Ironman SA 2013 | New Balance Multisport Club

New Balance Multisport Club

Multisport club based in the Western Cape

Life is too short for one sport - even in laid-back Cape Town!

Ironman SA 2013

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Congratulations to all our New Balance members who successfully competed at Ironman SA on 14th April (Colin Wall, Manus de Jager, Elma van Noordwyk, Eugene Lindeque, Phil le Roux, Morne van Gruenen, Miné Swart, Paul Ness, Damian Jones, Berlize du Plessis, Julia le Roux, Thinus Heunis, Danie Cronje, Jenny Close (Nel!))

The months of training was finally put to the test. Many people remark that the hardest part of any Ironman is the commitment and training rather than the race itself. And I agree, not that the race was a breeze (far from it!) but for me some of those long 6hr training rides and 4km swim sessions were mentally much harder than the race.

Nerves filled the air as race day finally arrived. Fortunately we were blessed with fantastic conditions which made for awesome racing. The swim for me was probably the easiest part of the day, which is ironic, as it had been the part which originally I had been most worried about. This time last year I could barely swim frontcrawl! In September I joined the adult swimming lessons at Planet Fitness (Aurora) and by December I could swim 2.5km (100 lengths) albeit pretty slowly! It was a hard step up to 3km and 4km swim sessions come Jan/Feb but before long I was quite amazed with myself that I was managing to swim these sessions several times a week. After a couple of swim lessons with Natalie Tissink at Velocity Sports Lab I was feeling confident I would ‘survive’ the 3.8km sea swim come race day.

The bike route consisted of 3 laps of 60km. As far as I know there weren’t too many technical problems with anyone’s bikes. The last thing you want in an Ironman after preparing your body so well for the race is for your bike to let you down. There are mechanics on route but they are only supposed to guide you rather than fix it for you.

Ironman is definitely all about the run. You come off the bike feeling great and the crowd is there cheering you on but within 6km I could feel my energy levels were very low. I had stomach cramps on the 3rd leg of the bike which stopped me from eating so this began to takes its toll after about half an hour on the run. I had never run a marathon before so I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope at the best of times, but having just cycled 180km and with not much nutrition in my system it was going to be a tough run, both mentally and physically. And the run was supposed to be my strong phase!

The crowds along Marine Drive were amazing! Without their help and support it would have been a very long 42km. Emotions ran high as each athlete ran onto the red carpet towards the finish line. A goal, a bucket list item, a pb, or just another Ironman; whatever it was, it had been achieved, and no words can describe the feeling of personal accomplishment.

It was many of our NB triathlete’s first Ironman so was extra special for them to hear the words from Paul Kaye, as they crossed the finish line ‘You are an Ironman’.

Congrats again to you all. You all ROCK! And thanks to all our supporters. See you all there in 2014!

Some feedback about the race from our NBMC Ironmen:

1. Best bit of IM SA 2013?
[Thinus] The organisation, the event, the crowd…….
[Damian] The support on the course from my Dad, Pierre, Riaan, Colleen, Marinda, Dave, Dominique, Claire, Olivia and the Ness kids
[Julia] Achieving my goal of completing Ironman and hearing the announcer say “You are now an Ironman”
[Elma] The vibe, the weather, the priviledge of being part of such an event. Seeing people with disabilities finishing the race. Seeing a father and disabled son finishing their first Ironman, after failing to do so quite a few times – he is a DOUBLE ironman in my eyes! Standing on an Ironman podium amongst the best triathletes in the World, made me feel quite special and humble.
[Eugene] The professionalism of the event and crossing the finish line off course.
[Miné] The run & weather

2. Worst bit of IM SA 2013?
[Thinus] The time lapse between the anthem and the firing of the canon.
[Damian] Waiting for Sunday morning
[Julia] I went through a bit of low period during the cycle ride between 140 -170 km. Glad I hung in there.
[Elma] Not being able to run the way I ran 2 years ago. My foot went numb and I had to walk more than I would have liked to and then discovering that the first lady in my age category was only 5 minutes ahead of me at the start of the run.
[Eugene] Second 10km on the run
[Miné] The bike!!!

3. Three words to sum up IM SA 2013:
[Thinus] Awesome!
[Damian] Fantastic quality event
[Julia] Life changing experience.
[Elma] Awe-inspiring, exciting, hair-raising
[Eugene] Life Changing Experience!!!!!!
[Miné] Always a privilege

4. Will you do it again?
[Thinus] Definitely
[Damian] Definitely, I am entering for 2014
[Julia] Absolutely.
[Elma] Suppose so
[Eugene] For Sure
[Miné] Yip!

5. Anything else you want to add:
[Thinus] Must do event
[Damian] It is brilliant to see people you have shared this very individual journey with on the course and at the finish, you know how much this means to them all.
[Julia] Ironman was a dream come true for me. This is truly an unforgettable experience and it showed me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, you just need to believe in yourself.
[Elma] Thanks to my Coach (Cheryl Young) and to all my training friends – every morning 5 o’clock in the Bellville Pool – you Rock!
[Eugene] IMSA is a race against yourself and no matter who you are you WILL find yourself during that race.
[Miné] Just do it!

Jenny Nel
Triathlon captain