Posts Tagged ‘Suunto Ambit’

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.


Caveman wins 50th XTERRA title

Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / Newsport Media

Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / Newsport Media

50th XTERRA win since my 1st XTERRA in 2001. By 6 minutes at that.  50 wins seems big, but yet is a small part in my career as a triathlete. I wish I had kept count of the wins. Since that first one as a 14 year old in 1988 at Ironkids in Pretoria. All those triathlons and duathlons my parents drove me to in my dads new Toyota Cressida. All those triathlons in France from 1992-1999. Some years up to 36 races a season. All those SA Champs and African Champs and Energade Series wins inbetween. All those years on the ITU circuit, racing to 2 Olympic Games. (Not too many wins those years) All those years racing non drafting short course in the USA.

How many wins would there be? 100? 200? How many races? I only started blogging (keeping track) in 2002. The days before were before internet, even cell phones. But I do have many many boxes of medals, old race numbers and newspaper clippings (thanks to my Ouma) to go through with the grandkids one day…

Winning at home is always fun, so it was great to reach the 50th XTERRA win in South Africa, where it all started.

The lead up- 10 days out:
Conrad Stoltz Lower Farm Windhoek

The 10 days “toughen up” training camp in the altitude, heat, rocks and thorns in Windhoek (Namibia) came in quite handy at this tough Buffelspoort race. Heat, hills, altitude, rocks, thorns and amazing single track. Repeat.

Conrad Stoltz Suunto Ambit

During this training camp, I lost a fair bit of weight. Unfortunately I later realized its because of all the bleeding I did through this hard, thorny country. Qoute of the week was by Willie, (Still the Hope of Namibia): “Here in Nambia, the softest part of our bodies is our teeth…”

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5150 New Orleans does Caveman

If I had not been there myself, I too may not believe that the 5150 New Orleans actually happened.  ZERO press from 5150. Not even on their own website. You’d think they’ll have someone paid to promote the event? I’m a 2 man band (with the Cave Missus) and even our small operation has a paid employee who blogs about 5150.

So no more waiting to see if there is a pic of my zippy Specialized SHIV. (I’m actually eager to see my position and aerodynamics on the bike)

So we have to do with the trusty old iPhone pix:


N’Awlins is HOT!!

The ice bath at the finish was the best thing all week. N’Awlins is so hot, when you walk out the door, you’re immediately drenched.

After about 4 or 5 years away from any serious road triathlon racing the Caveman dipped his toes into the 5150 scene at New Orleans.

The reason for 5150 is: “I want to qualify for HyVee and kick ass”

The reason for New Orleans is: “It is in the same time zone as XTERRA Richmond, 2 weeks ago, and we dont have a home right now, so we may as well hang with friends in Richmond and train. (and get specialist injury rehab) After 2 weeks of daily intensive rehab for some calf issues I’ve had since THAT cut foot and infection.

With hurricane Debby over Florida and some strong winds pumping over New Orleans, there was talk that the race would become a duathlon. So we were lucky to have a swim but not lucky enough to get a swim warm up. This put a major spanner in the works- so I did 2×10 ladies’ push ups instead- trying to get blood into my arms. (When I woke up the next day, the 1st thing I felt was my sore pecs- from the ladies push ups or pumping a tubular to 120 with a mini hand pump?)

I swam badly with the cold (sore?) arms, chocolate dark choppy swell and sun seemingly shining straight out of the buoy itself. Lost 2.20 to some Bird whom I outbiked by 12 minutes, but importantly, lost about 60″ to guys I should be able to swim with. And lost another 50″ on the 1km run from the swim to T1. I put on shoes for the short run to pamper the calf.

Upon exiting T1 Liezel did not have enough fingers to show me how many riders were ahead of me. They looked like ants up the road. I put it in the Big Dog and sat at Ian’s guesstimated wattage. Quickly caught a few guys but when my heart rate went down to 140s I dropped a gear or 2 (put it in the Great Dane I guess) and the ants came back much quicker. I thought I was catching the mid packers as I was flying past them, but when I saw Liezel at 20km she only needed 1 finger to show me the number of riders ahead.  (Cant hear splits with the aero helmet and rushing wind)  40″ behind David Thompson- a strong biker I was told by “someone in the know” would ride about 380W.   That SHIV is just amazing, I was flying through the field, despite the strong side winds I could stay on the aero bars, used the Specialized Fuelselage drinking system inside the bike frame- stuffed with ice,  I think my position is good (havent seen it yet) and those new red Specialized Trivent shoes with magnets and heel opening is lighting quick.

