It is no FEAT to travel a smooth road

My mom is 59 and she hasn’t done any cardio sports for maybe 20 years, only Tai Chi. After watching the video of FEAT talks from the Cape Town event she says to me, “I need an adventure”. In March she started walking training and, today, she is in Spain having completed her 16th day of walking on the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. She has done over 300 kilometres and has just less than 500 kilometres to Santiago.

Lisa de Speville, creator and organiser of the FEAT event, is immensely proud of her mom, Liz. “She really has gone from zero to hero in six months,” she beams. “Adventures are not just speed and distance feats, although these do captivate and make headlines. Whether an adventure is one day or four months there should be an element of travel – local or abroad, a physical hardship component and experiences that take you where you’ve never been before – and not geographically speaking.”

In an email received this week Liz says, “One certainly learns about one’s limitations and I think I have discovered that my feet do 20 kilometres per day nicely – they don’t like much more. The trail is tough going and the stones underfoot are terrible; I feel like the Princess and the Pea! Foraging for food and accommodation is sometimes quite stressful. Sharing a room with many complete strangers is still a bit odd and I even did my first communal shower the other day… all women, but a first for me.”

The speakers at this third edition of FEAT are cut from the same cloth. Andy de Klerk has opened countless climbing routes; he’s also a respected and accomplished alpinist, skydiver and BASE jumper. Marian Penso spent two years planning to ride the 4418-kilometre Continental Divide route in the US, which she did with partner, Luke Bush, in only 29-days. Grant ‘Twig’ Baker is a big-wave surfer. He tackles monster waves with faces of up to 20 metres. The speed. The power. The weight of that water!

These three will share the stage with endurance horse rider Craig Egberink, psychologist Gerard Finnemore, adventurers Kim van Kets and Kobus Bresler, sports scientist Ross Tucker and meteorologist Simon Gear. Nine speakers in total with seven minutes each for their talks.

Getting a taste of her own medicine, De Speville is speaking at the new Alternative & Extreme Sports Expo ( on the weekend of 23-25 September 2011, at Riversands Farm in northern Jo’burg. Her talks, which will take place at various times throughout the Expo, are on the topics of microadventures and seeking sponsorships for adventures and expeditions.

FEAT takes place in Jo’burg, on Thursday, 6 October 2011 at 18h30, at The Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. Tickets are available through Computicket. Tickets are R140.00 per person. R5 from each ticket is donated to the FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

FEAT is made possible by its sponsors – Black DiamondCAPESTORMHi-Tecand 32Gi. These companies also support adventurers, making expeditions possible. Go Multi and Getaway magazines are supportive media partners.

For more information, visit the FEAT website at and FEAT page on Facebook Photos and videos from the two previous FEAT events, held in Jo’burg and Cape Town, can be viewed online.



What: An evening of seven-minute talks by nine speakers in the expedition and adventure sports genres. A list of speakers, their talk topics and bios is available on the FEAT website.

Date: Thursday, 6 October 2011

Venue: The Alexander Theatre, 36 Stiemens Str, Braamfontein, Jo’burg

Secure, undercover parking available in the Liberty Life building (corner Ameshof and Melle Streets). Entrance on Melle Str. R10.00 fee. Limited on-street parking is available outside the theatre. Security guards employed by FEAT will be on Stiemens and Melle streets, around the theatre, from 18h00 for peace of mind.

Time: Theatre doors open at 18h30. Start at 19h00

Tickets: R140.00. Available through Computicket.

Speakers include: Andy de Klerk, Craig Egberink, Gerard Finnemore, Grant Baker, Kim van Kets, Kobus Bresler, Marian Penso, Ross Tucker and Simon Gear speaking on the topics of opening climbing routes, endurance horse racing, post-expedition psychology, big-wave surfing, multidiscipline circumnavigation, microadventures, mountain bike expedition, endurance sports science and adventure meteorology. The list of speakers, their talk topics and bios is available on the FEAT website.