Race Report: Louis Smit – GI Joe #1

The first Gi Joe race of 2018 was a great success and also my first tough OCR event to see how my
training has gone. This was also a real speed test as Armin Botha showed up to challenge me in the
Commander challenge, if anybody knows Armin he was a specialist at track and field doing really
well in 5000m before he turned his sights on OCR.
I knew before the race started that this was going to be a really tough challenge, unfortunately, there
weren’t too many athletes willing to take on the Commander for some or other reason, come on guys
this is one of the toughest and most fun races in the Freestate. Anyway, the few of us who showed
up for the battle started at 7 am with more of a steady start.
As I also have a track and field background I knew Armin would stick with me and find out where my
weaknesses were, but for the first few kilometres, I could keep him at bay as there where quite a few
obstacles, nothing too tough but constantly breaking the running rhythm. As soon as there was an
open running space Armin started to slowly pull out a lead, first off I was about 30sec behind him
and in few kilometres further, he had pulled a lead of a minute and a half. I knew this was his strength
and that I should just keep at it.
Next up was another barrage of obstacles with some grip strength elements as well, here I knew if
he made a mistake I would close the gap right up and that was exactly what happened, I also tried to
keep my intensity really high on all the obstacles. He faltered on the Ninja rings and I was right there
to put the pressure on and it paid off as he made another mistake. I passed him and thought to
myself it’s going to be tough for him to come back from this, not seeing him behind me I kind of
went into a more comfortable rhythm to save some energy for the last bunch of obstacles.
Entering the venue area alone felt really good, going into the water crossing first was great. Halfway
over the water, I catch a glimpse of Armin not too far behind me, how did he catch up so fast? I was
feeling fresh though and kicked into gear, there were only a few obstacles left plus one rather tough
obstacle as well. Felt good to feel the pressure from another athlete and I pushed myself hard until the
end to take the win.
After the race, Charlotte told me to get ready for the next 12km OCR as I had entered for both. The
event use to be over two days but due to low numbers on the Sunday they had to cancel it, so here
we go again. Luckily there was no Armin in this race and I took a comfortable win, making it two wins
in one day. 25km, 101 obstacles and two 1st places, happy with my performances.
Thanks to my sponsors Nevarest team, Keyhealth Medical Scheme, Toyota SA, First Ascent and Alec
Avierinos for giving me this opportunity to do this sport. Also, thanks to Gi Joe for yet another
awesome event had lots of fun and to Tikwe and their staff was great seeing you guys again keep it