There is nothing that triathletes fear more in life, than wind on race day or squeezing into your tri suit first race post winter.
Thankfully the triathlon gods smiled favorably on us, for Challenge Cape Town – waking up to near perfect conditions, with no wind to speak of. The tri suit situation however was deemed out of their control.
Now if like me, on your sporting bucket list you have:
1. Swimming to Robben Island
2. Being lapped several times by a pro-triathlete, or
3. Running on the face of the sun
I was in luck; Challenge Cape Town was going to help me wipe that list clean all on one day. How lucky am I?
Swim conditions were near perfect. But I have to admit at this point, when the Elite men couldn’t find the sighting buoys because they were, let’s say, on the small side & ended up taking what look like the scenic swim route via Camps Bay I was filled with a sense of dread.
The swim conditions were good, the rolling swim start definitely a winner – however not being able to see the buoys did prove challenging, keeping the lifeguards on their toes & hey, what’s a couple 100 meters more on the swim leg anyway right?
In any race that I find my bike, in T1 on the first attempt I feel like I am winning at life & I have earned my slot at Kona… so going into the bike leg I felt on top of the world! By this time the clouds had made way for bright blue sky, with a slight breeze. The bike route was flat & fast & I can absolutely vouch for this, having being lapped at speed by the pros. I tried to offer a couple of them my wheel, but nobody took me up on the offer. Oh well… next time boys.
T2 was mixed emotion – by this stage all I wanted was a milkshake & I knew that I had absolutely not applied enough sunblock & that a fire retardant suit was going to be needed to navigate the run leg successfully. It was hot hot hot & there was no shortage of hills. The views would be worth it they said… no, if I wanted views I would have opted for ride up in the cable car. Just saying.
Anyhow, 21kms later & many opportunities to question my life choices I crossed the finish line with a massive smile on my face. I often get asked why I do this sport. I think you only truly know the answer to that question, when you reflect on the day, the people you have met on your journey to the start line & what you actually have accomplished when you have that medal in your hand. It’s not always about being the fastest; the best for some of us is about achieving something you never thought possible. I suppose it’s also true, why be average at 1 sport when you can be average at 3…
Overall Challenge Cape Town was a great event & the perfect race for novice triathletes looking for their first 70.3 close to home & of course the ideal race for the seasoned triathlete chasing a PB. This race is definitely going to be a must on the racing calendar for 2020.
By Nikki Crous