Sawyer, Cooke take Peoples triathlon title

Photo Credit: Richard Pearce Photography

A small but competitive field gathered for the first St Francis half ironman distance race this past Sunday. 

With a pristine venue and perfect conditions for the start, it was race favourite Keegan Cooke who dominated from the outset as he produced a near flawless performance to take the title. 

His counterpart, Mariella Sawyer, came up with an equally impressive race and claimed the ladies’ title. The Capetonian, who was the pre-race favourite, came home in a time of 4 hours 25 minutes and 20 seconds. Sawyer led into transition for all 3 disciplines.

Cooke on the other had seemed to race well within himself and looked comfortable for his 113km. His victory in 3 hours 53 minutes and 29 seconds makes it 2 out of 3 for Cooke who was the inaugural Peoples Triathlon champion as well as taking victory on Sunday. 

The win for Cooke and Sawyer also sees them take home their share of the R24 000 prize pool in the race presented by PW Harvey and Co. 

Second place in the men’s race was taken by Brad Birkholtz (4:09:19) and third went to the triathlon legend Raynard Tissink (4:10:51)

In the ladies’ section Toinette Van Niekerk stormed past Michelle Howes in the final laps to take second in a time of 4 hours 45 minutes and 56 seconds eventually beating Howes by 1 minute and 46 seconds. 

The team section was won by Team Matrix Mens A in a time of 4:39:01, they were followed by Team PVCE Multisport Young Guns (5:33:03) and Team PVCE Multisport Founders (5:47:09) in third. 

Selected results:

Men:                                                                           Women:

1st Keegan Cooke 03:53:28                                       1st Mariella Sawyer 04:25:20

2nd Bradley Birkholtz 04:09:19                                 2nd Toinette van Niekerk 04:45:56

3rd Raynard Tissink 04:10:51                                               3rd Michelle Howes 04:47:40

4th Carl Mangan 04:17:32                                         4th Christine Harding 04:51:46

5th Manfred Lambrechts 04:24:01                           5th Pauline Tunstead 05:12:59.

Full results available on