I came off the bike with a 25″ lead, not enough. I havent run on road or dirt in 2 weeks- nursing a calf injury- I only ran little bits on the Alter G while getting intensive treatment from Megan Presby at Advanced Orthopedic Center in Richmond, VA. I ran steady, tried to stay cool and hold off the little guys but slipped to 4th. Not a bad race, the result so so, my calf held, but I know where I can save chunks of time and immerse further into roadtrigeekdom. When do I earn my right to get a 5150 tattoo?

I didnt know any of the athletes- must be the generation gap…  so it was hard to plan my race and strategize. When I saw an Aussie in a speedo running at a good clip something rang a bell. (Check out Tim Reed aka “the Bugdy Smuggler” blog here) Made some new friends at the finish.  Chris Foster is a fast runner, despite the run time. (It was humid, windy and there was an extra km after the swim) A good lot, the young crowd. Even met a Saffa on the rise. Travis Johnston.

We wallowed in ice tubs and I’d ask the other guys: “Where are you from?” “Boulder” Oh, me too. Well nice to meet y’all. Guess I dont spend enough time at the pool or on the track to know the skinny tire guys.

I used my Suunto Ambit GPS and heart rate so I could gather data for my coach Ian and future training reference.


Started my Suunto on the run from the swim. Bike leg ended at 55min. You can see how I eased up last few km to freshen up for the run. On the run I felt like overheating when at 160, so backed off a little, but with 2km to go I saw the Budgy Smuggler coming and poured on the pain, but it was too little too late.  Was fun to see Tim hurting too though. Once he had 10m he did the look-over-the-shoulder every 10m. Racing in the heat sucks.

The only useful info from the 5150 site:


I’m used to the number 1 at XTERRA, but it was a big honour to get the no 1 at my first 5150. Had to read the manual to see which side of the woody woodpecker helmet goes in front. Havent done a big road tri since Wildflower about 4 years ago when Charlie DQed me for using this very same helmet (without me knowing till 3 days later) because he “couldnt find it on the internet.” Of course he couldnt, it was newly released. A bit like the new Specialized McLaren TT helmet released yesterday: Youtube video


Putting the finishing touches to my transition at 6.30am- the earliest race start I’ve had in YEARS. (XTERRA starts at a more civilized 9 or 10am)

I dont have good pix of my zippy SHIV Tri here, but now that we know at 5150 you have to BYOP(ress), Liezel will take photos at my next 5150 at Boulder Peak. (in 7 days)
I cant say too much about the power file other than I was quite happy with the numbers. It has been quite a work this past summer dialing my TT position to maximize power output without sacrificing too much aerodynamics. I’ve done a few TTs (Like South African TT Champs blog) so we knew more or less what W I can hold for 40km, but what about the run? Was a bit of a guessing game and a fun new project for Ian and I.


New toys: Quarq Cinco OmniCal, 54/39 Rotor Qrings and Specialized S works cranks. I also discovered that one can remove the Specialized cranks with a Specialized multi tool and the special Trox tool- no need to carry a socket wrench. Perfect for hotel room wrenching!  Ok, the fit is not 100%, but thats better than my usual tools- usually includes a  big rock and something like a cork screw.


In the quest to save on luggage I didnt bring a floor pump. Traveling to an XTERRA and a road triathlon on the same trip become a logistical nightmare so I tried to cut out the heavy floor pump-  Caveman wrenching I wouldnt recommend: Pumping a tubular tire to 120 psi using a crack pipe and a Mountain Bike mini pump. By the time there was  decent pressure in the tire, my biceps and pecs were cramping- no wonder I lost 90″ in the swim!

