Posts Tagged ‘Hoka One One’

XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs, Australia. But where’s the flow?!

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Sydney Olympics Triathlon 2000 Opera house


My last trip to Australia was in 2000 for the Sydney Olympics Games. The triathlon, but also the entire Olympic experience was just awesome. One of the fondest memories of my life.  14 years later, XTERRA is finally taking off in this country where triathlon is a main stream sport and where kids are born with the Triathlete gene.

Finally XTERRA is gaining traction in Australia, the XTERRA Australia organizers and New South Wales put on a great event, with good prize money (a rarety) and TV and press coverage. The Aussie Pros also stepped up, “roadies” crossing over to XTERRA, which is great to see. Notably Courtney Atkinson, Brandan Sexton and Kiwi Braden Currie.


Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Specialized Suunto Hoka Events Magazine

Eager to follow through on my win in New Zealand the previous week, Princess Hotstuff and I made our way down the coast to Jarvis Bay.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Australian meat pies

As quite the meat pie connoisseur, I made sure to sample liberally of what Australia had to offer.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Aussie car art

All the while enjoying the cultural experiences. Like car jewellery…

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Specialized Sworks Epic XTERRA Bike course single track

The course was really good. Fast, furious and fun in all 3 disciplines, even though a bit (3km) long in the run. Hats off to Ben Allen who put a whole lot of work into helping this event take off.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia kangaroos

The scenery along the course was also quite entertaining. Towards sunset you could hear them crash through to woods as they jump around with those huge feet and tree trunk tails.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Toyota Hilux stuck in mud

Like I said- fun, scenic and entertaining all in one.

Liezel Princess Hotstuff Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia

Princess Hotstuff and I got “roped” into a snorkel trip for the NWS / XTERRA travel show. The TV show is geared towards tourism in the region- which and helps pay for the hosting of the XTERRA event.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia snorkeling Jervis bay

Not that we werent thankful to go snorkeling, but after a fair bit of traveling and a couple of late nights, I started catching a cold on Tuesday. I was doing everything I legally could to not get sick. Stayed in bed as much as possible, mega doses of all kinds of vitamins, drank “Hot toddies” with Cayenne pepper, throat spray without stimulants and the good old snorting of salt water / bicarb of soda mix…

Also tried to learn the course without overdoing it. A bit of a tight rope walk.

To make matters worse there was the matter of our accomodation…

I”m the Caveman because I can sleep on train stations, or in my bike bag in a police station foyer, eat baked beans out of a tin and still perform on race day.  We live out of bags just about 7 months of the year, and if I pay real money (wasnt cheap) for a vacation rental (when I’m at work) I dont expect my wife to live like a Caveman as well.

The level of false advertising with this “Vacation Rental” was absurd.  We’ve come across it (false advertising) a number of times, this being the most blatant.

I cant remember the precise wording, but the photos were taken by a genius (wide angle lens/Photoshop/creative angles) and the ad included “Spacious house near beach”, “large garden with fruit trees” and conspiciously: “Sleeps 5”

It was basically a garage underneath the owners house, converted to a windowless bomb shelter where the bedroom has a view of the bathroom and where you can cook AND do the dishes AND sit at the dining room table WHILE sitting on the toilet.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Accomodation false advertising jervis bay

For a few hours we didnt have the guts to unpack, not knowing if we’ll be able to move around.

Not a happy place when you’re sick in bed. We’re TV handicapped and couldnt even get more than a blue screen.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia accomodation false advertising mini cheese grater and floor sleeping

Bedroom of our happless 3 friends- Russell Kennedy (ZAR/AUS) James Walker (UK) and Craig Evans (USA). Also, the cutlery and kitchen utensils (by show of cheese grater) musta been left over from a Barbie doll house.

LIezel Stoltz Princess Hotstuff Glamorous life of the traveling wife. Conrad Stoltz

Princess Hotstuffs’ internet free office. And bedroom. And kitchen. And living room. And TV room. Another chapter in the “The Glamorous life of the traveling wife” book.

Liezel Conrad Stoltz Caveman Glam life of traveling wife

The basin in the bathroom couldnt even take a cycling jersey and chamois at the same time. Gotta love the one legged microwave oven support and cheery plastic dolpins everywhere…

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Specialized Sworks Epic storage

And of course, the institution had a strict “bikes sleep outside” rule. My poor bike had to cuddle with the BBQ/braai.

We were lucky to find a motel room (everything was packed and crazy expensive over ANZAC weekend) for a few nights, but by then I was properly sick.

Then the icing on the cake: On my one and only run of the week (supposedly a 15min jog) I pull my calf muscle the night before the race. 10 minutes in. I walk home with my blinders on. “Dont think, just do.”

“When the gun goes and the adrenaline pumps- it will be all good…”

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia trying to get injury treatment via iPhone.

