West Coast Warmwater Weekend Triathlon – The Recce.

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This Wingman athlete needed his wings down this part of the run course.

With the Westcoast Warm Water Weekend triathlon taking place on March 18-19, a few top athletes like Matt Trautman, Stuart Marais, and a few plebs like myself come together in the name of Triathlon to recce the route.

We arrived at Geelbek in West Coast Nature Reserve roughly around 5pm to a warm welcome from Paul Ingpen who runs the show for this particular race. Our accomadation for the night was old stables that have been converted to bunk bed accommodation. A little roughing it never hurt anyone, and us triathletes are tough folk.

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Jan van Rooyen, 8hrs48 and 11th overall Ironman Kona ex-pro displaying the muscles that we don’t have!

Huddled around the camp fire roasting marshmallows and chatting to fellow triathletes was a great way to start the weekend adventure. We had Carel Bezuidenhout keeping us entertained as and he even managed to find me some red wine which was a treat as the night grew colder. Cold Erdinger beers kept the spirits up as we discussed the proceedings of the following days recce. 10pm I called it a night and left the campfire to try get in a few good hours of sleep.

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Do you need motivation to enter this event?

At 5am the cock crowed. We all made our way to the breakfast room where we were supplied with fruits, yoghurts, muesli, rusks and an array of nutrition we could stock ourselves up with for the day’s training.

Once we had fed our bellies we made our way to Kraal Baai, our hub for the day. Matt and Stuart cycled the 25 kilometres from the accomadation to Kraal Baai, as pro’s would do. Once we were parked, we all got our bikes ready, drinks and nutrition on the bikes and in our pockets. A quick route brief from Paul and off we went. The roads are rough and undulating, as close to Iron Man PE cycle leg as you will get in Cape Town, so it is perfect training grounds for that.

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It is all about the bike.

Stuart and Matt would cycle the entire 68 km bike course, and cyclists were given the challenge of staying with them. Anyone who would drop off the pack, had to be back in two hours on their own steam. About 20km out from the end of the cycle I got a puncture. Luckily for me I was cycling with my other half who generously got onto the ground and fixed it for me, using his tube as mine would not inflate. Off we went, for only  about 150m before he got a puncture as well and we were totally stuck without any spare tubes. I grabbed his car keys and planned a hard cycle back to fetch his car. Lady Luck smiled on him as a lady in a van drove past and picked him up. I finished the cycle and now it was time to get ready for the run. Meanwhile Stuart and Matt dropped the entire bunch, except for Frank Smuts and Bjorn Pienaar, who donated a kidney each in the process of staying on their wheels. They are still on saline drips as we speak.

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You can’t mail-order that six pack. It comes with years of training. Ask the pros.

The run is 95% off-road with only a very short stretch of tar towards the end. A VERY sandy route takes you onto the beach for a long section. Some calf burning action. Off the beach you hit the dunes for more sand. Eventually you reach some harder ground where you can pick up the pace. This stretch takes you onto the short tar section which takes you back onto the beach. Today it was high tide by the time we got there which means we were thigh deep in water for most of the last stretch. By this time the pro’s were already relaxing on the beach awaiting the start of the swim.

Luckily airline pilot Anneri Harmse lands a Boeing better than this. Thank heavens!

Normally the swim would be first, however for the purpose of the recce the decision was to swim at the end while it was high tide. We had a choice of completing either 1 or 2 loops of roughly 1km each. I decided to only do one loop as my calf started cramping around halfway through the loop. All Athletes eventually finished the last leg of the recce and eagerly headed back for the amazing lunch back at the restaurant at Geelbek.

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Always smiling! Vicky van der Merwe getting ready to do what she is good at.

A hot shower later we were sitting all together along a long table chatting about the days adventure. The delicious lunch provided by us included a chicken curry, beef lasagne and a green salad. This day definitely made us all work up an appetite and was appreciated by all.

Paul Ingpen, Jan Van Rooyen and Craig Baker joined us and went through the day’s recce. We were able to voice our opinions on the route and give our thoughts to help the organisers make sure the race is safe and fun, and lives up to expectations.

Days like these are priceless and the memories you make with like minded people will last forever. Thanks to Paul Ingpen, Craig Baker and Jan Van Rooyen for allowing us the chance to come together and enjoy the sport we love. Warmwater Weekend is an event not to be missed. You will sweat, you will hurt and you will have fun!

To enter, follow this link and join the fun. http://www.electricink.co.za/warmwater-weekend

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