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Tuesday, 29 March 2016
GREAT news: Merrell team pass on their Addiction

With Tatum Prins back stronger than ever, having just proved her mettle by winning Led Lensor's Wartrail on the weekend, the boys have had to up their training game. They compete together once again at Expedition Africa, 500km non-stop expedition race in May in the Garden Route. This popular event has attracted 31 local and 22 international teams, and many are eyeing the top position. In the build up to this, Merrell Adventure Addicts is hosting an informal training weekend on the 2-3 April for anyone participating in EA or interested in AR. Captain Graham Bird - who was happy to realise the Garden Route Expedition Africa Training spelled out GREAT - has laid out a clover course that can keep teams busy for 24 hours, completing as many legs as they are able, giving everyone the opportunity to race through the night, practise their transitions and thrash out the all-important team dynamics.
Based from the sumptuous Simola Golf and Country Estate and with kind permission from SANPARKS and MTO Forestry, the routes will traverse similar terrain that competitors will tackle just six weeks later. With recent elephant sightings in the area adding to the excitement, teams can explore the playground that a normal tourist only touches upon - there being nothing 'normal' about adventure racers.
At this time, Hanno Smit will gather his Mentored Merrell Adventure Team together for their inaugural outing and see what he's gotten himself into. This is a new concept, designed to encourage participation in this unique sport by eliminating the excuses not to do it. A trio of keen novices  get the advantage of all the useful insight, advice and tips only experience can pass on. In this case they are gaining a top notch navigator, local forester and fisherman to keep them entertained with tales through their long nights on bike or trek.
Both Fiona McIntosh and Shaen Adey from Cape Town have tackled numerous endurance events and sports all over this country and internationally, but not yet an AR. Sarah Hearn writes most of the coverage for the team, so she has in depth insight into what it takes to prepare for an event and how many splinters have to be removed from a body afterwards, but wants to really understand those days inbetween. More than that, she wants to take away the intimidating aspect of adventure racing and answer the questions that so many newbies have by being one herself. She is drawing information from all the team members and posting their advice and tips on a FB page. "Anything in life can be done if you go step by step." She says. "Once you know which direction you need to go, then you can run."
"The Mentored Merrell idea is a natural extension of what we do as racers." Says Graham. "We've been around a while and learnt so much from our own efforts and information from fellow competitors. Now we can add our accumulated experience to the mix and encourage those interested in doing an expedition style race to take the plunge. We may use it in the future to select and train up potential Merrell Addict teammates as some of us are getting a bit long in the tooth now!"
Those keen for this opportunity should keep an eye on the Mentored Merrell FB page as events unfold later in the year.
Both teams are encouraged and supported by their main sponsor Merrell, and also PVM Nutrition, Black Diamond, Ocean Eyewear, Llama Bars, ButtaNutt Spreads, Extreme Lights, SquirtLube and Giant Bicycles.
Facebook: Merrell Adventure Addicts
Merrell Mentored Adventure Team
Website: Merrell Adventure Addicts




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