Winning the inaugural Standard Bank 5150 African Triathlon Series at home is a wonderful feeling, Port Elizabeth-born amateur triathlete Jeren Seegers said.
The former Grey High School pupil, who now lives in Johannesburg, crossed the finish line at Kings Beach in two hours, three minutes and six seconds yesterday.
“It’s such a good feeling getting my first win in my home town,” Seegers, 31, said.
“I did my first triathlon here in PE when I was really young.
“The course was fantastic and the weather perfect. This is probably the best 5150 in the country.
“I have done four Ironmans in PE. I really enjoy coming back and racing here.
“I am very excited that the world championships will be taking place here too in 2018 and the goal is to compete in that one as well. I will try and prepare to look for a podium finish.”
Making its debut in Port Elizabeth yesterday, the race attracted a total of 700 athletes who took part in the shorter sprint and Olympic distance events.
In the women’s section, 42-year-old Kelly van der Toorn, from the Western Cape, dedicated her win to her three children.
Van der Toorn is originally from England but has been living in South Africa for more than five years.
“The swim was beautiful but I went all over the place,” she said.
“But once I was on the bike I was in my element and with the run I just cruised.
“I am very excited that I won today and I am super excited that the world championships are coming in 2018,” she said.
Meanwhile, in the sprint race Jamie Riddle was the first male home and Maria Riane Pieters the leading female. The leading results were:
Men: 1 Jeren Seegers 2:03.06; 2 Travis Frank Mcgrath 2:07.09; 3 Louis de Villiers 2:07.24; 4 Mauritz Erasmus 2:07.28; 5 Keegan Cooke 2:08.44
Women: 1 Kelly van der Toorn 2:18.37; 2 Antonelle Saporta 2:21.03; 3 Michelle Enslin 2:23.34; 4 Jodie Berry 2:24.03; 5 Liza Kingston 2:27.10