadalupe, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Italy, USA, Hong Kong, Dubai and Hawaii throughout the year. South Africa hosted the final stage in the World Surfski Series in mid December 2012.
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Dawid says, "My favourite race internationally is probably the US Surfski Championship in San Francisco. I just love the thrill of paddling under the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The conditions are great there. It’s not just a flat race, as there are loads of currents, tankers, tides and so on, so the race is tactical, fast and fun all the way." Comments Jasper, "I enjoy racing The Doctor in Perth the most. It's a true downwind-only race and sees you competing against the best paddlers in the world. Lots of races have one of these elements, but not always both. The Mauritius Ocean Classic must be the best all-round package as far as a racing holiday is concerned. The race, which sports a good chance of runs and waves, is only a fraction of the trip. The resorts, surfing, diving and camaraderie make up the rest."
Recently, there have been some great developments in surfski paddling, with manufacturers developing SUPER stable yet competitive skis. So if you've tried surfski paddling before and found it too twitchy, give it another bash. With the new designs, adjustable leg lengths and range of choices, surfski paddling can suite anyone. •
• Waveski Surfing - Please Remain Seated (Digital article, December '12) • Riders of the Surf (Issue 16, p. 68) • Revival of Surf Boat Racing (Issue 7, p. 56)
If you're keen to try surfski paddling, there are tried and tested surfski schools based in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, Durban and PE, which are owned by Dawid and Nikki Mocke. The five-lesson course will get you through all the ABCs of paddling and have you looking like a pro in no time. Visit www.thepaddlingcentre.com for more information.
Words: Deon Breytenbach | Photos: Deon Breytenbach & Helena Pienaar
Keeping Warm and Saving Energy in Winter Winter is here so it's time to open the cupboard and check all your winter toys. If you stored them correctly,
they might only need a little TLC, but sometimes gear reaches the point where you need to let it go and replace it with something that will keep you smiling when it's chilly on the water. But more importantly, you need to keep Jack Frost's icy grip away from your body and off your mind.
Paddlers in various longsleeve cags.
Taking the time to pack your gear correctly for storage of any length of time is well worth the effort. Here are a few basic things to do and think about, to help you keep your equipment in good shape when in storage. When storing any dry gear (excluding PVC or vinyl materials) I would recommend the following for use before storage and especially when you take them out for your first winter sessions:
60 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Penguin Sport Wash - This is a residue-free laundry detergent, designed specifically to keep high-performance fabrics performing like the day you bought them. In addition to using this non-allergenic detergent to prolong the life of your high-performance fabrics on a daily basis, a last wash before storage will help a lot, as this ensures that no oils, sunscreen, dead skin cells or any other nasties can cause damage while you are playing in the summer sun.ď€´
Penguin Permanent Water Guard - This restores the water repellent finish to all water repellent and waterproof, breathable fabrics, making it ideal to further protect your gear when in storage and get it into full swing after the winter. Make sure you rinse or wash the top with a residue-free detergent like Sport Wash. Any residue from detergents or anything else will hamper the effectiveness of the bond that the treatment creates with the material. Lay your top on a flat surface and spray the PWG on as evenly as possible. When you hang it up to dry, hang it upside down as this helps to get any excess PWG on the top parts, like your shoulders, where there is the most wear and tear. If you see that after a while the water is no longer beading on the surface of the materials, re-apply some PWG. If you find that this is only on a couple of spots, like your shoulders, then treat that area and not the whole top.
If you treat latex seals with baby powder (talcum powder) before you pack them away, they should be hundreds after a quick spray with some pure silicone spray. If you didn’t powder them or they have stuck together, then pull them apart as carefully as possible and trim off the edges if they have started to perish. As soon as you have done that, lube them with some silicone spray. This is only a temporary solution because once they start to perish, it's only a matter of time before they break. In the meantime, contact your nearest kayak dealer to order some replacement gaskets.
The key to a good winter paddle session is staying as warm and dry as possible. Therefore, the less energy your system has to waste on keeping warm, the more energy you will have to paddle with and enjoy your day on the water.
UV Protector - This stuff is brilliant, sunscreen for clothes. It protects the fibres in your gear against UV damage, especially while it is hanging out to dry. If you read the care instructions on most highperformance garments or gear, pretty much all of them make a point of saying 'do not dry in direct sunlight'.
Step one is to stay dry, but with kayaking being a water sport this makes it rather tricky. The two most important toys for this are a splash deck and a dry/semi dry top.
Your nearest Sportsmans Warehouse should stock all of the Penguin range. The only other brand I would bring anywhere near my gear is Nikwax, which is similar to and just as good as Penguin's products, but not always easily available.
Splash deck - I use a Seals Pro Rand deck and have found it to be the driest deck ever. If you can’t get your hands on one of these bad boys, I would opt for the Peak UK Whitewater deck, which is new and part of their 2013 line up and replaces the old Creek and Freeride decks.
62 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
The garments mentioned will keep you dry, but to stay warm you will need to layer up. There
are a million and one choices when it comes to base layers and luckily, they are all readily available throughout South Africa. I use First Ascent’s toys because they outperform any brand I have used before, and after several years of hammering their toys even my old gear still outperforms the new toys from different brands. The following are my recommendations:
Legs - On an average winter day, I use thermal long johns. For colder days or when I know I will be in and out of my yak a lot and need that extra bit of heat, I use Derma-Tec Long Johns. Torso - For my top half, either polypropylene or Derma-Tec, as they are both brilliant. Seeing as we live in an age of accessorising, you can get some wicked extras to keep you warm and toasty.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Ryan and Mike checking the line for Curtain Falls while comfy and warm in their Creek cags. 2. Ronel in a combi short cag with a FA polypropylene top underneath for warmth. 3. Riaan with a combi short to stay dry and a FA longsleeve crew top for warmth. 4. Myself in a longsleeve cag, the black is nice for catching the suns heat, but makes you difficult to find in emergencies.
Dry/semi dry top - This is the biggest staying-warm investment you should make - a dry top cag. When water sneaks in at your waist, neck and arms (wrists/biceps) when kayaking, you have two choices when looking at the gasket cags. Neoprene-only gaskets are more comfortable, as well as a bit tougher, but they will allow some water to sneak in and wet you. Latex gaskets are super tight and the way to go if you really need to stay dry. Most cags that have latex gaskets will have neoprene gaskets covering them, to help protect the latex gaskets. Please take the time to check the instructions on the cag you buy for care and adjustment instructions, especially with latex gaskets. Something else that you need to do is to make sure that the cag you buy is breathable, otherwise your sweat will build up inside the cag and make you wet. Decent cags start at just under R2,000 and if you look after it, you will get several seasons out of it. I am very hard on my equipment, so if I can get two years out of a quality cag, most of you should be able to get at least double the life out of it. When it comes to cags, we are spoilt for choice. The top choice that is available locally, if you are a grade 3+ paddler and running creeks, is the Peak UK Creeker. If you aren’t running the craziest water or the budget won’t allow, then opt for the Creek, then the Deluxe or Freeride. On hot days, I use Palm’s Zenith and for the winter sessions, the Surge. However, they are not that readily available in South Africa anymore - but we are working on it. To stay drier than this, you will have to invest in a full-on dry suit. Please do not buy a scuba diving dry suit because it is not designed for white-water use. Your best option would be the Creek One Piece from Peak UK.
Head - For your pip, a neoprene skull cap will not only help with ice cream headaches, but also with keeping your ears warm and aids in slowing the development of 'surfer's ear', which is exacerbated by very cold water. A proper white-water nose plug is killer and they are made locally by River Black Composites. Water sport earplugs will also keep water out and help slow the development of 'surfer's ear' or hopefully avoid it totally. Hands - For your hands, you can either get neoprene gloves or a better choice would be a set of neoprene pogies (think oven mitts for paddles, but your hand and the paddle fit inside so that you don’t lose any feedback from your paddle, as is the case with neoprene gloves). Towel - The last piece of awesomeness to get yourself is a First Ascent microfibre super towel. These little treasures dry you instantly and help you get into your trail pants super fast. For some sneaky on-river tricks, check out my blog as it features tips and tricks, as well as some of the river gear recommendations. Oh yes, and the best way to stay warm while paddling in winter is by not swimming. •
èRelated articles: • • •
Basics, Executing the Sculling Brace and Space Godzilla (Issue 25, p. 56) Basics, Styling Draw Strokes and Cartwheels (Issue 23, p. 70) Paddling in the Cold (Issue 5, p. 32)
For more information, photos and links to other online resources, visit Deon’s blog: www.doitnow.co.za/blogs/deon-breytenbach
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 63
Words: Hannele Steyn
Natural Selection All of us want to be healthier, happier and have more energy, but nowadays there are literally thousands of supplements and food tips that are advertised, and herein lies the problem. How do we know what's really good for us and what's just pure hype? To cut through the clutter, here are a few important nutritional facts, especially for sports people. 64 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Spirulina and hemp seeds are superfoods and are also two of the highest sources of vegetable protein. Zinc is good for prostate function. Refined sugar and trans-fats are two of the biggest killers and causes of illness. daptogens, like Siberian ginseng, improve adrenal function, A help the cells eliminate toxins, improve utilisation of oxygen and therefore also enhance the body’s access to energy. ssential fats (Omega 3) and CoQ10 are two of your most E important supplements to take in addition to a good multivitamin. Vitamin supplements use to be a ‘nice to have’, but are now more of a ‘have to have’.