At home I text a photo to my guru in LA. “This is where it hurts. How do I fix it before tomorrow?” BTW- there is no app for that

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Swim

The gun went, I chose the clever line to the left, running along the sand bar. I think I felt some pain. “Dont think, just do.” I rounded the 1st bouy in 2nd. Nice. But the beach run between the two 750m swim laps was interminally long. At least 200m. This time there was no mistaking the stabbing pain every time my foot hit the ground. I eased up a bit, lost the tail end of the lead pack, but not to worry, this bike course has my name all over it- flattish with a good mix of open and tight, smooth and rougher trails.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia bike Specialized Sworks Epic Craig Evans

Once on the bike, (with Craig Evan here) I pushed the “Launch control” button, but nothing happened. More like “Cruise control”. I crawled past people I usually blow by. Had to swerve wildly to avoid a roadie crashing  spectacularly through the first mud puddle. It was funny, I wanted to laugh, but something was feeling eerily off.

Long story short, I kept pushing and slowly passing people, but the further I went, the heavier I felt.  I moved into 2nd and Roger Serrano climbed on my wheel. I couldnt shake him. A week ago I rode about 5minutes into him on a climbing course.  (Roger loves climbing)  The real single track started at 20km, but by then I had reached the proverbial cross roads.

Reality started clawing at my blinders. “Dont think, just do” wasnt working so well anymore. I had to face the facts: I have a cold, I feel terrible, I’m only halfway through this race and its going to get exponentially harder from here on. Remember Cameron Jones. Friend, pier and pro triathlete who died from a heart attack while racing in South Africa in ’96. Cameron was sick the week before and tragically raced against doctors orders.

By pushing more, I’m about to ruin my health. Its a long, 13km run. Speaking of running, there is the calf issue. Running on the beach earlier, it felt like it was going to tear.

Its not worth risking the rest of the season. I pulled the plug. Rolled to T2. Picked up my shoes and started riding down the road.

“Dont think.”

“Learn what you can, and forget the rest.”

I manage to not think for a while. But no amount of hard headedness will make the dull ache inside go away.

Princess Hotstuff pulls up alongside with the car. We hug for a long time. Always supportive. Understanding. Love conquers everything.  She has been through cruel sporting highs and lows herself: “Live to leave a legacy”

Where is the flow?!

Why is 2014 such a nightmare?

– Dont pick travel schedules where you dont get to bed till 1am?

– Dont fly fish in the rain?

– Did someone wipe a snotty hand  on an elevator button?

– Why now? Why me? Why here? What is wrong with 2014?! Its not like I’ve not been in race winning shape since January. I traveled to the other side of the world for this race. This event is perfect- I failed to rise to the occasion because of my health- just like XTERRA Grabouw.

$10 000 is a huge paycheck when you’re used to $1800 for winning.  I dont have another 10 years’ racing to get this right.

In the meantime, you have to eat the elephant one bite at a time. In search of internet, we got a glimpse of the Australian love for lawn bowls

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia lawn bowls

And the tools required to measure close calls….

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Lawn bowls measuring instruments

We had a day or 2 or 3 in Sydney. Cant remember- was getting more and more sick because of the race. In hindsight- it was almost inevitable for Liezel to not get sick as well. Only now – 4weeks later- is she getting over it.

Stayed with friends in Balmain- my moms host family from 2000 Games- was good to bring back memories of the Olympics, (and their subsequent visit to Africa) – our farm and my dad. He was a tourist attraction all by himself.

Liezel Stoltz Conrad Caveman Sydney Zoo

Stunning city. View from the zoo.

LIezel Stoltz Conrad Sydney Opera House

Last time I saw this view of the Opera House was when I took the ferry to the start of my Olympic event…

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Sydney Circular Quay comfort food Squid and chips

“Get better soon food” at Circular Quay.

LIezel Conrad Stoltz Caveman Sydney opera house ballet

Even got to see a ballet at the Opera House.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Aussie car art rocks bullet holes

and more Aussie car art.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs Australia Where to next? Los Angeles

Headed for Los Angeles- 11,813km away.

1) get healthy

2) get my injury sorted with my guru #Mojo

3) get my mojo back

4) bring the house down at XTERRA Brazil

“Good athletes dont become bad athletes overnight”

Gearing up for XTERRA New Zealand

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand

Newsflash: New Zealand is stunningly beautiful! After a few long flights from CPT, JHB, Sydney to Auckland, we stayed right on the water (above) for a few days with Princess Hotstuff’s friends. During high tide I swam in the estuary and channel amoungst the boats. Water was surprisingly warm.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Compak Airtool, LOOK S trak pedals, fly rod

Unpacking some cool new toys. The Specialized Compak AirTool travel pump for tyre and suspension is not only long overdue for traveling, but also beautifully engineered from all aluminium. LOOK S-track pedals & since we’re in the “worlds best fly fishing country” travel fly rod.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Epic Sworks XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua

Brand new bike: I chose the Specialized Sworks “Epic” over the “Epic World Cup” model. This bike has a bit more suspension, the handling a bit more stable, and if I need to, I can put a double chainring on there.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Billy T single track

First things first, I pre rode this legendary course a number of times. The Billy T single track is incredibly fun, and I wish the whole 25km bike course could be this much fun…

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua bike course berm

Grippy soil, flowing, well built trails,

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Billy T single track groove

Some interesting sections- VERY different from South Africa’s jerky, rocky trails.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Green Lake Pier.

