3 of SA’s top long distance triathletes will go head to head at the inaugural Pura Soda Race 2 Stanford this weekend on 18 November.
5x Ironman 70.3 champion Matt Trautman who is coming off a remarkable recovery after being hit by a car in February will be racing his first half iron distance since the accident.
Trautman’s legendary friend and 70.3 opponent Stuart Marais is also making a comeback after taking a year off farming in Addo and says he’s revving to get back out there! A fairytale rematch if there ever was one made even more special by the fact that Stuart got married in the area. He returns with his wife Beth and 2 boys to watch him do what him do what he loves best
Interestingly enough Trautman and Marais each won the Warmwater Weekend triathlon in 2015 and 2016. 2017 WWW winner was Namibian youngster JP Burger. It is Burger who has been dominating the local triathlon scene and is coming to R2S to take on the legends in a champions playoff of sorts. He is in the middle of his CA exams but will be a force to be reckoned with as he takes on his two heros in a dice for glory & R15 000 podium prize money, courtesy of National Health Care.
The ladies race is shaping up to be an equally competitive battle for their R15 000 podium prize money with 2 long time tri stars up against 2 up and comers. Warmwater Weekend winners Kelly Van der Toorn and Vicky van der Merwe will be chased hard by supersonic rising star Gabriella Gioia and a multisport legend Robyn Owen (nee Kime).
Gioia is fresh off the back of a best ever SA ladies result at the World Ironman championships in Kona Hawaii after less than 2 years in the sport! Better known for her exceptional paddling and trail running exploits with both Duzi canoe marathon and Otter Trail run records, plus she was 2nd at the World Multisports Championships in NZ earlier this year. Don’t expect Robyn to slow down as the race gets longer.
On the team race side we have a star studded field too, with famously fit family Kent and Claire Horner racing for their club MTD set to make team or split records. Likewise Ironman star Annah Watkinson, who has an injured calf so cannot run, could well show the men how to tame the tough bike course and set a split record for the ladies to chase for years to come.
It’s wide open and new territory for everyone, so make sure to follow the excitement if you can’t be there to enjoy the holiday towns & watch live. Follow @Race2Stanford on twitter, facebook and instagram for live updates on race day.