Press release from ATRA corporate member TriSport (South Africa). Written by Jeff Ayliffe; photos taken by Mark Sampson.
A drop in temperatures, mixed with occasional rain squalls, did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the triathletes of all ages who took part in the first-ever Lakeside Lodge Cross (off-road) Triathlon organised by TriSport at the award-winning 5-star lodge, the Lakeside Lodge and Spa, on Saturday, 17 September. The beautiful location, on the banks of the Swartvlei lake, proved to be the perfect venue for one of South Africa’s fastest growing sports; the off-road triathlon.
With the 3 options of standard distance, sprint or super sprint, the event saw many first-time triathletes start the swim leg on the glassy waters of Swartvlei lake, with the local Station 23 NSRI volunteers keeping an eye on proceedings.
The MTB leg took them out onto the jeep tracks and gravel roads towards the spectacular scenery of the Outeniqua mountains, and the final run leg took them onto the Molerat hiking trail, with sweeping single tracks that offered breath-taking vistas out over the lake, and Gericke’s Point, with the huge fossilized dunes on the Sedgefield coastline.
The standard triathlon, over a 1000 m swim, 20 km MTB and 7 km run, was won by Justin Fraenkal in a time of 1:37:33, with Bruce Campbell 2nd and Martin Tallie 3rd.
First lady home was Port Elizabeth’s Tracey Almirall in 1:53:43, with Zane Coetzee and Suzaan Groenewald taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The sprint distance of a 500 m swim, 13 km MTB and 2,1 km run, was won by Travis McGrath in 1:02:26, with Brandon Hulley 2nd. Carene Malan was the leading lady, ahead of Sarah Onvee.
The super sprint showcased the names of the future, with the win going to Wilderness local Luke Leggatt, in 0:24:245. He was less than a minute ahead of Christian Hattingh, after an exciting battle that saw the 2 youngsters swapping positions on every leg. Llewelyn Viljoen was 3rd. The winning girl was the young Linel Engelbrecht.
TriSport’s next duo challenge event is on 30 December 2016 at the Saasveld Campus of the NMMU, just outside George, and the next triathlon event will be the Garden Route triathlon on 14 January 2017 at the Garden Route dam, just outside George. For more info, please see www.trisport.co.za