Dont trip over the scenery. Green Lake.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua mushrooms

Images straight out of childrens books…

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Tikitapu Blue lake

Race venue.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA Rotorua Blue lake

Not called “Blue Lake” for no reason. The run is 2 laps around the lakes under a canopy of huge fern trees.

Conrad Stoltz, Hoka One One Conquest Stinson, Thule backpack, Thule ipad mini, Columbia rain jacket

Cool new goodies- Hoka One One shoes, Thule bacpack and iPad cover & Columbia rain jacket– for the infamous NZ weather.

Leana de Bruin, Liezel Stoltz, Irene van Dyk Netball

Leana (Vlooi) de Bruin, Princess Hotstuff (Liezel Wium in her Netball days) and Irene van Dyk.

After a few days training on the course in Rotorua, we went to Hamilton. The highlight was watching Princess Hotstuffs’ old teams (Magic vs Pulse) and her “old” teammates playing a super exciting Netball game- live on TV in front of a packed stadium. The game is huge in NZ!

The lowlight is a costly trip to the eye doctor. I had the pterygium sliced off my eye excatly 6 weeks ago and since then my eyes has been super sensitive to light. Like REALLY sensitive- not being able to drive or be in the sunshine for even short periods. Fortunately its been rainy and cloudy and this course is 99% shaded by tall fern trees.

Race day tomorrow.

6 days till XTERRA. Bike and equipment check.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized oakley Suunto, Clif Bar XTERRA Worlds 2013

On race day you only want to pump your tyres, fill your bottles, and if you’ve been practicing- clipping your shoes in and lacing them up with elastics. (Seen here at XTERRA Worlds in Maui 2013) Pic Nils Nilsen.

Now that its too late to do much training, I’m going to help guide you- over the next 6 days- with different race preparation tips to help you prepare for XTERRA Grabouw.

Race day minus 6. Check bike and equipment: 

We’re doing this 6 days out, so there is still time to run out and buy stuff,(and try it out) and your bike shop dont want your “problem” on friday afternoon.

For some athletes some of the info my be XTERRA 101, but if you’re a newbie, some may be Greek. But everyone can learn. I’ll try my best to have this post apply to a broad spectrum of people.

If you’re new to the sport, or a roadie who’s borrowing a mountain bike, or an old hand, but your bike has been gathering cob webs in the garage, the following point will help.

1) Check your whole bike over so that it is 100% mechanically sound. If you’re not mechanically minded (its actually quite easy to get the basics) you should ask a friend or take it to a shop asap.

Suspension pressure. If you’re an experienced rider, you’ll know your pressure settings or have them written down somewhere. Double check fork and shock pressure and add presuure if you need to. If you’re a rookie, go to a good shop TODAY and have them help set up your suspension properly. Good suspension set up is THE most important part of setting up a dual suspension bike. This is where the magic of the Brain technology in the Specialized bikes really shine.

Tyre choice varies depending on the terrain, your skill level and your budget.

This Grabouw course is loose, sandy, rocky and has a few sections of dry loamy pine forest single track. A wider tyre run at lower pressure will help you float on top of the loose stuff, and will also give you better traction in corners and up hills.

I put fresh rubber on my bike before just about every race. Square knobs turn better. (Knobbies lose their edge with use) If you’re using “old” tyres, put the freshest one in front and look for cuts. (save dodgy tyres for training)

Tubeless is the only way. Put fresh sealant in wheels- it dries up quickly in dry climates. I like Stans sealant.

A tyre with bigger knobs (tread pattern) will also give you more traction, but the trade off is increased rolling resistance and added weight. This course has some hair on it, so dont come with skinny little bald “Europe tyres.”

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Ground Control 2.3 tyre

This is an Africa tyre. Front: Specialized Ground Control 2.3.  In the Control casing. (stronger than Sworks casing) Wide, grippy, big air volume. Running at 22 psi.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized FastTrak 2.2 Control tyre

Rear. Specialized FastTrak 2.2 Control casing run at 25 psi. As you can see, this tyre has seen better days (edges of center knobs are roundish and indentations are faint) I’ll ride on it once more and replace it tomorrow.

