Triathlon goes swimmingly

EXCITEMENT and competitive spirits filled the air at the Vodacom corporate triathlon challenge, powered by Algoa FM, yesterday morning. The event – said by organisers to be the biggest short-course triathlon race on the African continent – was accompanied by sunny skies and 17°C water temperature.

ECM Avengers won the title best corporate team with a time of 43min 57sec. The first school team across the finish line were the Pearsonites 1, with a time of 00:49:37.

Richard Laurie was the individual winner in the men’s category, with a time of 00:51:20, while the woman individual winner was Lauren Dougall, with a time of 00:53:46.

Port Elizabeth civil engineering company Bosch Stemele were one of the teams hoping to obtain corporate champion status. Kirstin Field, who took part in the swim for the company, said: “I am doing this all for the love of company spirit.”

Consulting Engineers SA (CESA) has a competition within the challenge that includes all engineering teams entered. Bosch Stemele is hoping to place well in that.

This year marks the company’s fourth year of participating in the challenge and the company entered two teams of three this year.

Pearson High School cyclist Delvan Taljaard said he had confidence in his team, which included runner Courtney Shaw and cyclist Amy Morden.

“I really like the Ironman vibe,” Taljaard said. Pearson High School placed twice in the top five schools.

Individual competitor Claire Balshaw said: “I entered this event to challenge myself and achieve a goal.”

Mark Smith, representing CSSA Manufacturing, was also among the individual competitors.

He said: “I am doing this for fun and in the hope of becoming fit.”

The contagious atmosphere at this race, which was 10% of the full Ironman distance, was a great continuation of the festivities of the Spec-Savers Ironman SA weekend.

Meanwhile Pritt Ironkids SA brought smiles yet again.

The sheer excitement and exhilaration from the parents and participants at the 2013 Pritt Ironkids SA at the McArthur Swimming Pools and Leisure Centre on Saturday afternoon was heartfelt. The first wave race started at midday for children with special needs.

The concept behind this event is to hold an all-inclusive race, making the little ones feel as heroic as their Ironman heroes.

Everyone who enters is a winner: all participants receive a T-shirt, medal and goodie bag.

Children between the ages of six and nine years swam a distance of 60m, followed by a 1.2km run, while children in the 10-13 age group took part in a 100m- long swim and a 2km run.

One of the parents, Jeff Behr, said: “I’m excited for my son. This is great for PE and also for helping children to become fit at a young age.”

Behr’s son, Jarryd, 6, of St Mark’s School, said he was excited about the race and was mostly looking forward to the swim.

The children in the first wave start were assisted by Ironkids volunteers.

Jenna Hiscock, 8, of Elsen Academy, took part in the first wave, even though she underwent knee-cartilage surgery last month.

Her dad, Reuben Hiscock, said: “She started complaining about a sore knee. When the doctor scanned it, surgery was recommended.”

But surgery did not take away Jenna’s enthusiasm for taking part in the aquathlon.

Jenna said: “I am very excited and am looking forward to it.” She did the 1.2km run on her crutches.

The fun ended too soon for some of the participants.

Johan Coetzee, 6, said: “The race was too short. I want to do it seven times over.”

Pearson High School pupil Anna Huang, 13, a volunteer, said, “It’s exciting and fun to see the kids running and feeling proud.”

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