|URBAN ROCK (DUATHLON) (1.4km run, 20km bike, 6km run)|
|TRIROCK (TRIATHLON) (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run)|
|TEAM M.A.D.||4:05:04||29:52 (Rudi Scoeman)||2:33:39 (Lauren Dance)||1:00:20 (Donald Mashamaite)||3|
|Gert Janse Van Rensburg||2:46:44||28:53||1:33:46||44:05||28|
|Hanneli van Tonder||2:51:53||28:46||1:34:22||48:44||3|
ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships 2014
I have always been dumbstruck – why would anyone in his right mind volunteer and pay money to swim, cycle and run just for fun? One painful thing immediately after the other for no obvious reason?
Without an answer I found myself on a plane to Germany, with an overweight body and bike box on a mission to survive one of the biggest challenges of my life: To swim, cycle and run at the World Championships somewhere close to a small town called Zittau.
Knowing that I’m surely not one of the best athletes, (in the SA team thanks to a bit of luck), I formulated realistic goals: Have fun, be and behave like the least serious member in the team and don’t come last! Never come last! I don’t mind not winning, but I hate losing.
Leading up to the race, we explored new surroundings, dined at different restaurants with amazing people and drank coke in dirty pubs. Got advice and tips directly from world champions. Trained and spent hours on recce runs and rides. Prayed for rain to cool the lake down for a wetsuit legal swim… Then prayed for the rain to stop!
Before I knew it: Booming music at the blue carpet start line – nerve wrecking like hell! Then the now familiar: “… you’re under starter’s orders… on your marks… BLEEOOP!” That blow of the horn kicked up a storm of adrenaline overload! Fortunately my typical swim start panic didn’t catch up with me this time! “Focus on your own race and pace Coach Mike said” – so true. It went well, I settled somewhere in the middle of the field, keeping up with athletes all over the world! Awesome! I’m not last! I’m not useless, I’m an athlete like them! Smiling, I still recall that last couple of 100 meters from buoy three to finish – so fast with everyone sprint kicking the water into a white frenzy of bubbles and foam. What a thrill, it was fantastic!
The mountain bike was hectic! How do you make kilometres of extreme climbs and rocky downhills more difficult? Easy – Just add rain! A muddy slippery mayhem! I had so much fun trying to stay on the bike, I nearly forgot to race! The camaraderie between bikers were amazing – from a silly Dutch guy chuckling whilst passing: “Lekker! Lekker! Lekker!”, to an angry German shouting behind me: “South Africa! Get out of the way!” It was a war zone of guts, quads, lactic acid and zero visibility. The greatest and easily the most difficult shorter distance mountain bike course I have ever survived!
Ending it all was a fast trail run of slippery muddy embankments, river crossings and winding gravel paths. With big crowds cheering us on, I went slipping all over the place! I even passed two amazed and amused competitors; sliding on my face, head first, down a grassy slope!
I was cold, wet, cramping, dirty and tired, but ringing in my mind: “I want to go again… I can do better, I can go faster!” Still I was so relieved! I made it! I earned my stripes. Not in front, not at the back, but somewhere in the middle of the world’s best. I couldn’t have asked for more from something that came as a total unexpected bonus so late in my life.
Back at the hotel I regressed from neat and tidy to careless and messy. After the race, an explosion of filthy socks, bike parts, jackets, helmets and mud decorated the hotel room… Nearly looked as bad as Coach Mike’s van. Took a shower with my bike in the now greasy slippery bathroom. I couldn’t be phased no more. My roommate, a pro, touring-the-world type athlete, just laughed in approval. Messy is the way they come and messy is the way they go.
For a short snapshot in time, I was one of them! I shared in the joys, fears, focus, nerves and disappointments of amateur and professional athletes – a world so different from my own.
What an honour, what an experience, what a pleasure!
