Posts Tagged ‘Conrad Stoltz’

XTERRA homage – Caveman career video

A young man from Lydenburg, South Africa with a heart for adventure who over the course of 15 years came to define the sport of off-road triathlon. Known simply as “The Caveman”, this is Conrad Stoltz. ‪#‎legend‬

Last call for the Caveman – an XTERRA tribute

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA UK European champs run, Specialized, Altra, Clif Bar, Suunto, XTERRA, trail Run, Squirt Lube, Nimble Wear,

We’re currently in Cahors, France on a final farewell tour/training camp – dont have time to blog, so I shamelessly copied and pasted from XTERRA newsletter:

“I’m pretty sure this it,” explained the most iconic XTERRA athlete of all-time, Conrad Stoltz, about Sunday’s European Championship race in England being his last XTERRA.

“I don’t have regrets.  I’m 41, I had a fantastic career, have lots of memories and have done a lot of neat stuff,” said Stoltz, adding that the best thing that ever happened was the birth of his baby girl Xena in the off-season. “She changed our lives in a huge way.  Everything else pales in comparison now that we have this little bundle.  My retirement means we can really spend a lot of time with her and we literally have her with us all the time.  Being a Dad is indescribable.  It’s awesome.”

Awesome could also describe Stoltz’ career and his impact on the sport.  Well beyond his unprecedented 51 career championship wins (53 if you count Buffelspoort) and seven world titles is a gentle giant beloved worldwide for his warm smile and welcoming demeanor as much as his fearless downhill skills.

Stoltz is a rare gem of a person – genuine, caring, smart, and giving.  There are so many great examples showcasing the strength of his character.

Flashback to Tokyo, Japan, 2011, at one of the busiest subway stations on earth. Stoltz noticed a woman struggling with her luggage at the top of a stairwell at the exit. While hundreds of commuters quickly navigated their way around the woman, the Caveman worked his way through the crowd – like a fish swimming upstream – to help her, grabbing the cumbersome luggage and carrying it down a massive flight of 100 stairs to the bottom.

Over the past 15 years XTERRA has had the pleasure of seeing him perform countless acts of kindness – from signing autographs and providing simple words of advice to full-blown mentoring gigs and visiting sick kids at Children’s Hospitals.

Marita Oppenheimer, an avid endurance athlete who was spectating at XTERRA Worlds a few years back, discovered the Caveman’s “coolness” firsthand. Afterwards, she wrote this note to TEAM Unlimited CEO Tom Kiely to share her story…

Sunday was just one of the best days of my life. I found Conrad Stoltz’ water bottle at the bottom of the last bike hill, and felt like I won the lottery. He is such an inspiration. I mentioned to my friends that, wouldn’t it be great if I could somehow return it to him, because it seemed like a special bottle, unlike all the others.

Hours go by, and I’m sitting alone on the lawn of the Ritz in the shade, and I was emailing my Husband to let him know how much fun I was having, and then I decided to prop up my special water bottle on the grass, and take a photo, just in case I lost or left it somewhere. So, I took the picture, and I hear a voice behind me, saying “Oh, so you like that water bottle, eh?”

And I turn around, and there are two men, and a woman standing there, and I responded “Yes, look at it, look whose name is on it! It’s my favorite guy.”

The woman says, “Is the note I wrote you still under the bottle?”

And then, I realize that it’s Conrad Stoltz. I couldn’t believe my luck. Under the bottle his fiancée (someone mentioned later in the day, that they were getting married) had written, “My champion, I love you.”

Oh my gosh. So I told Conrad, I was really hoping all day that I could return his bottle to him, because I felt it was a special bottle. He said, “you keep it, I have more”.

It just brings tears to my eyes, still. Then, they asked if I’d like a picture with him. I couldn’t believe it, because I never would have had the nerve to ask. Then we all hugged, and I wish you could have seen my face after they left. It was amazing. The best part was, that they were just the nicest, sweetest, most kind people, ever. – Marita Oppenheimer

To put Marita’s note in further perspective, Conrad had to pull from Worlds on the run that year – he couldn’t breathe. DNFs are not part of his culture, so you can trust his disappointment was off-the-charts, but despite this – his character remained true.