A mineral supplement is as important as a vitamin supplement because our foods are very nutrient deficient, unless we eat 100% organic. Our bodies tell us that we are hungry when we are actually just ‘nutrient depraved’ and not because our tummies are empty, thus the more nutrients your foods contain, the less hungry you will get. That is the whole reasoning behind eating organic and including superfoods into your diet. Cinnamon can help lower blood glucose levels and is important if you suffer from diabetes. eaweed is the 'mother' of all organic life and contains amino S acids, proteins, minerals, trace elements and vitamins. A balanced diet is still the best diet: enough proteins (not an overload), loads of essential fats (Omega 3) and low glycemic carbohydrates. person that drinks a sports drink five days a week, whilst A training, takes in more sugar than the average person that indulges in a sweet every day. And we thought the sport junkies were the healthy ones. There are healthy and good sports drinks out there, but make sure you take a good one, use it in the correct way and only when you really need one. e pay two to three times more for an energy bar than a W normal health sweet in the shops, although some are just glorified sweets. Similiarly, we will pay more for bite size, individually-wrapped nougat than the same big one, so we might as well cut it up ourselves and in fact, it opens up easier during a race. esearch studies have shown that the kind of food we R consume in the early stages of life sets the metabolism pace of our body for the rest of our life. Therefore, the benefits of eating right in our early years will be greater and long lasting. To skip breakfast before training is not good and will slow down your metabolism. To do it every once in a while is ok, as it teaches our body to use its own reserves, but not all the time. Peanuts are not a nut, but a highly-saturated fat legume. ake sure that you take a pre- and probiotic regulary. If you M are lactose intolerant, you can substitute it with nut milk, which is far superior to soy milk and much better tasting than goat milk, and it’s easy to make too.
Recipe for great tasting almond milk: • 500 g of raw almonds with the skin • Enough water to cover the nuts • A mesh cloth (you can buy this at most health stores) • A strong blender Method: • Soak the nuts in water overnight. • Blend until the water turns ‘whitish’ and the nuts are a fine paste. • Pour through the cloth. This is a delicious, healthy drink and you can use the leftover paste to bake bread or biscuits or in a smoothie. •
• Ideas for Racing and Training Snacks (Issue 25, p.78) • Clever Nutrition for Mega Long Races (Issue 18, p. 84) • Optimal Nutrition for Optimal Performance (Issue 2, p. 72) ome information sourced from Natural Health S Magazine.
Passion4Wholeness muesli: A balanced meal for everyone! Diabetic friendly, wheat free, low glycaemic and NO trans-fat Designed by a sportsperson with a passion 4 health: Hannele Steyn is a former winner of the Absa Cape Epic, a former Triathlon World Champion and the only woman who has completed all 10 Cape Epics. For more information: Hannele@geminips.co.za or firstname.lastname@example.org
Words: Andrea Kellerman, Educational Psychologist
But it is not just our body that needs to rest when we are under stress, working hard and feeling challenged, our brain also needs to, as it will help us to function better, recharge and regain strength.
Sleep to improve your performance We spend a third of our lives in sleep mode and generally need between seven to nine hours sleep per night to be able to function properly the next day. Athletes,
however, need more due to the consistent stress and high-intensity training sessions they endure every day. To improve their speed, accuracy and reaction time, and depending on the sport, athletes need to sleep between eight and ten hours sleep per night, as well as take regular naps that shouldn't be longer than 25-30 minutes, and are besthalf way through the day.ď€´
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There is no doubt that sleep fulfills a physiological need, but what do we get out of this process and why is it so important for improved performance? Well, sleep rewires our brains and, as I mentioned in my last article, we learn when we are asleep. New connections are built during sleep and the brain refines connections and discards unused ones. Physical and mental activity allows the production of new brain cells in the memory areas of our brain, and these cells are connected and reinforced whilst sleeping. This enhances our performance and mood.
Enhanced physical performance
Sleep has been found to help us work through the emotions and situations we experience each and every day. This is achieved through dreaming, which allows us to 'experience' different possible outcomes and choose the best one for a certain situation. Many studies have also shown that if you sleep or nap after learning a skill in real life or with a simulator, or even playing a computer game like Tetris, people have shown up to a 30% improvement in that particular skill. Therefore, you will have a better rate of improvement in performance if you sleep after learning or practicing a skill than longer or more regular practice sessions without those sleep breaks. What this all means is that we create physical memory whilst sleeping. So if you thought that sleeping was a waste of time, think again as these studies just go to show the true value of taking 40 winks. But the benefits don't stop there.
68 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Other benefits Apart from physical memory, we also enhance our cognitive (mental process) memory during our sleep. Different studies have proved that people are able to remember more when learning batches of new words if followed by sleep, rather than just learning the word chunks again and again. The people who were allowed to sleep in the studies remembered the learnt chunks with 50% more accuracy than those that learnt through repetition alone. Sleeping on newly-learnt skills seemed to cement them into the subject's mind.
Sleep is also important to enhance your immune system, improve your mood, lower the risk of heart disease, enhance weight loss, and improve reflexes, concentration, focus and mental and physical performance.
Insufficient sleep If we don't get enough sleep, we may not feel it the next day, but we are depriving our bodies of the proper repair cycle. This will lead to a decrease in our performance because the body is not able to store glycogen, the energy reserve system of the body, properly. Researchers have discovered that sleep deprivation can have a big impact on our basic metabolism and not getting enough sleep slows glucose metabolism by as much as 30-40%. Furthermore, the brain increases the production of our cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which inhibits healing and reduces memory retention and your overall performance. So make sure you take regular naps and get a good night's sleep - every night.
Improve your sleep cycle Here are some tips to help you enhance your sleep routine.
➊ Get into a routine. Try to go to bed at the
same time, sleep the same number of hours and get up at the same time every day.
➐ Switch your electronic devices, such as laptops and cell
phones, off an hour before you go to sleep, to allow your brain to get into the rest mode without any interruptions.
➑ When watching TV or reading a book, choose happy stories
rather than violent crime stories. During our first sleep phases, our brain works through the last thing we saw and heard before falling asleep. Choose something positive rather than negative, to encourage a more restful and pleasant sleep.
➋ When travelling, try to acclimatise first by
getting to the event earlier, so that you can get into your normal sleeping routine.
➌ Avoid sleep medication (unless it has been
So if you want to get the edge over your competition, then make sure you get enough sleep. •
prescribed by your doctor) as over-thecounter sleep medication can decrease your sleep quality and make you feel drowsy. It can also lower your mood and decrease your energy.
➍ Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake as this
can disturb your sleep cycles. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol is a depressant, which can make you feel down and low in energy, and acts like an 'uncontrolled' sleep medication.
➎ Sleep in a cool room that is dark and as sound proof as possible.
➏ Try to avoid cardio exercise after 6 p.m. as
this can stress your body and enhance the production of cortisol and adrenalin, which doesn't allow your brain to switch off and keeps it in a fight-flight mode.
• Train Your Brain to Have the Best Race Ever (Issue 25, p. 80) • Processed Foods (Issue 21, p. 74) • Spinal and Joint Wellness (Issue 7, p. 96)
If you struggle to sleep and need help to train your brain to function optimally, visit Andrea Kellerman’s website www.eq-advantedge.co.za and learn more about the different programmes.
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 69
Words & Photos: Adri & Xen Ludick
Mother and child at the waters edge
70 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Wonders During December 2012, Xen and I travelled through Zimbabwe and Zambia, with Xen's two brothers, and had the most memorable time visiting a number of fantastic game reserves, as well as some of the sights on offer (read more about this in the May issue of DO IT NOW).