Bored on the plane back from Germany, I contemplated how this combination of physical activities can form such a powerful drug. Is it the appeal to master three different challenges simultaneously? Is it because diversity excludes the masses and reserves this sport to only a select few? Is it a hunger to win at something difficult? Is it the science and fascination behind the multi-functional human body? Is it maybe the predictable short successions from suffer to reward? Is it Mother Nature that you see, feel and taste from three different dimensions? Is it the excuse to travel and visit new towns and places? Or is it the species of similar crazy people that you meet? I think it is all of the above and more… For me it is a form of self-fulfilment; maybe a ladder toward Maslow’s self-actualization. Triathlon creates a balance and fills a gap that my beloved day-to-day desk-bound job simply cannot do on its own.
I have to thank many, including:
Coach Mike Moriarty (MAD Multisport) – Again we achieved goals together. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, beliefs, trust and attitude.
Neville Thomas (Spartan Crossfit) – Your training made an important difference in my performance and confidence and I’m injury free! Thanks!
Iain Peterkin – You are a super athlete, go for gold! Olympics is where you belong!
Nicole Driver – Thanks for allowing me to be faster than you for a week or two.
Jayson, Carl, Tiaan, Willem, Richard, MADletes – Thanks for the random training sessions, constant support and well wishes.
Mecalc – Thanks for the encouragement, the support and the cool t-shirt
ASG Sport Solutions – The generous discounts on nutrition and accessories are highly appreciated.
Robert Frost – Thanks for diligently preparing my bike. I didn’t have a single mechanical excuse, I mean issue.
Jens Winkler – Thanks for all the help and for hosting me in your beautiful city. Also for braving the recce run on the race route with me.
Paul Olivier – It was great to have you there as a mate and supporter!
|ZWARTKOPS LAPA 10km 2014|
|Hanneli van Tonder||49:38|
|J. de Jager||1:12:39|
|ZWARTKOPS LAPA 21km 2014|
|Gert Janse van Rensburg||1:47:50|
PLEASE JOIN US FOR AN AWESOME NIGHT OF FUN!!
The Barnyard will be host to a fundraiser to get Spanner and her Coach to World Champs in Edmonton later this year! Time Warp – Where Rock Stars, Hollywood and Broadway Collide promises to provide the best entertainment!!
Please bring friends and family!!!
For more information please contact Lauren on firstname.lastname@example.org
For bookings contact Kaylin on email@example.com
Please send proof of payment to Kaylin in order to receive your tickets!
Hope to see you all there!!!
Anyone wanting to learn more about transitions as in setting up, getting on and off your bike, etc, is welcome to attend this open session. Ideal for first timers as well as those needing to sharpen up on their skills.
Session will involve:
dynamic drill sequence as part of warm up.
3 x T1 simulations
3 x T2 simulations
with 3 short crit bikes and short runs.
Bring all related equipment, no wetsuits necessary.
Time: 8am Saturday, 28 June
Venue: Boksburg Stadium, Jubilee Rd, Boksburg South
Duration: +- 2hrs
Let Mike know if you are attending.
083 666 1714
Rewind to summer of 2001 and fresh from 2 years in the UK drinking too much beer and bad food. I am part of a few teams of mates taking part in the Energade Triathlon series. As luck would have it I am the team swimmer, which means I am first to the cooler box and cold beer. My swimming is not the greatest and I am in the last pack of swimmers to exit the river. Luckily I cyclist on the day rode us into 2nd place.
Fast-forward to April 2014 and I have now completed all 10 Ironman South Africa races and am part of a small group of 23 to do all 10. After 25 years of playing soccer I decided to start tackling events on my bucket list. I started running in order to do Comrades but the Ironman bug bit.
I promised my fiancé at the time that I only wanted to do 1 Ironman. Clearly I lied! I was petrified for my first IM. Looking back I was way over trained and probably carrying too much weight. My equipment was basic but I was enthusiastic. I had 3 punctures on the ride and my pedal snapped off at 80km. I rode 100km with only the shaft sticking out of the crank arm. There was no way I was not finishing that race, even if it meant 14h53 and puking my guts out at the hotel later that evening.
