Perfect conditions at the Tinman Triathlon Race 3, Durban

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Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

Wow! On Sunday morning 21 September 2014 were greeted with a beaut of a day for the start of race 3 of the Tinman series. It was sunny with a flattish sea, a mild breeze and a superb vibe. During race morning the crew from BActive announced that they have added a 4th race to the calendar to turn Tinman into a 4 event series. The scheduled date for this event is 16 November 2014 (I stand to be corrected).

I arrived feeling fairly chirpy, leading the points scoring system for the age group 30-39 with a healthy lead. I knew all I had to do was finish to take the series title, as a “3 event” series. With the announcement of a 4th event, this will not be so easy for me anymore as I have a pretty hard charging ex-Durbanite, now Joburger, in the form of Jonny De Dominicus breathing down my neck. Anyway, I had to put my chance for glory behind me and focus on the actual race which was commencing in a couple of minutes.

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Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

First off was the 10km run which normally sets the tone for the day and would be also the sign that the time is now close for triathlons to start! The 3 different triathlons – being the mini, the sprint and the challenge all starts approximately 15mins apart at different starting points on the beach in front of SunCoast Casino. I had a few shocking swims the last few races and my goal for this race was to finish the swim fast, in contention with the lead guys. I managed to hang onto the leaders, and  came out of the water next to the eventual winner and my coach, Donovan van Gelder. The lead trio of Glen Gore, Jonny De Dominicus and Clinton Gravett were just a few meters up ahead and in sight. I was stoked, the gap behind us was big, and all I had to do now was hang onto the fast boys on the bike. Donovan and myself were a few seconds back coming out of transition and a fairly big effort was required to get us to the lead group. The effort was put in by Van Gelder and unfortunately he left me behind (AGAIN)! This was a very crappy situation. There was a big gap back to the guys behind me and I was never going to catch the leading quartet on my own. Draft legal racing is brutal in that way and I soldiered on (on my own) for the entire bike leg, like a rabbit scared of being caught by charging cheetah. I managed to get into T2 on my own, about 3 minutes back from Donovan Van Gelder and 2 minutes back from the other 3. Unfortunately, for me, Mr. Cannon was in the group behind me and they hit transition about 1 minute after me. I knew it was probably inevitable that he will run me down. I managed to keep him away until km 8 at which time he came past me so fast  it looked like I was walking, when in fact I was clocking 3:45 min/Km. I hung onto 6th overall with the top 5 men being:

1.)    D. Van Gelder

2.)    Jonny De Dominicus

3.)    Clinton Gravett

4.)    Glen Gore

5.)    Mike Cannon

Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

Looking back my day was good. I swam well and ran a fast 10km. I did get dropped on the bike, but after the first lap when my legs came around I did manage to TT on my own and hold onto my position without being caught. So all in all, it was a good training day for me and also a good time to catch up with all the other competitors and the team from BACtive.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay  for prize giving as I had to get home to the kids. Speaking to all my mates afterwards, the prizes were generous as always with 32Gi, Thule, Saucony and TomTom giving away some top products.

Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

Photo Credit: Jethro Snyders

32GI also kept us all going out on the course at every aid station and as always, some nice products were included in the goody bag.

Race 4 will be big. The tri season is in full swing now with serious racing starting and with everyone starting to find form, the racing will just become harder.

Happy training to everyone and see you at the next event!

Please follow me @frankANDHIStank as I race for Enduro Hub