But after being on the road for 20 days, the weather turned poorly, the heavens opened and the rain poured and poured. After a few days of wet tents, flooded roads and a serious lack of sunshine, we decided that enough was enough and it was time to head home. To make the trip back a little more interesting, I suggested we return via the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where we would hopefully enjoy some sunshine and a drier landscape … and what an amazing detour it turned out to be. Our first stop was the magnificent Victoria Falls, which was all the more spectacular in full flood due to all the rain. When you see the majestic fall of thundering water over the cliffs and the most beautiful scenery surrounding, you can appreciate why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The view literally takes your breath away, mesmerizes you and we momentarily forgot about the discomfort we'd experienced over the past few days. After a visit to the informal curio market, where you'll find the most amazing hand-carved trinkets, tribal arts and crafts, pottery and beautifully woven basketware, we made our way to the ferry, at Kazungula, for the crossing of the mighty Zambezi River. Whilst here, we were approached by a 'runner', who was very eager to assist us with getting through passport control, for a hefty fee of course, and he also wanted to exchange US Dollars for Botswana Pula at an outrageous rate. Thankfully, Xen knew what the exchange rate was and after an apology from the runner, a more reasonable deal was concluded.
The next morning, we drove in pouring rain to Nata, where we filled up with petrol. A few kilometres before Maun, we turned towards Boteti on the road to Rakops. It started to rain again and I remember thinking to myself that I've never seen so much water in the area. After refuelling at Rakops, we headed for the Central Kalahari Game Reserve's (CKGR) Matswere gate. I was certain that we would never make it because the road was covered by huge stretches of water and we had to drive axel deep for 100 m at a time. After some careful navigation, we eventually made it to the gate. The CKGR is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in southern Africa and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52,800 sq km. CKGR is unique in that it was originally established (in 1961) with the intention of serving as a place of sanctuary for the San, in the heart of the Kalahari (and Botswana), where they could live their traditional hunter/gatherer way of life, without intrusion, or influence, from the outside world.
The reserve was closed for about 30 years, until in the 1980s and 1990s, When both selfdrive and organised tours were allowed in, albeit in small, tightly controlled numbers. Victoria Falls
The ferry from the Botswana side did not have enough passengers making use of the facility, so we had to wait approximately 30 minutes before it finally arrived. We kept ourselves busy by chatting to a lady that was selling fruit, and treating the children to some sweets amid shrieks of pure delight. After disembarking on the Botswana side, we cleared customs and drove to Chobe Safari Lodge, to purchase tickets for the Chobe sunset cruise. Unfortunately, the boat was fully booked so we headed to Marina Safari Lodge, where we secured the last four tickets. We have been on Chobe's boat cruises on several occasions and would recommend it to anyone, however not on New Year’s Day. It was a huge disappointment as there were several local youngsters on the boat who drank too much and were extremely vocal, which spoilt the cruise for our brothers who had anticipated a peaceful and quiet game-viewing cruise. Despite the rowdy bunch, we still got to see the usual suspects; crocodiles, hippos, puku and a group of elephants playing in the mud.
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 71
Kazungula Ferry crossing
Shortly after entering the reserve, we saw elephant dung and made a joke about it as we had never seen any elephants in the CKGR. Later we read about five elephants that were seen as far south as Piper Pan, which meant that the elephants had travelled through a section of the park that is normally very dry, and upon reaching Piper Pan, they quenched their thirst by drinking all the water in the waterhole. During our visit to Khutze in March 2013, we spoke to the rangers about this and they confirmed that elephants migrate during the rainy season from the north and have been seen several times in the CKGR. A sighting of elephant in the CKGR was a first for us and I will never again be surprised when I see a heap of dung here in December or any other time of the year. That night we stayed in Kori 3 Campsite at Matswere Camp, which is beautiful and overlooks Deception Valley, one of the highlights of the park mainly due to the dense concentrations of herbivores its sweet grasses attract during and after the rainy season (and of course the accompanying predators). When we were here in March 2008, we had an encounter with a leopard that visited our campsite and were hoping that it would pay us a visit again - but didn't really hold out much hope. I had gone to bed, leaving the men sitting around the fire, when I heard Xen say that there was a leopard in the campsite. Within seconds, Kori 3 looked like Times Square in New York, with all the headlamps, spot lamps and security torches being switched on. All three men were focusing intently on the rear end of a leopard, as it moved into the surrounding bush. We own an infra-red camera, which we had strapped to a nearby tree earlier, to record any movement around the camp. Upon checking the camera, we observed, from the built-in timer, that the leopard had been around us for more than 20 minutes and the closest tracks were no more than 6 m away from where we were sitting - awesome, but also very nerve wracking. However, that was not to be the last of our experiences.
72 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Lions in the CKGR
We spent the next three days exploring the game reserve and by then most of the water had subsided, the sky was clear and we welcomed the warm sunshine back. But it was time to leave. Our time here had been magical and we'd seen a myriad of animals and birds. As we made our way out of the reserve, we decided to camp at the Matswere 8 Campsite, which is situated in the middle of a pan and only has few trees. In fact, the trees were the only indication that the campsite existed, which meant that there were no ablutions or showers. While discussing whether to stay or drive straight home, we came around the trees and saw a young lion and lioness mating. This was the third time we'd stayed with mating lions, so we knew they were not dangerous, unless threatened. We set up camp about 40 m away from them, made sure we had enough firewood and prepared our meal before it got dark. Their mating routine was so predictable that I could bake bread without checking the clock. It was amazing to see how the lioness would lie on her back immediately after they mated and the male would fall into a deep sleep for the next 20 minutes. How he knew when she was ready and how he didn’t leave a scratch when he placed his mouth over her neck to keep her down while mating, remains a mystery. Even from where we were, we could hear them purring, happy and content with each other. As the sun began to set, we had the fire going nicely and were enjoying our time alone with the mating lions - or so we thought. Well, the next moment we nearly fell off our chairs when we heard a roar from behind us, to which the male lion in front of us responded with another huge roar. We were in the middle of a symphony created by two lions; the one protecting his companion and the other one in search of a lioness to mate with. So we jumped up, grabbed the spotlight and saw two very big male lions about 400 m away from where we camped. Although we enjoyed the sounds of the night for the next few hours, every time the lions communicated with each other we nearly had a heart attack. When we realised that the sounds were getting closer and closer, we decided to head for the safety of our roof-top tents. The last of the roars that night were very close and we estimated that the visiting lions were only 100 m away.
What an amazing experience our time with the lions had been and what a perfect way to end an amazing holiday. In that time, we totally forgot about how the rain made us feel miserable at times and we forgot about the disappointment of the boat trip across the Chobe River, but we were thankful to return home with so many memorable experiences to treasure and share. •
• Hidden Gems and Gorges (Issue 25, p. 72) • Old Faithful Discovers Botswana and Namibia - Part 2 (Issue 14, p. 20) • Old Faithful Discovers Botswana and Namibia - Part 1 (Issue 13, p. 20)
BOOK A TEST DRIVE NOW - PHONE 011 275 1699
TEL: 011 275 1699 FAX: 011 275 1620 CNR RIVONIA RD & WITKOPPEN RD RIVONIA CROSSING 2191
Alan Hobson | Photos: Courtesy of Angler & Antelope
The art of
fly-tying Flies are used to fool fish into believing they are food. Fly fishing is a method of fishing used to present the fly to the fish. Fly-tying is the method of creating
these secret recipes, flies, as faux food for fish. And almost any and every fish species can be caught on fly. Sounds complicated? Well, it is and it isnâ€™t.
74 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
One of the fish’s strongest weapons is its sense of smell, but flies don’t have a scent, so fly fishing actually makes the sport more difficult. Luckily for the angler, the fish’s other senses also play a huge role in their predatory prowess.