Over the years my times are pretty consistent between 11 and 12 hours besides a PB of 10h49 in 2008. Since I started Ironman I have got married, had two beautiful children, built a house, bought a house and sold a house. I have also aged loads but have met so many wonderful people along the way that I now consider friends. My wife Renate is also a triathlete and will be racing Ironman South Africa 2015 with me. People wonder how we both manage with 2 kids and full time jobs but Ironman is a lifestyle commitment. Once you are in, the bug bites.
These days I train much smarter although I do make rookie errors. You would think that you know it all after racing Ironman 11 times (including the big island of Hawaii), but you don’t. We are all constantly learning. One thing is guaranteed and that I that you wont always have the perfect race. If you do, then be grateful. There are so many factors that can go wrong on the day. But remember it is a long day and you can recover.
I was lucky enough to race in Kona last year and one thing I can say is that Ironman South Africa is a fantastic race. The venue, the organisation and the support in PE are second to none. You will not be sorry doing this race.
Age is just a number and I am in better shape now than what I was 10 years ago. As you get older you also get wiser. Balance is an important factor in doing this crazy race. Don’t cut yourself off from the world and turn down all invites to social functions. Just be sensible about it. I have been known to drink Guinness with coach at Barneys on the Friday before the race. Also don’t neglect your loved ones. They sacrifice just as much as you in the months leading up to race day. You need their support and encouragement.
It is good to be nervous leading up to race day, just trust that you have put in the effort in training. I have cried on the beach and the red carpet at every Ironman I have done.
Most importantly SMILE when you race. We are all hurting out there but we love what we do and we are privileged to be able to take part in this race.
My Road to Ironman 2014
My daughter, Kirstin, joined the M.A.D. Multisport team in 2009. Beginning of 2010 she took part in her first triathlon. It was there, watching young and old taking part and enjoying it, that I decided I wanted to give triathlon a try.
So after 8 years of doing no exercise, I joined the M.A.D. team and so started my journey.
Step 1: buy a road bicycle and learn how to use the gears. Up to then the only cycling experience I’ve had was on a home-made bicycle, with single gear, back-pedal breaks and perma-tubes, cycling 10km’s on a weekend to get to the beach with my boom box on the carrier and the speakers in the front basket. And the last time I did that I was only 19.
I started with spin sessions at the gym. Every now and then over a weekend I’d cycle with the M.A.D team. The first time I attempted the Suikerbos 10km route, it took me 45 minutes to get up the first hill. I did that 2.5km hill a couple of hundred meters at a time, with a good rest in-between. But every time I went back to Suikerbos, I did a bit better.
Step 2: get all the necessary swimming gear and get into the pool for the first time in about 20 years. I started swimming 3 times a week. During my first week of swimming I needed to rest after every length of 25m, totally out of breath. I have no idea how long it took me to finish the required 40 lengths, but it was quite a while. The next week I only needed to rest after every 2 lengths. And so every week I could swim further for longer, until eventually I could swim the 40 lengths in one go, very slow, but in one go.
Step 3: start running. I come from a running background and absolutely love running, but unfortunately I haven’t run in a long time and so when I tried getting back into it, my knees refused to cooperate. So I walked.
And last but definitely not least, Step 4: learn all there is to know about transitions. What goes where, and what happens when, and mounting and dismounting the bike.
At the end of 2010 I took part in my first sprint triathlon at the BSG Series. I struggled through the washing-machine effect during the swim and without a wetsuit, I fell dismounting my bike, I walked the first 3km of the run, finishing with a slow jog, trying to catch coach who was a couple of hundred meters in front of me. And although I thought I was going to drop dead crossing the finish line, I absolutely enjoyed it. The bug had bitten and I wanted more.
After taking part in several more sprint triathlons, managing to actually run further and further on the run leg, and acquiring a wetsuit, cleats for my bike, and a heart rate monitor, my goal became to finish an Olympic distance triathlon.