Perseverance. Conrad has that in truck loads. When in 2006 he broke his back pre-riding the course at Nationals, he didn’t give up. He actually showed up at the race two days later to support the rest of the XTERRA Tribe, arm in a sling, pain pursing through his body – but his character was holding strong. The next year he won everything, including his third world title.

In 2009 after slicing his foot open before the start of the East Championship, while retrieving a buoy that had gotten unhooked, he didn’t give up. He won that race.

In 2010 when he wanted to go home and be with his Dad while he was in a fierce battle with cancer, his Dad told him no, to race and make him proud. He did just that by winning his unprecedented fourth XTERRA World Title in his honor. ESPN paid tribute to his effort by naming it a top 10 play.

Conrad’s dad said, “I once showed him a dung beetle that was trying to roll his ball of dung up a very steep incline. The ball kept rolling back, but the beetle kept retrieving the ball and pressing forward. I said to Conrad, “That’s how one should live one’s life. One never gives up.”

Trust that his retirement has nothing to do with giving up, it’s more about moving on to start the next chapter of life with his lovely wife Liezel and baby Xena. It’s a move we can all admire.

Watch clips from our interview “Caveman in Cranleigh” on


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Caveman goes Altra Running


I’m very happy to announce a Caveman and Altra Running partnership!

After years of struggling with injury (since I cut my foot at XTERRA Richmond) and not being able to run much, I believe I found the answer to my calf injury woes. A shoe that promotes Natural Running, and also gives you many cushioning and tread options:  All Altra shoes have Zero drop soles- which promotes proper foot strike (a problem I have not been able to fix by simply concentrating) – where your foot is supposed to land under your belly button and improve posture. The wide, foot shaped toe box is not only super comfortable, but also makes your big toe and Achilles work properly.

Read more on the very insightful “Learn to run” page.

Golden Harper the founder and owner of Altra ran a 2.45 marathon at age 12, looked at the science of injury prevention, and went on to remove the heel drop in shoes by baking them in a toaster and shaving the heels down. Sounds Caveman enough for me!

Why Altra is awesome:

A foot shaped shoe!

Who would have thunk?! Seems like common sense, but no one else does it.  Using your big toe is crucial for stability and efficient running, and the big toe box allows your toes and forefoot to function naturally. Absorbing impact, balancing and pushing off.

Altra Running shoes Conrad Stoltz foot shaped toe box XRay

Zero drop for all shoes:

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#TBT The story of my first XTERRA

conrad stoltz caveman xterra richmond 2001 river crossing

[This is a #TBT repost from 2007]

My first XTERRA. 2001, Richmond, Virginia. On a borrowed bike. Yes, that is a Speedo, and that is a jogging Camel Back!

My XTERRA start:

After racing professional road triathlons for 10 years, and really focusing on the Sydney Olympics in 2000, I decided to try XTERRA triathlons for fun, so in 2001 I came over to the US mainly to race road tris. I was completely unprepared for mountain biking. So for XTERRAs I traveled with my helmet, a 2nd hand pair of MTB shoes, old MTB pedals and a pair of yellow Michelin Python tires. The rest of the bike I would borrow at the race venue. Or sometimes a week before. Like this 35lbs beauty with cutting edge suspension above….

Conrad Stoltz 2001 Chicago MrsT borrowed bike

2001 Winning Chicago Mrs Ts Triathlon. Borrowed everything. I raced Olympic distance non drafting road, ITU draft legal and XTERRA till 2004.

That year I won the XTERRA USA Series and most of the XTERRAs I did. Also 6 of the 8 road triathlons. Including the legendary Mrs. Ts Chicago Tri with its record setting 8000 participants.

Back to XTERRA:

Unfortunately (actually, fortunately) Ned Overend was my biggest competition that year. So great was my surprise (and pleasure) when just a week before XTERRA World Championships Ned gave me a brand new Specialized M5 dual suspension, a brand new Specialized helmet AND brand new Specialized shoes! It was like Christmas. (By then my old Sidis needed screws to keep the uppers and the lowers together) What he also gave me was a Specialized cycling jersey his wife cut the sleeves from. He shrugged and said I could wear it if I wanted. Of course I wanted! Ned is such a great person, the bike rode like an off road motor bike, I immediately fell in love with the product and the Specialized brand. I won World Champs by 10 minutes, and I went from living from hand to mouth  to being able to make a good living thanks to generous sponsorship by some cool people & companies.

