Being brought up in a motorcycle family, the bug bit Kirsten at a very young age. Riding and racing is Kirsten’s passion and has become a lifestyle for her.
The challenge of being a female rider competing against the boys in the tough terrains that they ride in is what she thrives on. Each ride, race or training session accomplished feels like an achievement on its own, every time.
Sports discipline: Hard Enduro
Resides: Summerveld, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal
- 2014 Red Bull Romaniacs – 47th in bronze class (out of 160 bronze riders) and 1st female
- 2014 Roof of Africa – 23rd in silver class & 1st female finisher (unassisted)
- 2014 National Enduro Championship. – 4th place in silver class
- 2015 Red Bull Romaniacs
- 2015 Red Bull Sea to Sky – 56th overall, becoming the only woman in history to ever finish a gold class at any extreme hard enduro event.
- 2015 Red Bull Braveman – 1st overall in silver class (riding against only men)
- 2015 Roof of Africa – 32nd overall in the silver class & 1st female
- 2015 National Enduro series – 3rd overall in the men’s silver class
- 2016 King of the Hill – 28th overall in expert class. Made history by being the first lady to ever finish expert class.
- 2016 FIM Super Enduro World Series, Prague – 4th in World Championship
- 2016 Alfie Cox Invitational Extreme Enduro – Only female to compete. Made it into the semi- final and ranked 15th among the best male extreme enduro riders in SA.
- 2016 Red Bull Romaniacs – 48th overall. Became the first female in history to finish the race in silver class
- 2016 Red Bull Braveman – 2nd in silver class and only female to finish
- 2016 Red Bull 111 Megawatt Poland – 30th overall & only female to qualify and finish
- 2016 Red Bull Sea to Sky – 24th overall in gold class
- 2016 South African National Enduro Championship – 2nd overall
- 2016 Roof Of Africa – 33rd overall. First woman in history to complete gold class unassisted
- 2017 National Enduro Silver Class Championship – Won 4 of 4 rounds in silver class. The only female participating in the national series
Give us a brief outline of your in-season training routine.
I try to keep it interesting as it’s very easy to slip into a monotonous programme which can quickly become boring. I do the same stuff in the week, but switch my days around, and if something else comes up that’s a kind of training, I’ll do it. Basically, I do the following within a week: ride 3 times on the bike – rides for longer than 3 hours; do 3 BaseFit sessions (gym strength and cardio sessions); run 5km twice a week; ride my mountain bike; do some swimming. I have one complete rest day a week, usually on a Sunday.
Are there big differences in your in- and off-season nutrition?
I love food and I think I live to eat. Some people say they train to get fit, I say I train so I can eat. However, when I say I eat, I eat clean. I don’t do takeout, I try to cut out sugar and bread, and I don’t drink fizzy drinks, apart from a Red Bull before or after training – times when I need some extra energy. I cut out processed foods and sweets, and eat fresh foods. In my off-season, though, if I feel like pizza for breakfast, lunch and supper, I’ll have it. I try to stick to clean eating most of the time, though.
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to pursue a sport like yours?
Do it. If you have the equipment and someone willing to guide you and support you, go for it. It’s a tough sport, but it’s so rewarding.
What are your thoughts on female equality in your sport? Have you seen growth in participants over the past few years?
Within my years of racing, I’ve seen girls come and go, but none really stick around in the racing scene. The youth and younger generations are certainly our future of the sport and there are ladies already taking part from a young age. So the future seems promising for women in motorsport.
Is there something you wish you knew when you started?
Live and experience every moment, don’t take it too serious, and always have fun. Have fun and the results will follow.
Author: Mariska du Plessis
Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.
Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_