Monthly Archives: November 2016

Team @GarminSA give their account of the @STCmauritius.

Southern Tropical Challenge presented by Lux Resorts

15We have given up on the idea of convincing people that the Southern Tropical Challenge is a tough race requiring the usual fitness, strength and focus to do well. One mention that the race takes place in Mauritius and images of white beaches, warm ocean swims and cocktail sundowners are evoked and no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince anyone otherwise.

Contrary to these romantic conjurations racing your mountain bike on a volcanic island comes with some distinct challenges. Insanely steep climbs, jagged rock surfaces and slippery downhills are all part and parcel of the event creating quite a unique test.

Now in its 8th year the Southern Tropical Challenge (STC) has developed into a well organised event centred on the Lux Resort Tamassa Hotel. Most participants stayed in the hotel and from there completed the prologue and 3 stages.

After staying with our friends Yannick and Aureliè Lincoln for 3 days, it was a shock to the system racing the 16km prologue around the historic Le Morne Brabant. We coped well enough to finish 2nd, 27seconds behind Yannick and Aureliè who were very motivated in front of their home crowd.

A bent derailleur hanger early during stage one forced us to stop and do some roadside repairs. It didn’t cost much time but we lost a lot of momentum and never really got going afterwards finishing the stage in 3rd place.3-2

Stage 2 was much better for us with only a steep, muddy downhill costing us some time. We started to find our race rhythm and got better as the day progressed finishing motivated for the final stage.

By stage 3 we finally found our groove and raced hard to finish the stage and the race in 2nd overall. It felt good to push so hard on our 67th and final day of racing for 2016.

It was also good to see Yannick and Aureliè win a race that means so much to them, especially after Yannick is making his comeback from serious injury sustained at the Olympics in Rio.

Now we have a few days to enjoy the island and live up to the idea everyone has of this place. We will do our best to meet those lofty expectations!

My race report of the #Wines2Whales MTB Stage Race. @GarminSA

img-20161110-wa0005  Being one of the biggest 3 day mountain bike stage races in South Africa, the FNB Wines2Whales needs no introduction. Commencing in 2009 the event has grown massively and currently hosts a limited field of around 4,500 participants over the Trail, the Adventure and the Race editions of the event.

The event kicks off at the elegant Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West and finishes in Onrus on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean 3 days later. In between the event stops over at Oak Valley in Grabouw for two nights and here riders get treated to scenic, fun trail riding whilst traversing the beautiful Elgin Valley.img-20161114-wa0001

My Mauritian friend Aurelie Lincoln invited me to join her on her inaugural Wines2Whales experience and who can say no to sharing fun trails in a beautiful part of the country alongside good company.

Aurelie has been battling with her health since the Cape Pioneer Trek and my training has been haphazard due to the passing of a close family member. Knowing we showed up with less than ideal form we decided to just make the best of the situation we were in.

We raced as hard as we could trying to enjoy every moment to the full. Finally we finished in 7th place overall, but more importantly – we made some good memories along the way.

With the rac15078899_1542886919060596_4897809012214629721_ne season winding down, we leave tomorrow for our customary season ending race at the Southern Tropical Challenge where Ben Melt Swanepoel and I will be attempting to defend our title in the mixed category as Team Garmin.

My view on the @GarminSA Vivo Move Activity Tracker.

A Garmin Brand Ambassador get-together is always a highlight as the Garmin crew go out of their way to make it a special occasion. One of the surprises at the last meeting was that each Brand Ambassador got spoiled with a Garmin Vivo Move activity tracker.

20161104_120112For me personally the Vivo Move is currently one of the most stylish time pieces in the Garmin range, largely because of its friendly, analogue watch face. Apart from the Vivo Move’s elegant looks, it plays an essential role in my daily training and activity analyses.

Being the proud owner of a Forerunner 235 you might think why the need for an additional activity tracker. Well, sometimes you have to dress up a little and when that sporty looking watch doesn’t go with the outfit, you might miss out on tracking your daily activity. With the Garmin Vivo Move, your entire wardrobe is covered leaving no excuse to miss out on capturing your daily activity.

What I like about the Garmin Vivo Move:

  • It’s a great-looking watch!
  • It’s simple. It has an accelerometer inside for counting steps and sleep, and two bar dials behind the watch hands that give a rough idea of how far you’ve walked each day and how long since you last moved.
  • It has a one-year battery life so you don’t have to worry about charging the device.

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More on the technical side:

The bar dials on the watch face is for a quick glance at how you’re doing. You’ll have to head into the Garmin Connect app to see exactly how many steps you’ve taken, and roughly how many calories they’ve burned off.

The good news is that the app is pretty comprehensive, building a profile based on your body metrics and tying in with other apps such as Strava and MyFitnessPal. Everything syncs between services automatically, which saves a lot of hassle.

In the Garmin Connect app you can also see your sleep breakdown. Tracking sleep is a great way for people (active and sedentary) to realize how important shut-eye is and how it affects everything from work to appetite to training.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Garmin’s more serious fitness trackers and exercise watches are mostly a case of function before form, but the opposite is true here. The Vivo Move is a great-looking watch that doesn’t try to squeeze in too many features, instead it just focuses on the basics.

Follow this link to find out more about the Garmin Vivo Move:

http://www.garmin.co.za/fitness_products_vivomove.php