Traditionally, flies were made mostly from fur and feathers. Today, there are no boundaries as to what materials one uses to create a fly. If you can cast it with a fly rod, then it is regarded as fly fishing. Fly-tying holds two comparisons; the first is to Master Chef and the second to a CSI investigation. Tying a fly is much like a Master Chef pressure test, where one scouts the entire pantry for ingredients; the selection is endless, so it becomes a little daunting as to where to start. Now let the CSI investigation begin; study the environment of the fish, try to see what it is eating and then recreate the food source. Here, fly fishing is a lot more forgiving as one of several elements could trigger a fish into believing your fly is food. Fly-tying is all about creating that trigger shape, size, colour or movement - on the day that convinces the fish to eat the fly. The fly can be an attractor pattern or an imitative pattern that is either impressionistic or realistic. Spending time behind the tying vice requires many of the skills of a chef and an investigator, with a healthy dollop of patience, traits not all of us posses. It is more cost effective to buy flies rather than tie your own; however, there is a huge amount of gratification to be enjoyed if your fly produces a fish. You usually need several different colours of each component to be able to tie a variety of fly patterns, using only a small amount of each material. Visit your local fly tackle shop and ask for advice on what equipment is required to get started.
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 75
Once you begin to take fly-tying seriously, prepare to be ridiculed. You will receive very odd looks standing at the nail varnish section of a retail store, searching for Hard as Nails, clear nail varnish and the like, to seal the thread at the head of the fly because the threads tend to perish when exposed to water and sunlight. Even more embarrassing is choosing nail varnish colours to match the carapace (hard upper shell) of an insect. Fiddling in the haberdashery store, looking for beading wire, beads, strong elasticised thread or just browsing through a scrapbooking shop and asking for seal skin, does turn a few heads. But, the ultimate embarrassment is visiting your friends and asking them if you could steal a few feathers from their pride and joy in the avery. Better still, asking the hostess at a dinner party if she would mind if you snipped a few hairs off her mink coat; yes, it does raise a few eyebrows!
In the modern world, making a silicone mould of an insect so that you can reproduce it exactly and using the same acrylic materials dentists use to make your bite plate (that stops you from grinding your teeth), is all part of the pursuit of that ‘magic fly’; an exact replica of the real thing. One can take it as far as you are willing to go, but, undeniably, it is a lot of fun and well worth the effort. Much like the actual experience of fly fishing itself, tying flies is addictive and a never-ending journey in search of ‘that’ perfect pattern. By tying your own flies, you learn to understand the proportions, colours and behaviour of the fish’s food source; definitely an inside track to becoming a more consistent and successful fly fisherman. You also learn to think like a fish by understanding its life cycles, habitats and behaviour, and this gives you an advantage of what fly to use, when to use it and, most importantly, how to use it to best imitate the insect of the moment. Observation is one of the strongest assets when on the water.
76 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
TOP TO BOTTOM: 1. Hopper patterns, feathers and thread 2. Feathers and hooks 3. A good-looking fly box 4. Fur and feathers
So the next time you see a fisherman staring into space with a glazed look, it is not because they are mesmerised by the action of the waves or hypnotised by the sounds of the water, they are acting out the role of Sherlock Holmes, observing. You often see anglers excitedly rush to the water and go through the motions, but not actually fishing. When you ask them how it went, they reply, “I didn’t have to catch anything as it’s more about the outing.” Well, if they had caught something, their enjoyment would spike another notch. And if they had created their own pattern, they would experience complete fulfilment. •
• Vegetarian Trout in the Karoo (Issue 19, p. 114) • Warm Weather and Water Bugs (Issue 15, p. 102) • Big Fish, Bruised Egos and Bionic Flies (Digital article, June ’12)
For more information on fly-tying, the following resources are highly recommended. DVD:
South African Fly-tying Journey with Ed Herbst A and Friends Books: The Fly-tying Bible by Peter Gathercole The Orvis Fly-tying Guide by Tom Rosenbauer The South African Fly-Fishing Handbook by Dean Riphagen E-Book: Essential fly-tying techniques by Tim Rolston All of the above are available from www.netbooks.co.za.
Tel: 042 243 3440 Fax: 086 671 6146 Cell: 082 375 4720
WILD FLY FISHING IN THE KAROO 77 • DO IT NOW Magazine | March 2013
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • • 77 77
Words: Marc Pendelbury
Age is nothing but a number 78 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
It’s a fairly common assumption that the older a whisky the better. If it costs more then it must be of a greater quality, right? Wrong. Choosing a fantastic whisky has very little to do with age and a great deal more to do with the style and flavour. The age statement on a bottle of whisky does not infer anything more than the number of years it has spent maturing in an oak cask, irrespective of whether the whisky is moved from one cask to another during its aging process or not. Rather than indicating the quality of the beverage, age indicates the depth of the whisky, its balance and integration. Sometimes older is better, but sometimes it isn’t. It really all depends on what will work with the whisky. It’s also largely dependent on what will suit the occasion. For example, a younger whisky might be better for a social summer evening, while an older whisky might be more appropriate for a quieter evening during which there is sufficient time to appreciate its richer depth of flavour.
So how do you go about choosing a great whisky if age doesn’t matter? Look on the bottle to see what the whisky’s notes and flavours are. Experiment with flavours that you think you might enjoy and seem suitable to the occasion. You also have the option of investing in a ‘Whisky Bible’ of sorts to increase your knowledge of the subject. The back of the whisky bottle or box might mention the casks that have been used to mature the whisky. This will play an important role in the flavour of the final product. Whisky is matured in oak casks, but depending on the type of whisky the oak cask could be brand new (as is the requirement for an American bourbon) or second hand. Different species of oak grow in different parts of the world, and the origin of the wood will play a role. Scotch single malt whisky producers hardly ever use a new cask; they either use an American oak cask that had bourbon in it before, an old European oak sherry cask or sometimes they use an American oak cask that has been seasoned with sherry. The origin, previous usage (if any) and number of times/years a cask has been used will affect the whisky maturing in it. Sixty to seventy percent of the flavour of a whisky comes from the wood, so the background of the casks is important. Also bear in mind that combinations of different casks can be used for a single whisky. In general, a whisky that was matured in ex-sherry casks is likely to have more stewed fruits, spiciness and sometimes even cocoa and coffee flavours. A whisky matured in ex-bourbon casks will have more vanilla, toffee, caramel and fruits flavours. And if you want a whisky that is truly special, look for one that is part of a limited or special edition rather than focusing on age. If you find yourself battling to believe that older, more expensive whiskies are not an indication of calibre, then have a bit of fun investigating for yourself. Blind tastings are a great way of dispelling any misconceptions you might have. Just make sure to mix it up a bit and include at least one whisky that doesn’t state it’s age on its bottle in your tasting. It’s all about the discovery of flavours and styles that appeal to you, the rest simply is not as important.
with Marc Pendlebury Q: What do you classify as a ‘younger’ and ‘older’ whisky?
There is no standard for these terms. I classify a younger whisky as a whisky less than 10 years old. It is very seldom that you’ll find a whisky denoting it is younger than 10 years old. The usual sign is that it actually does not display any age, referred to as no age statements, or NAS whiskies. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is that young, but is most likely younger than 10. The only way to know is to drink it. Older whiskies would be older than 20 years and up.
Q: What does it mean when you talk about ‘the depth of a whisky’?
The depth and range of flavour. Not all whiskies are created equal in terms of their complexity. Some whiskies are very good, but their flavour profile can be limited. Others are more complex and can keep giving you new flavours even after an hour of savouring.
Q: What does it mean when you talk about 'the notes of a whisky'?
The notes would be the flavours of the whisky. Whether it’s a lighter style whisky with vanilla and honey or a full bodied and rich whisky with prunes and cinnamon.
Just in case you’re still not completely convinced, here are a few recommended names of fantastic no age statement (NAS) whiskies:
Which ‘whisky bible’ would you recommend?
• Bruichladdich Classic • Bushmills Black Bush • Dalmore Cigar Malt • Oak Cross by Compass Box • Kilchoman Machir Bay
There is the official Whisky Bible by whisky writer Jim Murray, which is updated and released annually. It is the most comprehensive book of reviews and ratings, with over 4,500 whiskies listed. We all have our individual tastes though, and that extends to writers as well. Certain writers resonate with certain readers.
Experiment with a few of these great brands and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
I personally prefer the recently released Whisky Opus by Gavin Smith and Dominic Roskrow, as well as the Malt Whisky Companion by the late (whisky author) Michael Jackson.
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 79
What ingredients should a novice look for when choosing a bottle of whisky?
What is the most widely drunk category of whisky across the world, and why?
Whiskies, in particular Scotch whisky, all have the same ingredients, but if they contained any additional additives/ preservatives/flavourants, they would no longer be allowed to be called a whisky.
Blended whisky accounts for approximately 90% of whisky consumed internationally. The main reason is that it is more affordable and accessible.
