I arrived in Holten, Netherlands after 30 hours of traveling. I only managed to get about 3 hours of sleep on the flights. We stayed in 3 little double story houses in a very bushy area. I took a easy run to wake the legs up for Saturday’s racing.
On race day I was feeling good but woke up with a bit of a tummy bug but was still confident to race well. I headed off to T2 in the town to place my shoes in transition, then headed out to the dam where T1 is to check in and rack my bike and get ready for a 70 athlete start! The sun was out and was very warm when we started at 13:45.
I was shivering with nerves before but had a good start and found myself in the front after 200m and became a lot more relaxed and focused on just pulling because the cycle will be very demanding with a steep hill we covered 5 times with a very technical course. I exited first in 17:35 with a comfy lead.
I was soon caught by 14 athletes working very hard for the entire 40km and managed to put 2:30 minutes into the chase group. I felt comfortable in the group and waiting for the run. Coming up to T2 I left it a little bit late to take out my feet and was in a rush to do this. I got my left foot out but not my right foot because the strap had fallen over and closed up. I was forced to unclip so I touched the ground before the dismount line, slipped my shoe off and ran into transition. With this rush I struggled to get my bike racked and helmet unclipped and exiting transition I was 14th and 20 s behind the leaders. I had a bike time in the 55 minute region.
I chased hard and after 1 lap I was laying 9th and after lap 2 I was laying in 6th/7th with an Aussi. I only noticed I had a time penalty when I passed the penalty area on lap 3, so I was forced to stop 20 m from the finish line and this cost me a place and a lot of money! I finished in 8th with a 34:15 run time.
I am very happy with the result and glad to be back in such a high level of racing with some of the best athletes in Europe.
I would like to thank TSA and Lotto for the funding and organization of this trip, as well as my family, girlfriend and friends back home always giving me their full support!
I have settled in well here in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary and looking forward to a World Cup race this weekend. Weather is very warm and humid, much different than in South Africa at this moment.
With this update I can happily say that I have been given the opportunity to tour Europe next month with the U23 and Junior squads for SA. I will be racing in the 2012 Holten ITU Triathlon Premium European Cup on the 7th July with a very competitive field and on the 14th July I will compete in my first World Cup event in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary. This World Cup event is a very strong field with the likes of Jonny Brownlee and many others. This event is different from any usual triathlon. It will consist of 3 semi-final heats on the Saturday and then a certain amount of the top placed athletes will go through to race the final the next day. The race distance will be half Olympic distance for both days.
Click on the links for the start list on triathlon.org:
It is two very good races to compete in and will use this opportunity to soak up as much experience as I can on the international scene and see where I am against the best in the World at this point in time. I am very excited as training has been going very well and possibly in the best form I have ever been in and still improving from week to week in training.
Other news in terms of sponsors is that I will not be competing for Team Future Life any longer. I would like to thank Glen Gore who managed the team and was a great help to me over the past few years getting me products, kit, gear etc. Its time to move on to more serious things as I will be competing mainly for FINIS and then also have a few other sponsors to give me the best possible experience in triathlon.
During the last two weeks before the African Championships in Le Morne – Mauritius, the ‘unknown injury’ in my legs (which doctors think might be related to my back and pinching nerves) was much better and I decided that I would compete in the race. I struggled again on the Tuesday & Wednesday leading up to the event but it didn’t affect me, I think, because I didn’t feel it over the weekend and during the race.
So with a positive attitude, myself and most of the RSA team, we took to the skies and landed on the beautiful island on Thursday afternoon. We checked into a very nice 4 star hotel which is like a village on the beach, and made our way to the buffet dinner where we were spoiled with the taste of amazing food every night!
Friday was pre-race warm up day for me, starting with a nice swim in the pool followed by breakfast. I then cycled about 30min along the coast with beautiful scenery the whole way. Later I slipped my shoes on and went for a run to stretch the legs out, and goodness it was hot! I then spoiled myself with a good lunch and relaxed the rest of the day.
Saturday was race day and woke up at 6 to eat and get ready for the 7am bus trip to the venue. The race venue was an amazing place to race at, just the heat was quite bad!
