Monday, 5 December 2016

Suunto Spartan Sport

I have recently received the latest and greatest piece of gear from Suunto. The Suunto Spartan Sport, in my opinion, is the ultimate athlete watch.

My first impression of the watch is simply put as mind blowing. Once I had stopped admiring its very eye catching and sleek design and got into the features I was left speechless. I hooked the watch up to my laptop to set up my training modes and was very impressed with the preset modes that you could choose from. For example having multiple running modes such as track and interval. The option to make minor setting adjustments before you start the session has made it very athlete friendly in the way that you can change your GPS setting, auto pause function and even set yourself a goal if you are having a fun mess around session. 

The touch screen is very responsive even with riding gloves on. I ride with the Specialized wire tap gloves which is designed for touch screens however you still have full functionality of the watch with the three buttons which allows you to change screens, pause, lap and end your session. Along with the touch screen the watch now includes improved activity tracker and smart watch functions such as daily steps, calories burnt, and Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to answer calls and receive messages directly to your watch.   

In conclusion my first impressions of the watch is, it is a beautifully designed, multi functional, smart watch, GPS, activity tracker that is smart enough to wear as a casual watch and functional enough for all professional athletes to use. I am looking forward to discovering more about what this watch can do.


Monday, 31 October 2016

Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical

Here is a little review of the amazing piece of gear I have been using throughout the year in order to prepare for my upcoming junior world championship

From day one I have been thoroughly impressed with the new Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical. It is a very light unit with a very comfortable strap compared to the Ambit 2. It almost becomes unnoticeable during training and racing which makes it a phenomenal watch to have for a high performance athlete.

Straight out of the box the watch comes standard with the sports modes already loaded and requires very little effort to set up and changing the settings to get your desired screens is a breeze. I have used my Suunto for everything from monitoring my heart rate in small gym sessions to three hour long rides and I have never felt as if there was an absence of information. I am constantly finding new features and apps on the watch and Movescount that make training with this unit even more enjoyable and informative.

The new design of the Ambit 3 Vertical has made it in my opinion one of the most professional looking and performing watches on the market. The Bluetooth connectivity makes uploading and analyzing training efforts a smooth and convenient process.

In conclusion, the Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical is a sleek, highly intelligent, performance improving must have for all athletes.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Varsity College Trail Blazer

The third annual Varsity College Trail Blazer took place at Modderfontein bike park. It was a bone chilling -2.5 degree 7am start for the 50km. I had participated in the 25km last year and won a bursary to study full time at Varsity College Sandton. This years race was packed with tons of singletrack and cross country styled climbs. Once I had eventually warmed up I began slowly getting into a good stride. I worked my way all the way up to 6th position and won the under 23 category on the day. I am really proud to be a part of such a wonderful institution and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that they have presented me. #vcsportslife.

Monday, 11 July 2016


I was very fortunate enough to be able to take part in the USSA (University Sport of South Africa) tour this past week. At first I was very doubtful of my abilities as a road rider and was not keen to participate in the race. As it got closer to race day I started to become very excited as it would be a new aspect of racing that I have never experienced before.

Day one was a new experience as it was two stages in one day. We had a 66km road stage followed by a 20km time trial that afternoon. I managed to stick with the bunch until the last climb to the finish where I was dropped and finished mid pack in 23rd position. I caught up one position on the time trial later that afternoon. I was 22nd on the GC after day one.

Day two was the 110km long stage. This was the stage I was dreading the most. I stuck with the group all until 60km where an attack was made. I tried my best to stick with them but could not. I dropped back to the chasing bunch and we were slowly closing them down when unfortunately my legs couldn't give anymore. I dropped back and rode solo for the last 30km leaving me 30th on the GC after day 2.

Day three was the hill climb and crit race. We climbed a total of 91m in 1km (pretty damn steep). I dug deep and managed a 16th on the hill climb. The crit race was one of my favorites, it was the last road stage and definitely the most fun. 30 minutes of flat out sprinting and super tight corners! A perfect way to end the USSA road tour.

Day four was my where I did my best. 35km, 6 laps of 7km on a very fun cross country course put me right at home. I was not expecting big things but got a huge surprise with the amount of energy I still had left in my legs. I had an absolutely amazing ride with no technical problems or cramps. I held a solid pace right to the end and managed to place 8th overall.

It was hard, it was painful but I loved every second of it!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

PMB Mountainbike Festival

This was my most memorable of the year so far. The two days of course practice leading up to the start of the racing the weather was intensely hot. Everything on the course was more than easy to ride as the track was dry and grippy. I learnt a lot in those two days of practice and really pushed my boundaries. However... on race day it was a completely different story. It was pouring with rain all morning which turned the track from the awesome, fast flowing course to the now nearly impossible track. My first lap took me a painstakingly long 46 minutes to complete as the clay literally stopped my tires from moving. As the race went on the track became a little more compact on each lap. I was unfortunately pulled off on the second last lap ( 3rd lap of 4 ). However, due to the horrid conditions the race officials removed the 80% rule allowing me to keep my 13th position and improve my standings on the overall log.

Keeping my spirits high and enjoying the opportunity to learn how to handle such bad conditions.

60km Marathon (Sunday) 
I had entered into the marathon to get a full training weekend out of my trip. I started off fast keeping with the leading bunch for about the first 5km. I proceeded to fall back as I could feel the XC race in my legs and would not make it to the end at that pace. I got into a very comfortable pace with a chasing group and continued to enjoy myself. Unfortunately a fellow rider cut his hand pretty badly on route and had to receive stitches. I stopped to make sure he was okay to get to the next medic point. I informed the medics and continued with my ride. I joined up with my good friend Cobus for the remaining 45km. We stopped at every water point to fill up with sweets and water. We pushed hard on the climbs and enjoyed the down hills.

It was a really memorable experience teaching me a lot of good lessons. The most important being that it doesn't matter how bad the conditions are, if you have a positive attitude you will always have a good race.
 One of the rare pictures of me riding upright at cascades
 Crossing the line broken but more experienced
 Giving it all we have to get to the top

Monday, 4 April 2016

USN Cup #3

The third leg of the USN cup took part at Red Barn this past weekend. I really enjoyed riding at this venue. It was a relatively flat course with over 25km worth of single track.  The first 30km of the race was more of a warm up for me as my legs felt rather cold. The last 20km was all single track and my legs were finally warm. I put my head down, sprinted into and out of every corner to cross the line in 4th position which was a huge improvement on my last result at the USN cup #2. Next time a podium position will definitely be my goal! A huge thank you to all my sponsors for the constant support!

Photographer : Wendy Ireland

Monday, 28 March 2016

XCO SA Wolwespruit

This past weekend was my first U/23 and Elite cross country race. I was very nervous going into the race knowing what my competition was going to be. I put my head down, grit my teeth and pushed as hard as I could. After six laps, 34km and 1000m of climbing I managed to cross the line in 15th position. Along with this being my first U/23 race it was also the first time racing with my new gear. My Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical was very user friendly keeping me informed 100% of the time as to where I was on the track and the amount of climbing to come. Along with my new watch I had my new eye-wear from Bolle. Absolutely no fogging and now sweat run off on the lenses. Two great pieces of equipment which really made the race way more enjoyable! A huge thank you to all my sponsors who are currently making this racing season possible.