Cobus van Zyl – Kinetic Sprint of 2017

The first Kinetic Sprint of 2017 was definitely one to remember for Janneke and I (I being Cobus). For the last two years we never had any strong competition showing up in the mixed category and mostly focused on trying to get a podium overall. Well this time around we knew we we’re in for trouble when Nicky Booyens showed up with Jeandre as team “Gooi mielies”. Don’t let the name fool you..
It even prompted us to go for a quick warm-up run which is very un-common. Any case we knew this is serious and when the proverbial gun went, we we’re off on the first 600m field spreader run, with two check points. I foolishly tried to gain some advantage by taking a shortcut which ended up in thorns. After a super fast transition for both teams we were cycling out on the route head to head, which were to set the scene for the rest of the day. Within the first kilometre I took a nose dive off the bicycle when map reading, a sharp turn and bad judgement coincided. This gave the mielie people a chance to be in front. With all the adrenaline, hard cycling and twists and turns Janneke had a hard time remembering the CP numbers and we’ve done half the race trying to remember what the first couple of CPs were. Luckily our brains calmed a bit and between the two of us we managed to puzzle it all together on the last hike.
The problem throughout the race was, that we just couldn’t shake them and then after CP4 on the last run I got crazy and went to CP9, because it looked like the next logical CP and my oxygen starved brain didn’t realise that 9 does not follow 4 until we got to CP9. At that particular moment I was fairly ticked off and despondent, you just see your race going down the toilet, we have just lost about 1km on the mielie people. But what can you do, but to soldier on. So we changed course and headed off to CP5, I was secretly hoping that their Nav might let them down giving us a chance to catch up, It turns out something to this effect happened because closing in on CP7 we suddenly spot them in front of us looking not to certain about things, so we chased hard and caught up with them at CP 7 where both teams milled around for a while until Janneke read the description and we realised the CP is actually inside a ruin close to the road and not exactly next to the road where we were looking.
It was our turn to get a bit of a break at CP8 when we managed to spot the CP on a tree without giving it away to the mielie people who were searching for it slightly too much to the North. Unfortunately the gap was very small and by CP9 (this time in sequence) they were with us again and we were chasing hard for the paddle transition. A quick bundu bash gave me and Janneke a 20m lead on them and we managed to keep it into the paddle. Since my life I haven’t paddled as hard, with a strong team a couple of meters behind you, knowing after the paddle it’s just a 1km run and an obstacle course. We managed to keep the gap on the paddle and went from paddling to dragging the boats onto the sandbank to running in one seamless movement. By now my tongue was dragging on the sand behind me but the mielie people was on our tail so we pushed hard. By the time Janneke was halfway up the first obstacle, the mielies arrived and I had to quickly snatch the other rope away from Nicky to start climbing up the obstacle in front of her. It was only once we cleared the first obstacle that for the first time during the race I felt like “Okay we’re gonna win this one”. We we’re up and over the second obstacle and crossed the finish line with Gooi Miellies in second place by less than a minute.
As always a big Thankyou to Nevarest with our main sponsors Toyota and Keyhealth for assisting us in enjoying life to the fullest.