Ironman is next level tough! I was exhausted after just being a supporter at this year’s Ironman in Nelson Mandela Bay. Well done to my lil’ bro, Pete, who completed the extremely challenging race! You are a true Ironman!
The Ironman starts with a tough 3.8km swim in the sea followed by a 180.2km cycle and then a grueling 42.2km run! It doesn’t look like fun to me. The top athlete finished in 8 hours 12 minutes which is very fast! The athletes started around 7am and had until midnight to finish the race. We still saw people, by this time walking the race, passed 10pm that evening! I really hope they made it to the finish line! Imagine just missing it by a few minutes! Aah, I heard there was a guy who missed the cut-off time by 56 seconds!! I would have still given him that medal. There were other athletes that didn’t finish due to injuries. Eish!
The Corporate Ironman, which is held on the Saturday before Sunday’s big Ironman, is a more relaxed event and actually looks enjoyable to do. The Corporate distance is about a tenth of the big Ironman’s distant. It can be done in teams or you can enter individually and do the swim, cycle and run on your own. The winner of the Corporate Individual challenge finished in 45mins 10 seconds.
Marc took part in the Corporate Ironman in the individual category. He did very well especially considering that he didn’t do much training before the time. Apparently he needs to work on his ‘transition time’ which is the time it takes to change from swimming mode to cycling mode. We were all waiting in anticipation for him to appear on his bike from the changing area… Pete says it seemed as if Marc first went and had breakfast at Angelo’s before starting his cycle!😜 After the Corporate race we all went to Beershack for a well deserved beer. (And Appletizer for me.)
Sunday was the big event, thee Ironman 2016. Pete had been training for this race for almost a year. Very few of the athletes could sleep the night before the race and Pete had already been battling to sleep 2 nights before this! So we were all (especially my mom) stressing a bit for his part for being sleep deprived. I helped him go through his ‘check-list’ to make sure he has everything in the correct bags. Triathlon requires quite a lot of gear and organization!
Before sunrise on ironman morning Pete and Wessel ate a healthy, ironman breakfast at the flat which my mom helped to prepare. They left while it was still dark towards the starting point of the big race. We walked to Hobie Beach just as the sun was rising. It was such stunning weather in PE that weekend! My dad finally got to prove to us Free Staters that the wind does not always blow in PE.😜
Pete, sponsored by Specsavers, didn’t do the race just for himself. In the process he also raised enough funds so that 4 children with hearing disabilities will receive hearing aids. That’s pretty awesome! #racingforhearing
“Behind every Ironman there are many Iron-fans!” Pete had many supporters in PE as well as people in other parts of South Africa and even people in other countries supporting him on the big day. Lisa even sent me a screen shot of Pete fishing the race because they were watching him live on TV from the USA!
Pete finished just as the sun was setting over the bay. He looked exhausted! He ate some ofthe sponsored food and we all went back to his flat to celebrate with his fancy house of bakes cake and champagne. Afterwards he told us that there were times during the race that he was so tired (from lack of sleep) that when he closed his eyes he struggled to open them again. “At one point, during the run, I opened my eyes and found I was running on the wrong side of the road! In the cycling lane!” Well Pete, we are all glad you finished in one piece, zombie-like and all! Plus in record time! Pete is still deciding if he is going to do the race again next year…