I would recommend novices check the alcohol by volume (ABV) as higher strength whiskies can be a challenge to some new whisky drinkers. The minimum in SA is 43% (while by law a Scotch whisky must be a minimum of 40%), so novices should be cautious if they see an ABV of 50+%, denoting it is in all probability a cask strength whisky, meaning it hasn’t been diluted with water before bottling.
Which country has the biggest whisky drinking population?
Novices would be best advised to read the tasting notes on the whisky’s packaging to see if the flavour profile sounds appealing. Alternatively, refer to a whisky book, magazine or website.
Does whisky follow trends or is it a spirit that has remained true to its original character? It does, but there is such a large variety of whiskies that even if a trend is very popular at any one time, you’ll still be able to find whiskies that are outside the trends. Whisky is also very much about consistency. If you are a fan of a particular whisky, you have confidence that when you buy it in a year’s time, it still tastes the same. So the vast majority of distilleries don’t change their core range of whiskies very often at all, instead they may release limited edition whiskies occasionally to offer something new to drinker’s looking for the next interesting thing.
How does South African whisky compare to the rest of the word? They compare very favourably. Our whiskies have won several international awards and have received great recognition from international drinkers. We are very much on the map as a whisky-producing nation, albeit a small one.
Why are there so few South African producers as opposed to the rest of the world? The countries with lots of distilleries (and thus more output), have a longer history of whisky making. South Africa rather has a long history of wine and brandy making, which has historically been in higher demand. South Africans also need to support and want local products for a producer to be confident they can find a market locally without having to incur the steep costs of exporting their product to foreign markets.
80 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
France has the highest consumption of blended Scotch, with the USA second. For single malt scotch, their positions are reversed.
Are there any whisky clubs in South Africa that one can join? There are lots of private clubs, and my recommendation would be for anyone interested in joining a club, to rather get some friends together and start your own. I would be more than happy to assist and provide guidance where necessary. Alternatively, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society does have a South African chapter. You can visit their website to learn more about them and join.
Q: Tell us about the WhiskyBrother store? The store in Hyde Park Corner shopping centre (JHB) has been open for four months. We offer whiskies to our customers while they browse and to introduce them to a new flavour or brand. We are constantly asked for recommendations, whether it is for a newcomer, gift purposes or the more experienced drinker, and it is our pleasure to help the various types of shoppers find the right whisky. We also do slightly more formal tastings after hours that focus on various themes and topics. These tastings are open to the public and one can find dates and times on our website as well as a link to RSVP. We also do private tastings and whisky pairings for birthdays and corporates both in the store and at private venues. •
Find out more about WhiskyBrother’s events by visiting www.whiskybrother.com/whiskytastings. For information on The Scotch Malt Whisky Society visit www.smws.co.za
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Words: Peter Fairbanks
DO IT NOW
FINANCIAL TIMES - MAY 2013
82 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Cheap is NOT always better!
eeling the economic pinch like most of the working class, I decided to see if I could get a better rate on my short term premium without the help of a short term broker. Although this went against everything I had learnt over years of seeing people making grave mistakes when it comes to risk management, I told myself that my conservative nature must be out dated seeing as direct sales insurance companies are booming. And anyway, how difficult can it be to reinsure yourself ? I was quite pleased when my first call was met by an enthusiastic and very helpful sales representative on the other side of the line. The better part of an hour later, once we had covered all the basics with exceptional care and diligence, I was presented with a discounted premium of almost R800 less than I'm currently paying. Now that was time well spent I thought, until I asked the gentleman if he could send me the quote to work through before I made a final decision. His immediate response was that they do not send out quotes, but if I agree to an inception date for the first debit order, he would send me the relevant documents for my perusal. This should have set alarm bells off in my head, but I was so chuffed with my new and greatly reduced premium that I had negotiated, all by myself, that I happily agreed. The following day, a string of emails arrived, but I didn't have time to read the volumes and volumes of pages. So, I promised myself that I would look at them over the weekend. Needless to say, a full two weeks later I forced myself to sit down and that is when horror struck. The content of the quote, or policy contract, was full of incorrect details. So much so that I totally lost heart and the thought of spending another half hour on the phone to correct the underwriting was just too ghastly to contemplate. I also realised that once the details had been corrected, my premium would probably end up being more in line with what I was paying my current insurer. Forced by the thought of the upcoming premium being deducted from my bank account, I phoned in to cancel my policy.
At the mention of the word ‘cancellation’ I was bombarded with questions, the tone less than friendly, about why I wanted to cancel. After stating my case, I was told to hold for an operator who would assist me with this process. After holding for almost ten minutes, I ended the call. I called again, only to have to explain my situation once more and then be placed on hold, again. At this point, and more than a little agitated, I ended the call. I called back a third time, but this time my mission was to obtain a direct number for head office so that I could speak to the Call Centre Manager, which I did. Thereafter, I must admit that I was assisted promptly with my cancellation, but what an unnecessary struggle it had been! What I take issue with here is the way certain insurance companies deliberately try to make it as difficult as possible for one to cancel a policy, and how badly customers are treated when the word ‘cancellation’ is raised. As I work with some of these under-handed insurers on a daily basis, I've seen just how effective their tactics are. The customer eventually gets so tired of battling with the insurer that they end up keeping the policy they have rather than spending another moment battling Goliath. Something else that did not come as a surprise, but just underlined my resolve towards direct sales, is the importance of establishing a relationship with a broker. I can honestly tell you that if two people out of every ten actually read their policy contracts that is a lot. And they would also be blown away if they did. Reading the contract is extremely important - imagine my surprise when I read that I do not have a thatch roof after explicitly stating that I do. Had I not read through the policy document and seen this, I would have no one else to blame but myself if something happened and my claim was refused.
This was a harsh lesson I learnt and in future I will practice what I preach! But my warning to you is that cheaper, in the insurance business, does not always mean better, especially if it comes to risk management. So, don’t hesitate, DO IT NOW and make sure you talk to a broker before you start paying! •
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 83
Words & Photos: Jacques Marais | www.jacquesmarais.co.za
84 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012
SHOOT! An MTB Challenge
84 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Tsitsikamma rates a one of South Africa’s most gorgeous deep-forest destinations, and what better way to experience it than across the handlebars of your mountain bike? Mountain bike races are a dime a dozen these days, but money cannot buy the tranquillity and exhilaration that comes packaged with the annual MERREL Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge. That is the beauty of both this race and the region: you can either bomb ballistic with the big dogs of trail or you can chill at the back of the pack, soaking up the unmatched serenity of this 'place of sparkling waters'.
Run from the popular Tsitsikamma Falls Adventure Centre near Storms River Village, riders can choose between 28 km, 40 km or 70 km route options, with everything from forest, fynbos and coastal cranking to look forward to. This constantly changing scenery makes the Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge a pleasure to either shoot or ride, that’s for sure. Knowing the route offers a distinct advantage if you’re a shooter, as there are a few key spots that always deliver kick-ass images. This goes for any event though, which is why you must always try to check out the race route beforehand. If you can’t, then use your instinct and be ready to shoot super-fast and from the hip! For more info on the MERRELL Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge, check out www.merrell.co.za.
