Mariella dominates Cape Ultra

I remember the moment and excitement when it was announced that Port Elizabeth would be the host city of the 2018 Ironman 70.3 world champs quite well.

Most retired South African triathletes all of a sudden came crawling out of their retirement holes, dusted off their indoor trainers and bikes and checked that their Garmins were functioning on the latest update.

Personally, I had no idea the magnitude of “gees” this event would bring- as us saffas would say, but I very quickly realized how magical this weekend would be as it was already starting to catapult triathlon in SA to massive levels, with everyone training harder than ever before, reaching frightening levels of strength that would probably even make Lionel Sanders scratch his head!

MTD became an absolutely army- even more than we were before- and I was so excited to be a part of such a strong team with so many inspiring athletes!

Arriving in PE, I remember being very intimidated by all the professional looking athletes- and let’s be real, at worlds everyone looks like a pro!!’ But luckily Travis said some things that hit the nail on the head. 

We ALL deserved to be here and race the best in the world, and he was so right!

Race day was something out of a fairytale for me. Racing with the best in the world and so many of my friends will go down as one of the most special days yet. I had so many special moments with fellow team mates on course, which made this race one to remember and seeing how well everyone was doing was exhilarating.  

Being supported by the MTD crew put a smile on my face and made the hurtbox a lot less. I had the race of my life, swimming a PB- although still no chad le clos we are making progress and my bike was a best power split, even though the time wasn’t what I’d hoped for- but I’ll blame the head wind. I somehow managed to seal it off with my best run off the bike to date- courtesy of all the amazing support we got on course!

I am so proud of all those who raced and special mention to all the podium finishers and WORLD CHAMPIONS among us- you are what makes this sport so special and I think that we truly lived up to the Ironman motto: “Anything is possible” 

But it wasn’t over, and a week later we (or those stupid enough), got to do it all again at Cape Ultra with slightly lower temperatures.

We left the house in Theewaters at 6am and the thermometer read 1 degree Celsius!- this was accompanied by a frozen windscreen! Needless to say, I was quite relieved that the swim got cancelled as I would probably be in bed with pneumonia had it not been.

It was now a duathlon (5k run, 90k bike, 15k run)

I have never raced back to back so I was quite curious to see what the legs had in store for me and luckily they kept it together.

The course is beautiful and quite unforgiving. There’s some sneaky hills on the bike (which we got to do several times because the bike course is 3 loops) and the run is off road, which makes things interesting! I remember asking myself: what’s hurting?” And I wasn’t quite sure what the answer was because well... most parts of me were hurting and I felt like a chased rabbit being at the front from the bike leg. A rather exhilarating feeling that I was not used to and have never experienced before because I usually only catch up on the run. 

But I was ecstatic to break the tape and to end off an incredibly special season on such a high. I’m am honored to be a part of a group of such hard working and inspirational athletes who show that through hard work, once again, anything is possible! I am beyond excited to see what the future holds and I am especially excited to watch MTD rock the big island in October! 




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