2015 Xterra Buffelspoort

I have never competed in an Xterra event that is easy anywhere in the world. This Xterra was no exception. The 1.5 km swim/ 28 km mtb/ 12 km trail run kept me busy for 2 hours and 43 min... The competition on the day was world class with two X-World Champions in the top 5 men placing.

I lacked the top end power and speed I had a year ago in the same event when I finished in 2nd overall. The main reason I believe is due to the injury (broke my elbow and tore all my ligaments in my shoulder) that kept me from training for 3 months in July to September last year. I honestly thought I would be strong enough for the win on the day. But reflecting back it is clear that I was still 1 - 3 % behind the top men.

The racing turned out to be exiting and unpredictable. With Bradley Weiss winning the event, Antoine van Heerden finishing 2nd and the favorite Conrad Stoltz (7 x world champion) in 3rd.  It is important to note that you have to go back to January 2013 last time Conrad Stoltz won an Xterra in South Africa. In the same period Conrad has been winning Xterra events with ease on his global tour. This to me is a true reflection of the local depth and strength among the top Xterra Men athletes in South Africa.

The race itself went well for me. I had a comfortable swim and made one mistake by swimming with Bradley Weiss and not with Conrad 20 seconds in front of me. The cycling went perfect with no real issues except I could not match the top guys power and speed on the day. I was left behind cycling at my own pace.
Starting with the run I only then realized how much fatigue was in my legs and that the run will be a tough one. Last year I ran 58 min on this course. This time around I was left in no man’s land – that was my perception… I thought that I was too far behind the podium places and actually lost some fight in me to run hard and fast. Luckily the gap behind me to Raoul De Jong in 6th overall was a healthy 2 min (I have to mention that Antoine van Heerden passed me in the 1st km of the run leg. He ran as if I was standing still. He managed a 56 min run split and almost won...)

I am more than happy with my result and my body’s post-race recovery, I am healthy and have no injuries. I am overall in good shape and do not have to do much more than to fine tune my training and speed to be able to compete for the win at Xterra Grabouw.  

This will be the first time that I am looking forward to the challenge in Grabouw.

I must praise team Sterkspan with Jarred Crous, Edward Mckenzie and Thabang Madiba for a fantastic team overall win. You guys left everyone speechless with how fast and professional you guys are.


Safe Training,
Nico Sterk

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  • Sterk Span Coaching Academy specializes in tailor made training programs, coaching session and advice for triathlon, swimming, learn to swim for adults, cycling, running and related sports such as adventure racing. Our athlete base range from lifestyle orientated individuals to national level athletes who compete at the highest level possible. We also offer services and training sessions for weight loss and lifestyle management.