Image 1: Holy Trailing The Action: About three quarters through the race, riders emerge from the pine plantations for a quick climb onto a gorgeous fynbos plateau. A helter-skelter dual-track leads them onto the final section of the route and towards the finish. The Shot: I clambered onto a rock to get a higher viewpoint and then composed the image so that the rule of thirds kicked in. A flash on zoom powered in some light onto the rider, just to ensure he stood out from the foreground clutter. The Technique: Oblique light from the climbing sun made for a hazy, washed out image, but I knew post-processing in Adobe Lightroom would enhance this effect with the right filter. The Specifications: 1/800th sec @ f5.6; Nikon D600 + 20 mm wide angle prime; ISO 100; WB Setting (Auto); AE Setting (-1). More Information: www.tsitsikammamtb.co.za
www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 85
Image 2: Forest Fantasy The Action: A rider gets lost within the fragrant pine plantations lining much of the MERRELL Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge route. Some of the riding here can just as well have been in the forests of Europe. The Technique: A long lens allows you to compress the scene, and I used the foreground trees to frame the shot and thus draw the eye to the lone rider. I had to push the ISO up as the light was relatively low, and stuck to Auto White Balance due to constantly shifting light. The Specifications: 1/1,000th sec @ 5.6; Nikon D800 + 80 - 400 mm lens; ISO 250; WB Setting (Auto); No flash; AE Setting (0). More Information: www.merrell.co.za
86 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Image 3: Empire of the Sun The Action: Halfway through the race and riders are climbing into the welcome warmth of the rising sun. I ran behind this rider shooting low angle shots directly into the flare to create the contrasty feel, and then enhanced shadow detail in Lightroom. The Shot: I’ve moved away from super-wide zooms for two reasons: firstly, there is a massive weight saving, and secondly, I do not get the ‘tall-head syndrome’ distortion so prevalent to the former lens set. There is still a place for the ‘ultras’ when used judiciously though. The Technique: The combo of a low angle, in-the-moment action and shooting into the light source add drama to the image. The Specifications: 1/160th sec @ f11; Nikon D600 + 20 mm prime; ISO 1.0; WB Setting (Sunlight); AE Setting (-1); Flash from on-camera SB-910. More Information: www.nikon.co.za
Image 4: Going Loopy The Action: A sneaky little loop along the route did not make much sense to the riders, but delivered a fantastic photographic diversion. Riders had to detour through some stunning old tree giants, making for great shots. The Shot: The shot really was a no-brainer … The tree to the right framed the rider (and also hid one of the wireless flash units), while the low shooting angle enhanced the looming forest feel surrounding the rider. The Technique: Additional lighting was needed as the sun shone from the side and back. This would have rendered the rider as a silhouette, but for two Pocket Wizards on Gorilla Pods doing their magic. The Specifications: 1/200th sec @ f4; Nikon D600 with 20 mm prime lens; ISO - 100; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting (-1); 2 x SB-910 Flash Units driven by Pocket Wizards transceivers. More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za
inFOCUS Quarterly Competition
W5IN 00! R
The inFOCUS competition will feature a photo winner in every quarterly issue of the magazine, with a R500 voucher to be won! The closing date for the July 2013 competition is 8 June 2013. Please email entries to email@example.com. Good news for all entrants! All entries received in 2013 will be entered into a final draw to take place at the end of December. The winner will be announced in January 2014. The details of the grand prize will be announced on DO IT NOW’s website (www.doitnow.co.za) soon. When emailing your images to us please include the following information: • Name of photographer • Name of photograph • Camera type
• Camera settings • Place where the photograph was taken
Competition rules can be viewed on www.doitnow.co.za.
88 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
• Which category you are submitting your photo under - Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle
photographer photojournalist media
Adidas International Athlete ~ Lukas Irmler >>> Copyright: www.jacquesmarais.co.za / NIKON
GUN FOR HIRE: Global shooter & author; national newspaper columnist; respected magazine journalist; author of nine books. Shoots on Nikon. EXPERIENCE: Accredited Merrell, Land Rover & Red Bull photographer; covers global extreme events; focus on Sport, Adventure Travel; African Culture; Environment & People. INTERESTING PROJECTS WANTED! AWARDS: Global finalist in Red Bull ILLUME International (2008); Silver & Gold Awards in SONY PROFOTO Competition (2010).
WEB www.jacquesmarais.co.za TWITTER jacqmaraisphoto MOBILE 083/444-5369
CLIENT PORTFOLIO: JM MEDIA shoots, writes and coordinates media projects and events for clients as diverse as Nike, Land Rover, Hi-Tec, Adidas, Silverback, Salomon, Cape Union Mart, Wilderness Safaris, Tourvest, Merrell, GoPro and a range of leading international brands. NO EGO: Buzz me now for a quote on your next event or project. Proud Ambassador to the Following Brands
Words by Neil Ross, Executive Chef
Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry INGREDIENTS:
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 1 medium onion, quartered 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 lemon grass stem, white part only, sliced 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon curry powder ½ teaspoon chilli powder 1 medium sweet potato cut into 2 cm cubes 1 can of 440 g coconut milk ½ cup of water 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce ½ teaspoon sugar Handful of coriander, finely chopped 1 cup of basmati rice
90 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
1. Cut the chicken thighs into strips or chunks. 2. Place the rice, along with 2 teacups of water, in a medium pot. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then cover and turn the heat down low. Cook the rice for 10 to 12 minutes or until fluffy. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. Heat the oil in a wok on medium high and partially brown the chicken for about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. 4. Add onion to the wok and fry for 2 minutes until translucent. Add a little more oil if the wok gets dry. Add garlic and lemon grass and fry for another 30 seconds. 5. Now add turmeric, curry powder and chilli powder and fry for a minute. Add sweet potato and sugar. Stir well. Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce and coriander. Stir well and bring to the boil. 6. Once the curry is boiling, add the chicken then turn the heat down till low and cover. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Serve curry on bed of rice and garnish with coriander.
Easy microwave banana pudding 100 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 2 ripe bananas 100 g light muscovado sugar 100 g self raising flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 eggs 2 tablespoons milk Icing sugar, toffee sauce and ice cream to serve, if you like
1. Put the butter in a one-litre baking dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until melted. Add 1Â˝ bananas, mash into melted butter then add sugar, flour, cinnamon, eggs and milk. Mix together well. 1. Slice the remaining banana over the top, then return to the microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes until cooked through and risen. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and, if you like, a drizzle of toffee sauce and scoop of ice cream. â€˘
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle â€˘ 91
Reviews by www.fortressofsolitude.co.za
Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black Starring: Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr
HIGHLIGHTS • Crazy good fun Recommended for: Action fans
In many ways Iron Man 3 acts as a double sequel, both to Iron Man 2 and Joss Whedon’s Avengers. It’s partially successful with carrying the spirit of The Avengers, but often loses focus of what’s important, trading a strong character-driven story for a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. Even in the midst of great distress, Tony Stark still manages to make time for his usual verbal pirouettes, barking out quips by the minute. Those who enjoy their comic book films with a more serious tone will be impartial to the cartoonish presentation. And, yes, although the previous chapters in the Iron Man trilogy are also heavy with humour, Iron Man 3 manages to take it up a level or two. No scene escapes without the use of a one-liner, wise crack, sight gag or bit of slapstick. Iron Man 3 plays out a bit like The Stark Knight Rises. With the exception of the strong comical influences, there are many similar elements between the two films. For one, it sees our hero completely stripped from his powers, with multiple villains and subplots all woven together. It’s is by no means a copycat though. Where The Dark Knight Rises plays on doom and gloom themes, Iron Man 3 is much lighter and, probably a lot more ‘fun’. For better or for worse, Shane Black has dragged his filmmaking sensibilities into the third installment.
Director: Joseph Kosinski Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough
HIGHLIGHTS • Cast
Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans
It’s the year 2077 and Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone repairman. He and his communications officer Vica (Andrea Riseborough) are the last humans on earth after the world was attacked by aliens. These aliens or scavs destroyed the moon, which resulted in cataclysmic environmental upheavals. Jack and Vica oversee the extraction of the earth’s last remaining resources for those on Titan and the drones are used to hunt down and destroy the last few remnants of alien resistance that sabotage the mission. Oblivion is based on an unpublished graphic novel written by the film’s director Joseph Kosinski, famous for the Tron remake of a few years ago. What might have disappointed viewers may be the film’s slow pace at various times and its lack of depth in telling the backstory of the humans and aliens. The accusation of it being too derivative is not the film’s fatal flaw as discussed earlier. After Prometheus, sci-fi aficionados were expecting too much perhaps. Oblivion does not explore philosophical, anthropological or religious themes as deeply as other material, but it does well in its exploration of the dystopian theme and triumph of the human spirit over oppression and subjugation. So despite critics’ jaded outlook towards the film, it deserves more praise than it received and might garner a bit more admiration in the near future.
92 • DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Injustice: Gods Among Us
The game’s story is hard to describe without spoiling it, but when the Joker tricks Superman into committing an unspeakable act, the Man of Steel become unhinged and retaliates in a fatalistic manner and sets out to end the violence and troubles of the world by any means necessary. Some heroes join in his quest, but things quickly get out of hand and Batman seeks to stop him with his own group of heroes and villains. But when facing the threat of a grief stricken and hate fueled Superman, one might have to call in some extra help. In this case: some extra-dimensional help. Overall, Injustice: Gods Among Us is an impressive game. It uses the DC universe in a way that has been done before, but never this well. It’s not the greatest brawler on the market, but it’s still one very impressive game and one that you’ll most likely be playing for a very long time. NetherRealm has done an excellent job with this title and Injustice is a near perfectly crafted love letter to fans of both DC Comics and brawlers in general.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is the third instalment of the franchise, co-developed by Visceral Montreal and EA Montreal, released three years after its predecessor. Although it would seem that the time would be enough to have furnished a comprehensive storyline and characters, along with gameplay and graphics to match, The Devil’s Cartel doesn’t quite match the level of the two games that have gone before it. As a title on its own, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel doesn’t stand up to much of the competition, and even the co-op mode, meant to be played with friends, leaves the gamer wanting. Although the action scenes and visuals brings something to the party, the repetitive nature of the game quickly squashes this plus point. If you’re one for mindless action sequences, and simply enjoy explosions and killing the bad guys, there’s enough to keep you busy for a few hours. At least there’s that.
