Mention the name Farmer Glen, and the instant associations you make make are Sani2c, hospitality, awesome trails, awesome food, great people, success and humility. This year Sani2c celebrated it’s 10th birthday, and I was blessed enough to be a part of it. Having been at this event 5 times now, it’s been quite an experience to see how this special event has grown in leaps and bounds by the addition on the Trail and Adventure events, and how much this event has invested back into the community, a whopping R 74 million over the years!
The secret to the success of this event, in their own words has been “to keep things simple” . By investing in improving the two overnight camps along the route, McKenzie Country Club and Jolivet farm, they have managed to create an atmosphere where riders are able to relax, replenish and prepare for the next days challenge without hassle and fuss, with smiles are kept on faces by the copious amounts of great tasting food. It is a well known fact that you will come out of Sani2c weighing more than you went in.
This year I teamed up with veteran Cross Country World Champion Nico Pfitzenmaier. Last year we had a very successful Wines to Whales victory together, and we were keen to see how we could work together in a slightly more competitive field with sponsors RSA Web and Dorma supporting us.
Over the 3 days we performed consistently, but unfortunately not quite as far up as we had hoped finishing 8th, 7th and 6th respectively in what was the most competitive field to date. The lead bunch was just a tad too quick and each day we had to settle into the sharp end of the chase group where we managed to hold our own pretty well finishing in 6th place overall. At the sharp end of the race Max Knox and Kevin Evans(Fedgroup) lit up the field on day 1 and 2 to cement their victory, while unfortunately the only team who showed signs of bettering them had to withdraw after Erik Kleinhans clipped handlebars with team mate Nico Bell on a high speed descent in the closing Kilometers of stage 2 and crashed, tearing his AC ligament in his left shoulder. With one month to go before Marathon World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, this is really bad timing. Speedy recovery Erik!
Apart from the great experience that this race provides, it was a real eye opener and inspiration to see how my team mate copes with stage racing. For those of you who don’t know, Nico isn’t a spring chicken, but at age 42 is still able to compete at the sharp end of racing with the young guns. A large part of his success is due to his diet. Nico is 100% vegan, is gluten free, and on top of that eats 80% raw food. He also eats organic fruit and veg wherever possible. To maintain this kind of diet in a stage race setting takes a lot of planning, but being German and organised he somehow manages to pull it off. Along to every race comes his industrial strength blender as well as many organic powders to supplement his diet. It’s something really inspiring to watch at such a high level, and also shows what is possible with the right nutrition and mental preparation.
So with Sani2c behind me the focus now turns to the Garden Route 200 with the build up peaking at the World Marathon Championships in Pertermartizburg at the end of June. I will keep you in the loop on how all of that goes.
A massive thanks must go out to RSA Web for helping me get there as well as Shaun from Dorma for providing all the extra support.
Keep it rubber side down!