Van Huyssteen back to defend her title

A petite powerhouse and the 2013 and 2014 reigning champion of BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE, Carla van Huyssteen has confirmed her participation in the 6th annual event set to take place as part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from 4-12 July, 2015.

An elite athlete, Van Huyssteen has an collected an impressive collection of achievements in the South African multisport arena. In addition to winning the BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE in both 2014 and 2013, she took a podium position at the 2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, won the ITU Age Group World Championships (20-24) 2008 in Vancouver, took first place at the Red Bull Lion Heart Challenge and SabiXtrail in 2012, and won the 2013 Xterra Grabouw SA Champs.

Van Huyssteen says her success is due in large part to her training across several sports which include road running, trail running, triathlons, mountain biking, road biking, swimming and adventure racing. “I guess you could say I’m a jack of all trades. I strive to achieve consistency over all of the disciplines. It’s important to have a routine that suits your time and your lifestyle, one you can see yourself doing week-in and week-out, month-in and month-out! I also try enjoy at least 60% of it,” she laughs.

With its spectacular natural scenery and highly technical race routes, Van Huyssteen says the decision to compete in the in the BIG5 again was a no-brainer. “Knysna is a highlight on the calendar for me. It is a great week of activity, racing, festivities. The individual races are exceptional, with great technical routes and organization! After the races I always look forward to seeing the participants and sharing our war stories over a hot coffee.”

Van Huyssteen says in addition to her multi-disciplinary training routine, her preparation for the BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE will also include downhill running, technical skill sessions running and riding. “Anyone competing for the first time should know that all the routes are very technical and with grueling back-to-back racing, the BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE is seriously tough. All of the run races have loads of descending, and on sore quads it can be quite painful! I’ll also pack a wetsuit and, if I can find one, a wetsuit cap for the icy-cold lagoon swim!”

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