German heart transplantee set to take on two of SA’s premier outdoor sporting events

Elmar Sprink (45), a heart transplantee from Köln (Germany) will be seen in action at two of South Africa’s premier outdoor sporting events:  the Sanlam Cape Mile and the Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw on Sunday, 19 February and Saturday, 25 February respectively, this in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the first human-to-human heart transplant operation.

According to Sprink, after his heart transplant in June 2012, he had to once again learn how to sit, stand up and walk.  “After having spent half a year in bed, I found that swimming was the perfect way to start training my muscles again.  In January 2013 I started to jog, but only 700m at a time.  It was then that I decided to return to triathlon racing as an attempt to create awareness around organ donation in Germany.   My highlights are having taken part in Ironman Hawaii in 2014 and the Transalpine Run in 2016.”

“Partaking in sport helps to minimise the side effects of the medication that heart transplantees have to take,” continues Sprink.  “In my case it also helps a lot from a psychological aspect.  The Sanlam Cape Mile will be a good test before the Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw which is a nice combination of swimming, mountain biking and trail running.  As with all the other events that I have participated in with my new heart, my goal for both the Cape Mile and XTERRA will be to have fun and cross the finish line.   I am really looking forward to being in South Africa, enjoying the land and meeting new people.”


Sanlam Cape Mile / Grabouw Country Club (Western Cape)

Date: Sunday, 19 February 2017
Venue:  Eikenhof Dam, Grabouw Country Club (Western Cape)
Distances:  500m and/or 1 mile (1.6km)

Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw / Grabouw Country Club (Western Cape)

Date: Event:
Friday, 24 February 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Kids
  6-8 years (50m Swim, 1,5km Cycle, 1km Run)
  9-11 years (100m Swim, 5km Cycle, 2km Run)
  12-15 years (200m Swim, 10km Cycle, 3km Run)
Saturday, 25 February 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Full:  1.5km swim, 28km MTB, 12.5km trail run
Sunday, 26 February 2017 XTERRA Trail Run:  12.5km and/or 5km
Sunday, 26 February 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Lite:  400m swim, 12.5km MTB, 5km trail run

Follow us on Twitter:  @CapeMile / @XTERRASA

Like our Facebook page:  Cape Mile / XTERRA South Africa

For further information or to enter the Sanlam Cape Mile and/or the Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort, Nelson Mandela Bay or Grabouw contact 082 991 0045 or email


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