Movies to look out for Stand Up Guys Genre: Comedy, Crime Director: Fisher Stevens Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Julianna Margulies Date: 7 June
Star Trek into Darkness Genre: Sci-Fi Director: J.J. Abrams Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Simon Pegg Date: 7 June
Broken City Genre: Crime, Drama Director: Allen Hughes Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper and Natalie Martinez Date: 14 June
Monsters University Genre: Comedy, Animated Director: Dan Scanlon Starring: John Goodman, and Helen Mirren Date: 21 June
Man of Steel Genre: Adventure, Action Director: Zack Snyder Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Kevin Costner Date: 28 June
Song for Marion Genre: Comedy, Drama Director: Paul Andrew Williams Starring: Terence Stamp , Gemma Arteton, Christopher Eccleston and Vanessa Redgrave Date: 28 June
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 93
Words: Harry Fisher | Photos: Harry Fisher, Cape Union & Outdoor Warehouse
camping gear review
Wherever I pitch my tent...
The idea of being completely selfsufficient while on a motorcycling or bicycle trip is very alluring for many people, as it allows you to really get away from it all. And finding kit that is small and light enough to carry on a bike, which is not going to break the bank, isnâ€™t as hard as it may seem.
94 â€˘ DO IT NOW Magazine | June 2013
Outdoor Warehouse 360 Degree Lightweight 2
Outdoor Warehouse 360 Degree Trek 3
Being properly prepared is one of the greatest joys of undertaking a journey. Not only is there the fun of all the gadgets you have at your disposal but they free you up from having to rely too much on civilisation and enable you to get to grips with nature. This, of course, means camping. However, the problem can often be one of space and/or weight. Tents and sleeping bags are not necessarily the most compact items and other gear, such as cooking equipment, can be bulky and heavy. A little research into this challenge revealed that light and compact while performing well, are remarkably easy to achieve. What is not so easy is the affordability, as not all of us need or have the budget for Everest-expedition-quality equipment. The good news for our latter group is that going down-market does not necessarily mean down-grading on any of the essential criteria. So let’s take a look at the equipment needed, in order of importance.
Cape Union Mart K-Way Nerolite 2
• Outdoor Warehouse also has the 360 Degree Trek 3, a 3-person tent. Why three person? Well, the extra space takes into consideration that while camping in the middle of nowhere, you might need or want to store your luggage and belongings in the tent with you. This tent caters for this while still having enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. It comes in at a very reasonable 3 kg and has a 2.1 m inner length. Packed, dimensions are 42 x 20 cm. *Priced at R1,599.
Tents - There are plenty of tents on the market, but very few with the weight and dimensions suitable for bikes. I found three that fit the bill perfectly.
• Last, but not least, is the K-Way Nerolite 2-man tent from Cape Union Mart. This sits in-between the other two in terms of weight - 2.4 kg - but has roughly the same dimensions as the Trek 3 when packed. An aerodynamic shape allows it to remain stable even in high winds. It’s not the biggest tent in the world, so the two people sharing it would need to be quite good friends. It comes with a rolltop, waterproof carry bag and repair kit. The outer flysheet is made from ripstop nylon. *Priced at R1,499.
• Outdoor Warehouse has the 360 Degree Lightweight 2, a 2-person tent that comes in at an amazing 1.8 kg and measures 50 x 17 cm (length x diameter) when packed. It offers a 2.3 m long sleeping compartment and all materials used are fire retardant and UV resistant. The inner is mesh, for perfect ventilation! *Priced at R1,099.
All three tents are dead easy to pitch and strike and, needless to say, they are all totally waterproof and have a built-in ground sheet. They all work on the bendy-pole concept and have aluminium poles. As a way of carrying your castle with you, you can’t go wrong with any of these tents.
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 95
Cape Union Mart
First Ascent Pack Lite bag
The K-Way Extreme Light
The Kovea Booster +1 Cape Union Mart
Thermal Comfort Backpacker Standard 3.8
Sleeping bags - Usually the bulkiest of all equipment, there is actually a way round this that also gives you great flexibility, no matter the temperature. • The K-Way Extreme Light from Cape Union Mart is a goose down filled bag, with a temperature comfort rating of +10°C. If you are thinking that 10°C is not very cold, you would be right. However, living in sunny South Africa and camping in summer, you would rarely need anything more. For cooler conditions though, couple this with a thermal liner, which packs down to half the size of the sleeping bag, and you get incredible warmth and flexibility. It weighs a paltry 470 g and packs down to a tiny 25 x 13 cm easy strap-to-bike, two-part package. It's still smaller than one super-thermal sleeping bag that would also cost a lot more and would be horrible in high summer. *Priced at R1,199. • Coming in slightly cheaper is the First Ascent Pack Lite bag from Outdoor Warehouse. It weighs 800 g and is only slightly larger than the K-Way when packed. It’s rated for comfort to 5°C. *Priced at R899. Mat - It’s no good being warm if you’re lying on rock-hard ground and are terribly uncomfortable. • The best mat I could find was the Thermal Comfort Backpacker Standard 3.8 at Cape Union. It weighs 690 g, but more importantly, it packs down to 28 x 15 cm. It is one of those self-inflating mats that only need a few breaths to inflate it fully. It is really comfortable and comes with a stuff sack, velcro strap and repair kit. *Priced at R550. For a maximum of R4,000 (including a thermal liner for the sleeping bag), and weighing in at only 4.5 kg across the three small packages, you can sleep snugly and comfortably, and it's hardly going to break the panniers! Then you’ve got to eat. South African men are well accustomed to making a fire and braaing a bit of meat or boerie, but a fire is not always possible so you need to have an alternative.
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Stoves - Cape Union Mart has some astounding multifuel stoves that I would choose over stoves that use only gas canisters any day, simply because they are so much more flexible and fuel can be found anywhere. Of course, if you’re on a motorbike, your fuel source travels with you. There are many really small, compact and cheap stove units out there, but for ultimate performance, there are two that stand out above the rest. They might not be the cheapest (or anywhere near cheap, come to that), but you get what you pay for. • The Kovea Booster +1 is actually remarkable value for money. It comes with the burner, fuel bottle and pump, as well as a servicing tool kit, spares and canvas zip bag to hold it all. The burner is really sturdy, and the legs and pan holders fold in together to make it very compact. *Priced at R1,199. • The MSR Dragonfly is already legendary and has to be the ultimate combination of performance, lightweight and features. It’ not cheap (and you have to buy a fuel bottle separately), but it is the big daddy of stoves. Where it wins is that it will support pots of up to 9 inches in diameter, making it perfect for a one-pot-feeds-all meal. *Priced at R2,500.
So, there you have it; eat, sleep and shelter in the smallest package possible. What more could you want? •
• Touring Through Baobab Country (Issue 18, p. 24) • Solo Across Western Sahara (Issue 15, p. 26) • Touring Tales Through Botswana and Namibia (Issue 12, p. 28)
For more information on the products mentioned, visit www.capeunionmart.co.za and www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za. * Prices at time of going to print.
Words: Francois Steyn | Photos: Toyota SA & Honda SA
IN the spotlight
What motoring is about ...