Like every XTERRA World Championship, the 1hr TV show was aired on CBS on Super bowl Sunday. Right before the game.

Ned Overend with Conrad Stoltz at the 2001 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.

Proud 2001 World Champion posing with Legend and Hero – Ned Overend.

Ned guided me through the pitfalls of negotiating a sponsorship contract for 2002. Up till that year, I have never made money from the sport- always living from hand to mouth, sometimes selling some of my cattle my dad keeps on his farm when I had to buy expensive air tickets. I had no idea how much to ask, Ned said “ask for this and that.” That’s exactly what I got. The future was bright and rosy. I was over the moon to be part of the best bike company in the world.

Now it is 2007 and I have been with Specialized for 7 years. I have won 3 XTERRA World Championships, 5 XTERRA USA Series titles, and more than 30 individual XTERRAs. This year I won every XTERRA I did. (except 1 mechanical) I raced my Specialized road bike at the Athens Olympics, have won many big road triathlons from Japan to Chicago. Nicknames that stuck were “Caveman” and “King of XTERRA”.

At every XTERRA there is an XTERRA University where I teach “The Art of XTERRA” to amateur athletes. I get dozens of emails on my website from fans asking about tire selections, equipment and bike choices. (I’m known as the dual suspension prophet that down hills like crazy)

This year a fan admired my Carbon Epic at a race and commented about the unpainted frame. I told him “It saves 180g”. He said “Well, why didn’t they just leave the Specialized stickers off and save more weight?” I replied “Of course Specialized wants to have its name on my bike” And he said “But that’s unnecessary, EVERYONE knows Conrad Stoltz rides Specialized!”

2x Olympian
3x XTERRA Word Champion
5x XTERRA USA Series Champion
5x All African triathlon Champion
5x South African Champion
4x XTERRA South Africa winner
6 Triathlon seasons in France. Including 3 France Iron Tours. Captain of Montpellier Tri team. Countless victories.
7 Triathlon seasons in USA. Chicago Mrs Ts Triathlon winner 2001. With 8000 participants, the worlds largest triathlon.
4x Boulder Peak Triathlon winner & course record holder.
16 years as a Pro
20 years in Triathlon
26 years of bike racing
27 years of running
34 years of living

Think training is hard? Try losing.

Conrad Stoltz swimming Suunto Blueseventy

“Think training is hard? Try losing.”

My motivation to get my workouts done right. Thanks to coaching whiz Ian Rodger we dont do “garbage miles” or workouts to fill the log book. We stick to the science and only do exactly what is right for the chosen sport & outcome we’re looking for.





Story Time

Cavegirl on the way!!!

Cavegirl on the way!!!
Liezel and I are happy to announce our baby girl on the way! We are 23 weeks in, #PrincessHotstuff is fit and trim, and for me, time is not moving fast enough!  Due date 15-5-15. Suuuuper excited prix viagra en pharmacie! With these genes, she’ll be shooting hoops while wheelie-ing at the age of 3. […]
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Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…
As you all know, its easy to overindulge and pack on the pounds during the festive season, so Cross Training is a key ingredient to keeping the Caveman fit and flexable. Gotta keep on top of skills training too. Breakfast sure wasnt pretty. But its all part of the food chain… Like I said, being […]
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Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy
XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno. To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes. XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture […]
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Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title
#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40) Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, […]
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a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
Caveman’s Stellenbosch Kelfords Ford Fietsta Ambiente 1.4 [Open letter to friend and owner of Kelfords Ford and Mazda in Somerset West, South Africa] Dear Tristan, Thank you very much for the use of your wonderful little Ford Fiesta. We love the fuel economy, (5.9L per 100km) the nippy handling, the voice activated, hands free phone […]
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Cheers to a remarkable 2012

Cheers to a remarkable 2012
18 races, 1 World Title (ITU Cross Tri), my 10th XTERRA USA Series title, 10 victories, 16 podiums and many many special memories. My sporting highlight was winning my 2nd ITU Cross Triathlon World Title in Pelham Alabama, USA. a Personal highlight was sharing the entire year and all the remarkable experiences with my gorgeous […]
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