Frank Smuts – EnduroHub Ambassador

Frank Smuts, when he is not training.

Frank Smuts, when he is not training he is dressed to entertain.

Q. Why do you think Enduro Hub chose you to be their ambassador?

A. Because they suspect FOMO rules my life, and hope that this fear of missing out will drive me to race wherever and whenever. It makes me a good field agent I suppose.

Q. What have you put yourself through in recent years?

My body outlasted 6 Ironmans, 7 Half Ironmans, 4 ITU Age Group World Champs, 2 x XTerra SA Titles and lots more abuse in various forms. One crack in my armour is that I have never done the Epic, but I have done the Comrades twice, 30 years ago. That makes up for it. And yes, I am that old.

Q. What draws you to endurance sports?

I find the mixture of pain and pleasure that occurs during a race very mesmerizing, The problem is, the pain is always more, and I am forever figuring out how to race flatout, whilst only experiencing pleasure. I haven’t got it right yet, but I will not give up. It has to be possible.

Q. What diciplines do you like most?

A. Off-road and road tri, mountain biking, running in all forms. I like swimming, but I am by default the slowest swimmer in any race. In steer clear of road cycling. When I get tired, my vision gets blurry and I start to weave. In a peleton that is a recipe for a catastrophic crash. I also know people get some sadistic pleasure watching a peleton crash. I will not offer them that pleasure. I also mess up the protocols of road cycling without fail, so I get shouted at a lot. It hurts my feelings. So, no road cycling for me.

Q. What does your training consist of?

3 x run, 4 x bike, 3 x swim a week. I try to get to a minimum of 9 hours a week. During Ironman preparation it goes up to 12. It does not sound like a lot, because it isn’t a lot. Anything more than that makes me feel sorry for myself, and I do not like that feeling.

What do you aim to achieve by being part of Endurohub?

So many people have no idea how great life can be out there while racing. You become more that just a spectator of life. Because you get pushed so hard, your experience of everything gets elevated to different level. You experience the weather, nature, yourself, other participants, gestures along the way and everything in a whole new manner. A tough physical challenge rewards you in a way that is almost inexplicable. There seems to be a life enriching value you get out of getting from point A to B in a very painful manner. Technology has one primary aim: to make life easy and entertaining. A TV remote symbolizes that. In the process we sell off some true life connection with mother earth and ourselves. Endurance sports re-awakens the survivor in all of us that wants to live on the edge, and wants to fight to get to the finish line. Getting there in a plush Merc is just not the same.

Also, nature adds so much quality when it becomes part of your playing field. If people knew how much they would become part of nature, as opposed to just observing it, they would paticipate in nature based endurance sport so much more. There is so much happiness waiting there for everyone.

If I can convey those two messages via Endurohub, I would be very happy!

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