At the start of 2012 I did my first Olympic distance triathlon. Then came my first 5150 Bela Bela in August 2012. After finishing that race and thoroughly enjoying it, I decided that I wanted to go even further, and so Ironman 70.3 became my next goal.
Up to then, I was only training 4 times a week and I was training with my daughter doing the same amount of training, spending a lot of time together. But I realized that I would have to increase my training for the Ironman 70.3. So 2013 became my training year.
And so it started: the early morning training sessions, the longer training sessions in the evenings, the dam swims, and the long sessions over weekends. I made special arrangements at work so that I could fit in all my training sessions.
My plan was to enter for Ironman 2014 once I finished the 70.3, but entries were selling out fast, so I entered earlier than I wanted.
And in a blink of an eye the 70.3 was upon me. I was super nervous, extremely worried that I wasn’t going to make the bike cut-off, and if I didn’t make it, my chances to finish the full Ironman would be slim. But I made it and finished the race comfortably.
The next 2 months of training was the hardest. It was long hours, it was tough and I had had enough and just wanted to get the race over and done with.
Eventually race weekend arrived, but things were not going as smoothly as I would have liked. First we almost didn’t make our flight because Kirstin became extremely ill and we had to visit the doctor minutes before our flight. Then I almost didn’t have a bike with working gears for race day as the gears packed up during our course familiarization ride on the Friday and so my bike had to go to the bike doctor.
But at last it was race day and the only thing I had to be concerned about was to get through the day. I was uncharacteristically calm standing on the beach waiting for our wave to start. And when that hooter sounded I was glad because this was the start to the end of my goal.
I started off well not getting too stuck in the washing-machine, but on the last stretch of the swim I became extremely nauseous (seasick) and tears were filling my goggles, not tears from crying, but tears from being so nauseous. I have never been so glad to stand on land as I was after that swim.
The first bike loop I took easy keeping an eye on my average speed making sure I was staying above 22km/h required for bike cut-off. The second bike loop I pushed a bit harder, but by that time the wind had come up and cycling became difficult, my legs were screaming at me, and my butt wanted no more of that saddle. I just kept on telling myself that I never in my life want to repeat that swim so I better get through this race and get it ticked off as done.
When I eventually dismounted my bike I knew I was on the home stretch and I was super happy. I stuck to my game plan on the run, walking through each water point whether I needed refreshments or not. On the last 14km lap it seemed as if the water points were getting further and further apart. But I knew I had plenty of time to make cut-off and so just pushed through. And when I ran onto that red carpet well within the time I wanted, with Paul Kaye announcing my name on the way to the finish line I was happy, grateful, relieved, not to mention extremely tired.
In the end, the race was hard, but the training and the sacrifices to get to the race was much harder. To fellow triathletes, I would definitely recommend doing the Ironman at least once. For some people 10 times is a charm, but for me, even though it was an absolutely fulfilling experience, once is enough. I am an Ironman!
Busy weekend for the MADletes!!! Sani2C warriors, Sondela racin snakes and some blitz 10k running at RAC Road Race!
Magic stuff guys!
|Name/Team||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||TOTAL|
SANI2C – RACE
|Mike Mason/Andrew Cox||3:40:55||5:13:39||3:21:28||12:16:02|
|Willem Germishuys/Stephan Steyn||4:18:34||6:16:52||3:54:50||14:30:16|
SANI2C – ADVENTURE
|Bernhard Westra/Tiaan Stulting||4:52:57||6:07:51||3:52:12||14:53:39|
SANI2C – TRAIL
|Cindy Bessel/Noel Oelschig||5:00:25||7:31:43||4:53:49||17:25:57|
Sondela Cycle Race 100km
|Bryce Hennessy (Tandem)||2:28:48|
RAC 10km Road Race (unofficial results)
|Gerald Jansen Van Vuuren||83||-||1:15:39||53:17||2:36:11|