Due to the lack of  pics of the race- here are some other pix from NOLA. (New Orleans Louisiana)


My Princess. Tres Francais. Brought back special memories from my 6 years racing triathlon in southern France back in the 90s…


Scars and memories from Hurricane Katrina apparent everywhere…


A LOT of water, the Mississippi. The biggest river in South Africa- the “Mighty” Orange- you can walk through, if you choose your spot well…


The old and the new. Was wondering what people here did before the invention of the air conditioner. Then came to the conclusion: Southerners arent “slow” (like people warmed us), THEY ARE HOT.


Our hotel was this cool old restored Cotton Mill factory from 1903. And quite affordable. Hampton Inn on Convention Center Blvd


The local N’Awlins folk is a VERY colourful lot- most of them will claim some kind of French and or Cajun ancestry and throw around family trees and even say a few French words to prove it.

We really enjoyed the people watching!

Finding inspiration at Luck Stone XTERRA Richmond 2012


TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E – “Train, Rehabilitate, Empower, Motivate and Endure.”  Jeremy Soles, a former Sgt. in the United States Marine Corps founded the Wounded Warriors team.  They participate in extreme events wearing gas masks, cutting their oxygen intake to as low as 20 percent. But to some, the gas mask is the smallest of hurdle to overcome…


Cpl. Todd Love lost both legs and an arm in an explosion. The doctor wouldnt let him parachute into the XTERRA Richmond start this year, so he “just” did the swim. And then his comrades carried him for the entire bike and run legs in a specially made backpack…



Sgt. Johnathan Mozingo, also a Marine, has served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mozingo who did the bike and run legs, was wounded during his last tour in Afghanistan and lost part of his left leg below the knee.


In a gas mask at 94deg F and high humidity…


Sgt. Johnathan Mozingo


Enter the Caveman. Avia Mantis racing shoes, Oakley Radar, 8x Clif Shots, Suunto Ambit GPS, Specialized Fast Trak 2.2 Control tire, Stuffitts shoe savers, Squirt chain lube, Cool Points on ice and Luck Stone race number belt with GPS tracker for live feed. Seems quite pathetic in comparison…


Seems like there’s another knuckle dragging Cavemanoid in the James river… Turned out to be my swimming buddy Branden Rakita. (R) We trailed froth footed Craig Evans by about 45″.

Photos by Jesse Peters.

Amazing series of XTERRA fotos by Jesse Peters


Craig Evans carried great form (despite all the salads!) and was eager to back up his 2nd place at ITU Cross Tri Worlds 2 weeks before. However, he stuffed up a low, wood bridge crossing and ended up in the trees. Laughing, I yelled at him to “get a guide dog.” My turn at getting abuse is lurking around every corner, so you have to get it in when you can!


In the top left corner you can see some of the many Luck Stone volunteers on the course, streaming live video through the iPad and doing twitter feed. There were 4 big screens at T1 for spectators to see video footage, follow twitter and live GPS tracking of each pro athlete. Of course the feeds also went out on the interwebs so folks in South Africa could follow more “closely”.

This Richmond course is so much fun- it has become rougher than it was 2 years ago, providing a good balance of speed and skill. I think this is the epitome of XTERRA racing (now that the swim is almost 1500m) and I think everyone who loves racing XTERRA should give this one a whirl…

I used the Specialized Sworks 29er Epic with Command Post – to drop the saddle in the drop offs and hairier corners.


Tip of the month: Biting your tongue improves mental focus. Kids, dont try this at home!



There is not a lot of place for pedaling on this course, so when you can, have have to push the big thing!


Sgt Mozingo and TEAM XTREME


Yup, it takes all sorts…

Just a glimpse of the madness on that narrow rock ledge. Imagine loud bull horns, bells, cheering, beer spraying even more crazies lurking in the woods. I think the local cycling posse calls themselves the “Leghorns”.





Scenic city racing in Richmond.


One moment in the city, the next in thick jungle and maybe “swimming” in 4 inch deep river water…


If you dont do your home work to scout the course, you could find yourself between a rock and a wet place… (Who has the pic of this Mister Anonymous (also the coach of a famous pro athlete’s we wont mention) on his side, swimming in this calf  deep water?)