Bolt check. Check all bolts for proper tightness. Remember to check cleats on shoes- it they’re not rusted tight already, tighten them till snug. New cleats need a 2nd tightning. Same with a new bike. Not all bolts are supposed to be tight, so dont just blindly tighten bolts…

Water bottle cages. If you can take 2 bottles- do so. Or carry a Camelback Its “only” 28km, but its a long, hard and possibly hot 28km. And then there’s the 11km run…

Spares. Tyre plug, Tube, CO2 or pump, Allan keys. Know how to use it. If you’ve been training, you’ll know…

What to wear in the swim?

Goggles. Duh. But do they fog up? Rinse them out with Baby Shampoo now and again 2 days before. Do they leak? Are tight enough? Maybe the wrong fit? – rush to the shop tomorrow. For this course tinted lenses are best- you’ll be swimming into the sun and there nothing to see under the Coke coloured water anyway.

The XTERRA “full” distance will almost definately be no wetsuits. Last saturday the water temp was 25.1C- and that was before the heat wave.  I cant see the Lite being wetsuit legal either.

Here is what to wear in order of speed. (and expense)

– Swim skin over your race kit. Take swim skin off after swim. (Swim skins are typically too hot and constricting to do the whole race in) I use the BlueSeventy product range and like the speedy Nero suit.

– Swim in Tri shorts or bikini/swim suit for ladies.  Put your top on in transition. Not recomended as dry top over wet shoulders results in wrestling match. But not everyone is in a hurry…

Board shorts the whole way. Give or take a T shirt or “wife beater” vest. Rapidly becoming the new cool- (often by older sporting hard men making a comeback) demonstared at XTERRA Buffelspoort by Specialized’s Peet le Roux and this coming weekend by my coach Ian Rodger- who is doing his 1st XTERRA Lite…

Ian Rodger speed suit & helmet Conrad Stoltz Caveman

“What?! I AM wearing my fast skin!”

Running shoes.

This run course is hectic. Long sections of loose rocks. Sections of sand. Single track. A river crossing- hip deep for most. Big climbs, a loooong downhill. Some shoe sucking mud and yes, wet quicksand, which had me sucked in above the knee! (thats almost a meter deep!)

Better to bring burly trail shoes with real traction and real cushioning. And tighten those laces properly or you’ll be finishing in 1 shoe!

Conrad Stoltz caveman Hoke One One Rapa Nui

I’m gooi-ing my Hoka One One “Rapa Nui” trail racers. “Yebo” for all of the above. #TimeToFly

Tomorrow we talk “the course”…








After working on your bike, you need at least an hours’ ride, to make sure all is good.

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA Italy Abruzzo bike course down stairs, Specialized Epic

XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno.

conrad stoltz caveman xterra italy scanno abruzzo finish Specialized Suunto Hoka oakley

To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy Scanno podium Specialized Hoka Suunto Oakley

XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture and Italian country side experiance, it was a real treat for Liezel and I. In terms of racing, it was a truely wonderful experience. A well rounded, tough course and exceptionally well presented by Wolf Hardt and his crew.

conrad stoltz liezel stoltz caveman xterra italy abruzzo scanno finish hoka stinson

Love it when a plan comes together… My 3rd win in a row in my new Hoka One One Stinson shoes.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy Scanno Podium in lake nico lebrun jim thijs nico pfitzenmaier

The top 6 trying to wash off the mud. (and climbing tears) L-R Jim Thijs (BEL), Francois Carloni (FRA), Nico Pfitzenmaier(GER- actually ZAR!), Caveman (ZAR), Nico Lebrun (FRA), Oliver Shaw (NZ)

 Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy Scanno ski lift

This Nico Lebrun designed course is filled with nightmarish altitude gain and peril…

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Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Conrad Stoltz Caveman ITU Corss Triathlon Worlds 2013 World Champion Specialized Sworks Epic 29er Specialized Evade helmet beach racing

#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower

Conrad Stoltz Caveman 2013 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships youtube

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, soft sand.

I enjoy thinking about equipment and how to make it better while training, and have been doing the obvious tire reaserch for almost a year.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Sworks 29er Epic Evade helmet beach racing Caveman ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships

Big was my surprise when I opened a “special box for sand racing” from Jason Chamberlain at Specialized. The biggest widest rims I have ever seen. Really wide. And light. Mounted with our biggest tire- Renegade 2.3- but more like 2.5 or 2.6 on this rim.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships Den Haag beach sand racing

The dark sand is the easy part. There were 3 of these sections on each of 4 laps. Try picking a straight (existing) line, balance perfectly in it while deliverying seemingly a million Watts, WHILE being totally relaxed, BARELY holding onto the bars, ready to jump off and run the moment the front wheel digs in…

The Basics skills for sand riding: The tires need to float on top of the sand. The moment the front wheel sinks in, it snakes

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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 […]
Read it...

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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