At 9.15 our race got underway and I had a relatively slow start to everyone else but after 400m I was in the front controlling things like I usually do. A group of 4 managed to get a 50second gap out onto the bike consisting of myself, Erhard Wolfaard (RSA), Ospaly (CZE) and a Moroccan athlete. We worked well together but I was struggling on the brutal climb we did 6 times. The last time going up I lost the wheel of Erhard and Ospaly and was caught by Felgate (ZIM) and the Moroccan. Felgate being very tactical attacked just before T2 but I managed to bridge the gap coming into transition.
I slipped my shoes on and ran off for the 10km run. I started a little slower because I wasn’t feeling strong at all and as soon as I picked up the pace my body packed up and I found myself just making it to the finish. I had too many DNF before and came along way to race so I wasn’t going to give up. Soon during the run I started getting cold shivers and very lame and no feeling in my arms. I can’t tell you exactly what happened but with a very demanding bike course and heat it all took its toll on me in the run. I may have suffered from some heat stroke. I recovered after a couple hours and enjoyed my stay until we left the next day. I was 6th across the line and 5th elite. I also missed out on very valuable ITU points because I wasn’t within 5% of the winners’ time.
I am disappointed but it’s also just another card of experience I gained and that’s something no one can give you. A big congrats to Richard Murray (RSA) for his second African title and Erhard in silver!
A special thanks to ATU for a great event, TSA and Lindsey Parry for their help and support as well as Finis and Team FutureLife.
Our trip to PE started by waking up at 3.30 on Friday morning and started the long drive. After 14 hours we arrived and I had a quick swim to loosen up a little and a nice pizza to settle the tummy for bed. Saturday was the usual pre-race warm ups and race briefing. Sunday morning I had a good wake up at 6.30 and headed out to the gym for a swim to wake up because the start was only at 12.30.
The race started with a non wetsuit swim and I knew the weaker swimmers would suffer more so I kept the pace fairly hard up in front with Frederick Belaubre (FRA) and got a 20-30s gap onto the bike and attempted a breakaway. We were caught after about 8km when Wian Sullwald (RSA), Wikus Weber (RSA), a German and a Moroccan athlete were working hard together in windy conditions and we all continued working well through to the run. I was struggling through the bike with sore tired legs but a couple of gels made me feel a bit more confident.
We hit T2, dashed to our racks and got ready for the run. I was 2nd out just behind the German and kept a fast but maintainable pace and keeping in touch with Belaubre (FRA). He attacked and I decided not to go with him and kept my pace. Going into the 2nd lap my legs started to feel quite tight and could feel that I dropped the pace slightly and started running with Sullwald (RSA) and the Moroccan. Going into the 3rd lap all hell broke loose and my inside quads felt like they actually pulled and I just wanted to make sure I finish because it’s all about points at the end of the day. I lost 8 places and only a little more than a minute behind a podium spot. I was very disappointed about that but I’ll take it as a learning curve and move on.
Congats to Wian Sullwald for the elite SA title as well as everyone else. Awesome organisation of a great event by TSA and ATU.
I will be racing in Mauritius next weekend for the African Champs and keep you updated after the race. Till then cheers!
After a hard week of training I wanted to use the Midlands Ultra Sprint event as a quality training session. My family, my girlfriend and I arrived at Midmar early Sunday morning with decent weather, not so hot and quite windy.
We were under way and immediately I had a gap over the rest of the field. After not listening to race briefing I headed for the wrong 2nd buoy and found myself about 50m+ behind the leaders. I changed that in 300m by coming out of the water first with 15seconds to spare.
I went out on the bike and got into a good rhythm, not pushing too hard because I felt very heavy and didn’t want to blow in later in the stages. Coming back on the 22km loop I picked it up and extended my lead.
I then headed off for a hilly 5km run that turned into a 7km run because of bad communication between the marshals on the road and the race organisers. Ironically last year, in the same race the exact same thing happened to me there. After doing just enough to win I picked up the pace coming back because I was lying 6th. I managed to settle for a 3rd spot. I know it would’ve been an easy victory but sometimes you have to settle with those bad days in your pocket…
After I injured both my iliopsoas muscles which was making running a very painful and frustrating discipline, I wasn’t too upset about it because after all, it was just a training session and a tester for SA Champs in 2 weeks. I hope it’s not going to affect me fitness-wise, but I’m not looking too bad at the moment. Only on Thursday at its worst we found the problem and I am having treatment done on it and some rehab and hopefully come SA Champs I will be all in the clear.