Cool Points in hand to keep the 94deg F under control.


Trying not to ruin my legs on the Mayan Ruins.


7 Wins in my last 8 starts in Richmond. My 10th Richmond XTERRA.


Loving support from my wife. Spectating is an endurance sport in itself…


Josiah Middaugh had some bike troubles but came back with a strong run and caught Craig Evans in the last  mile.


Craig gave it all…


Thanks to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, home stays and my lovely wife…


Will Kelsay backed up his breakthrough performance -6th at Cross Tri Worlds with a 4th in Richmond. Welcome to the podium Will! When I get back to Boulder we do some GoPro pool time?


A special thanks to Specialized Racing mechanics Dylan van der Merwe and Joe Devera for pimping my ride every day of the week.


We had a fair bit of press- here an interview with CBS.

On Thursday before the race I had 4 press commitments:

– 5 minutes live on CBS 6 Morning Show at 9am. (which took 2hrs),

– XTERRA Press day at 12.

– ESPN Live Radio at 4

– Shop appearance and poster signing at 3Sports (Richmond Specialized dealer) from 6-7.

Between all the driving and getting lost, fitting training and recovery in, gets tough.


A special thanks to Charlie Luck from Luck Stone quarries for their continued support. Lets keep “Crushing it!”


L-R: Will Kelsay (4th) Middaugh (2nd) Caveman (after I broke the 1st (of 2) glass and stone trophies) Evans (3rd) Rakita (5th)


Liezel and I were especially touched by TEAM XTREME and what they are trying to ccomplish. Todd has 1 arm and no legs but he rose to the challenge and is now swimming and further competes in the back of his buddy’s backpack. (hopefully he’ll tandem parachute to the swim start next year)

You have 2 arms and 2 legs and you’re looking for a reason to get off the couch and someday see your feet again?

I will think twice about feeling sorry for myself next time I have to go train in rain or snow, or PUSH when the going gets tough…

For more race details I quote from XTERRAs ace report by Trey Garman:

[In a city with such a rich and colorful history it’s only appropriate that the sports most experienced stars stole the headlines.  For Stoltz, who “lost his heart to XTERRA in Richmond” back in 2001 it’s his seventh win in eight years.

“I just love Richmond, the course is amazing and really suits me,” said Stoltz, who had the fastest bike split by far in 1:21:00 despite doing an extra little out-and-back section that no one else did.

“On the first lap I caught Craig (Evans) and then five minutes later I caught him again.  I wore out 3 sets of legs and 1 set of tires pre riding the course- turns out a section had changed since when I went pre-riding, and on race day I dont look for arrows,” Stoltz explained.

“He did the old course out-and-back,” said Evans, who followed the correct route.  “It was funny because a few minutes later I hear this loud chain slap behind me and thought, oh man Josiah or somebody is riding great and then Conrad comes by and says “where’d you go” and I said “I went straight, where’d you go?”

Evans tried to stay with him the second time around but conceded “he’s in a whole different league right now.”

On the second of the two 10-mile twisty, turny, tree and fanatic-fan filled roller coaster ride of a mountain bike course Stoltz followed the right arrow and got into his groove.

“First lap my head wasn’t in it, I wasn’t focused because I was trying to figure out where I went wrong. So, on the second lap when I saw the arrow,  it all made sense, I could focus was just flying, pouring the power on in the pedaling sections and railing the technical sections. It was so smooth and so much fun. There was a lot of spectators on the cliff- all in costume, yelling, spraying beer and dancing around.  It was like riding through a circus.  It’s such a fun race, really the epitome of XTERRA.”]

XTERRA Richmond 2012 results


Love the pic of Boise pro Adam Wirth and his son Mac riding to race start.  Mac has his feet on top of Daddy’s, so he is helping put down the watts! It seemed like an amazing father & son get-away week. They “pre ran” parts of the run course together, Mac did the kids race, watched the pros (knows us all by name) and didnt miss an expo or a beat all week. What a cool sport to get  your kid involved in. As opposed to baseball where all they do is chew, spit, scratch and wait. And the “role model” is Barry Bonds…


Its not the same without Dan


We miss you, get well soon Dan!




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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