Toyota 86 What do the GTi Golf, Renault Megane RS and Mini Cooper S have in common? They are all faster than the new Toyota 86. They are also more expensive, and even though they are all fun to drive, none come even close to the fun to be had in the 86. That’s because the power goes to the wrong wheels (read front-wheel drive)! When Toyota jointly developed the car with Subaru (Subaru's version is called the BR-Z), the most important elements for the chief engineers were that it had to be rear-wheel drive, should be devoid of a turbo and have narrow tyres (205 for the Standard and 215 for the High). How great is that? Add limited slip differential (LSD) to the formula and you have the mathematical equation for mad drifter. Even though the normally aspirated 1,998 cc boxer engine only delivers 147 kW and 205 Nm of torque very high up in the rev range (maximum power is at seven grand), you can unstick the rear-end with ease. That is one of the reasons why I had to wait so long to get the test car: they had to replace the tyres after just 15,000 km. Luckily, the Prius tyres should be less expensive than, say, an XK-R’s fat shoes. In South Africa there are three models available, the Standard (manual) and High (manual or automatic). The Standard only costs R298 500, which was a most welcome surprise when it arrived last year. I drove the High manual, which has 17-inch wheels compared to the base model's 16s. It also has auto-levelling High Intensity Discharge headlights, cruise control, auto 2-zone air conditioning and heated seats. None are particularly necessary, but are nice to have. Other unimportant features are the rear seats that are only really useful for storing very small items (without legs). A baby seat can fit in the back, but only just and I had to move the passenger seat so far forward that my wife (who is not particularly tall) couldn’t get into the front. I also used the 86 for grocery shopping and managed to fit four Pink n Pay bags in the front footwell and a
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bag of dog food in the spare wheel that is in the boot. So there's not much space, but if that is of concern, you are totally missing the point and should rather get a Fiat Multipla. When I get into a new car the first thing I do is zero the trip computer to see what the average fuel consumption is at the end of the week. Getting into the 86, I immediately saw it was pointless. I’m not saying it’s thirsty, rather that it’s a driver’s car. A driver that doesn’t care about saving fuel or hauling luggage. I think at the end it showed something sensible like 10 l/100 km. The interior is hard to describe. The dash is a flat, vertical black panel that houses the air con with a Fortuner radio stuck on top of it. Right in front of the driver is a large analogue rev counter with a white background and a needle-type speedo to the left. There’s also a digital speedo to the right. The buttons to reset the trip meter look like those found on an old Honda Africa Twin. It almost looks like they spent so much time getting the drivetrain right that they made the interior with whatever they could find. It works well though and it is a happy place to be in, if you enjoy driving. They saved on niceties such as electric seats and a multifunctional steering wheel. Don’t get me wrong though, it is still very comfortable and everything that matters is there and works. It also has all the safety stuff, like ABS and airbags, etcetera, etcetera.
I drove the 2.4 AWD Automatic Executive and as with anything Honda, everything is near-on perfect. Luxury and comfort is written everywhere. It's in the electrically adjustable, heated memory seats, the sound system with USB connection and a sub-woofer, the big steering wheel with all the controls for the sound, cruise control and hands-free Bluetooth phone system.
I liked the look of the first two generations of Honda’s CR-V, but the outgoing model looked like a tee cosy. The all-new CR-V on the other hand is very well designed and not unsightly from any angle. What impressed me most was the ample room inside. This really is a great family car, with me almost stretching my legs straight when 'sitting behind myself '. The rear seats fold forward for a flat load bay and a very generous 1,146 litres of luggage space.
The controls for the audio system look very much like the rest of the Honda range, and the instrumentation consists of a large needle-type speedo in the middle. Unlike the Civic, the on-board computer display does not reflect annoyingly on the windscreen, but it shows the same information, such as the radio station, average fuel consumption, range left and climate control settings when you change it.
Honda CR-V 2.4
www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 99
Honda CR-V 2.4
Toyota 86 When you press the start button, the engine gurgles to life and the twin exhausts lie: “Look at me, I am a very expensive supercar!” The clutch is heavy and the short throw six-speed gearbox notchy, as it should be. There’s no missing a gear in this and the drivetrain feels like it is up to the task of hooning. The leather steering wheel is small and thick and has no distracting buttons. It is also not connected to wheels that have to deal with transferring power from the engine to the road, so all you do is point the 86 in a direction and it obliges. Stomp on the throttle at anything above 3,000 r/min and the rear steps out with ease. The Vehicle Stability Control keeps you out of trouble and my overdeveloped sense of responsibility was the only thing stopping me from switching it off. For that you need to be on a race track. Before looking at the claimed performance figures, I tried to guess the 0-100 km/h acceleration time by doing a couple of quick lift-offs. It feels much quicker than the actual figure of just under 8 seconds. The top speed of about 210 km/h also seems slow, but that’s the beauty of it. Who drives that fast on public roads these days? What will you gain by reaching 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds? That was the problem I had with the M6 last year. A car like that is such a burden to drive because you have to tiptoe your way around it not to end up in a ditch. The 86 is a driver’s car that can be driven hard and enjoyed every day. Since driving the Lumina SSV, this is the first time that I have tested a car I would actually like to own. If the FJ Cruiser and 86 is anything to go by, I can’t see myself being dissuaded from being an unashamedly biased Toyota fan for the foreseeable future.
The 2.4 engine is very smooth and perfectly matched to the 5-speed automatic gearbox. This is a car that will devour thousands of kilometres without tiring its pilot or occupants. To the right of the steering column you’ll find the familiar green Econ button with the little leaf on it. If you forget to switch it off, the big CR-V feels lazy on the highway, but you’ll be rewarded in town with a fuel consumption of less than 10 l/100 km. Switch off the leafy button and the revs rise quickly to make use of the 140 kW on tap at 7,000 r/min. It still doesn’t feel fast, but you won’t have trouble overtaking a truck on a country road, with the family and your holiday luggage in tow. The CR-V is packed with safety features like the usual ABS with EBD and EBA, six airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist and Active Cornering Lights. The latter switches on a light to the side you’re turning to. It also has daytime LED running lights and a tyre deflation warning system. The model I drove also had all-wheel drive, which is not so much for off-roading (it has 18-inch wheels), but will help keep the wheels pointing in the right direction. Something that I also never really thought was necessary, but which proved rather helpful, were the tinted windows in the rear. My wife and newborn sat at the back without anyone seeing them. Writing about Hondas is always difficult. None of them are so fun to drive that you can rave on about it for two pages, but then there’s also never anything to complain about. To be honest, R455 300 is a lot of money, but the base model 2.0 Comfort FWD starts at only R306 800. •
• Fun Family Favourites (Issue 25, p. 94) • MINI One vs. BMW 1 (Digital article, March '13)
Toyota 86 High
Honda 2.4 CR-V AWD
147 (7,000 r/min)
140 (7,000 r/min)
205 (6,400-6,600 r/min)
220 (4,300 r/min)
Acceleration (0-100 km/h)
Max speed (km/h)
Claimed fuel consumption
Service plan (years / km)
4 / 60,000
5 / 90,000
* Tested # Claimed by Honda
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inside the next issue ...
Quote: "The gun goes off and everything changes … the world changes … and nothing else really matters." - Patti Sue Plummer
The FREE app version of the magazine also includes these exciting extras: • Swipe to the inDULGE section and try out the delicious recipes featured. • Enjoy the music, movie and game reviews in the inTERTAINMENT section. Plus there's great action-packed video content for many of the articles!
Don't miss these and many other great articles in the July 2013 issue of DO IT NOW Magazine.
Discovering Mozambique's Gems
When I think about the five days Xen and I spent exploring Vilankulo and the surrounding islands, in Mozambique, I can still vividly recall the wonderful feeling of tranquility and see the beautiful, calm aquamarine ocean and pansy shells that decorated the beach - it's a must for everyone’s bucket list. Discover why in the next issue.
Zini Buffalo Classic
The first race to kick off the 2013 MiWay Big5 MTB Series got under way in windy and cold conditions on a crisp Sunday morning on the KZN north coast. Beautiful Mtunzini Country Club was the host for the race venue yet again, with the superb course of sugarcane singletrack, dense indigenous forest and boardwalks of mangrove swamp treating all riders who took part! Don't miss Jacques Marais's photo chronicles of this event in the July issue.
On the Lighter Side If you're a runner, you may be able to relate to or appreciate some of these descriptions. You know you're a runner when • you have more running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile. • you smirk when non-runners ask you, "So how long is this marathon?" • you no longer make fun of fanny packs because your running belt looks very similar (although cooler). • you're not embarrassed to wear spandex. • you wear your running watch even when you're not running. It matches, right? • you've had your running shoes for three months and it's already time to replace them. • your physical therapist's receptionist knows you by the sound of your voice on the phone. • you have running clothes and an extra pair of running shoes in your car, 'just in case'. • your holiday wish list can be fulfilled at any running or sporting goods store. • your only recent photos of you alone are race photos.
While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the content of the DO IT NOW Magazine is accurate at the time of going to press, DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of utilising the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. DO IT NOW MAGAZINE(Pty) Ltd supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of our environment.
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Published on May 29, 2013
Published on May 29, 2013
The June 2013 issue of DO IT NOW magazine is now available and features some red-hot adventure, sport, and lifestyle articles. Cover stories...