|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 email@example.com
For bookings contact Kaylin on firstname.lastname@example.org
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.