The Tuff Adventure Race

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Merrell leads the way at the Transkei Tuff Adventure Race.

On the weekend of the 27th and 28th of February, I competed in my first proper adventure race, in the heart of the Transkei where one couldn’t ask for a better setting. I greeted my team for the first time as I arrived at Wavecrest Hotel on Friday evening. That night was race briefing where we were given maps that I had no idea how to read and a short description of each leg of the race.

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The race started 7am sharp on Saturday morning with the first snorkeling leg, a member from our team had to dive to find 3 check points (CPs) and call them back to us in order. Once that was done we were the first team out of transition and onto the first 19km cycle leg. Now 19km sounds short but it was a lot of bush riding and bike carrying. We cycled to our next CP which was a 4km kloofing section through The Gates, this was so beautiful and one of my favourite parts of the race. With teams hot on our heels there was not time for error or resting it was back on our bike for 62km. This was a tough leg with lots of climbing and I soon realized there are no flats in the Transkei! We cycled to the next leg which consisted of a 45m abseil off a waterfall, now heights is really not my thing so I was paralytic with fear and wasn’t quite sure if I would manage to get myself off the edge, but I did and it was well worth it.

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Back on our bikes we cycled 11km back to Wavecrest for the next leg, a 10km beach run/trek which included quite a hectic kloofing section as well. Then it was back to the hotel and on the water for a 10km paddle in the river to find 4 more CPs.

Then we had hit the final leg a 24km run/trek in the dark, this took us about 3.5hrs and a lot of climbing through bushes and interesting short cuts to find the beach. We made our way down to the finish with a swim across the river to the finish line 16h12min after we started, first team home!

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I used endurade to keep me fueled during the event, and whey protein at transitions. This combination worked so well and kept me going for 16hrs no worries.

What an experience my team was amazing, their navigational skills were unbelievable and true gentlemen. I have attached some photos of the event and I must say if you want to try adventure racing this is the race!

Thank you Merrell for giving me the opportunity to compete in events like this.

-Tracey Almirall

Train like a Pro!

Photography by: Bruce Vienne