The MiWay Cape Ultra recce swim, ride and run took place on Saturday 20 August at Theewaterskloof Dam. About two dozen triathletes were treated like celebrities by the organizers. The aim was to give participants an idea of what the course would be like on race day, 25 September. Other than finishing the day with a spit braai, each athlete went home with a top end transition bag and other gifts, but the real focus on the day was the course.
About the swim. A short 600 m swim was enough to get the feel. The Theewaterskloof dam was quite cold, and it was clear that adverse conditions could happen on race day, all depending on the weather. The swim could take place in pool conditions, but on a windy day the best case scenario would be lots of chop and sizable waves for the worst case. The dam is big, and the wind gets channeled by the mountains, which could generate very rough water. Don’t fool yourself by thinking it is only going to be a predictable dam swim. Expect a very tough swim should the weather be bad.
About the bike. The bike leg has no funniness. There are no twists and turns or anything to it that leaves it open for free points or recovery. It will be a brutal leg tester on the day. He or she who can absorbs most pain will ride the best. Three laps of 30 Km with about 750 m total elevation in total will be waiting. The only chance for a strategy will be to calculate how you will burn your candles for the remaining two laps after you completed the first one.
About the run. The run has quite the opposite character. Your cadence will be interrupted all the time. The route takes you uphill and downhill with different textures underfoot all the time. If you know what a vineyard course looks like, this is it. With minimal moisture the course could be very slippery, trail racing shoes with small lugs would be a good choice. The main challenge will be to pace yourself for every section and keep your heart rate in check. Good burst speed and acceleration will take the cake. Top end speed not so much.
There are three weeks left for hard training followed by two weeks for good tapering. Make the most of it and see you on MiWay Cape Ultra race day.
To enter go here: http://midlandsultra.com/the-cape-ultra/enter-race.html