The final event in the Tinman triathlon Series took place at Suncoast Casino Durban yesterday in what can only be described as perfect race conditions. Even the weaker swimmers were smiling when they saw what pristine swim conditions were on offer at Suncoast Beach on a hot and steamy Sunday morning. Barely a trickle of a wave for a change which ensured that even the youngsters in the rookie event took to the surf to complete their 200m surf swim
Racing got underway at 7am sharp. With the rugby semi-final looming later that morning, everyone was in a rush to get in some good racing and then support the Boks who managed to win as we all know by now. The 10km runners were first off on their 2 lap fast and flat promenade circuit making the tinman triathlon series accessible to runners and walkers as well. Up and coming triathlete Sanele Shange opted for the 10km run only and took the win in a fine 33 minutes. The ladies race was won by Tegan Gore who was also using the event as a training session in prep for the local summer TRI season that has just started
Next up was the Rookie Triathlon which got underway 10 minutes after the run race had started. Although traditionally well represented by the juniors, this event is also open to the newcomer who just wants to experience what it’s like to compete in a triathlon over a short distance that is both manageable and fun with little triathlon specific fitness required. First over the finish line was Gareth Westerdale while in the ladies section, Hannah Bullock was crowned Queen for the day
The Sprint Triathlon started in near perfect surf conditions as the triathletes made their way around the 600m swim course. Matthew Nordengen-Corris was tipped as favourite heading into the race after his last Tinman showing in the Challenge event where he placed 2nd that day. Chasing him hard was Greg Du Toit and Joshua Steytler, both perennial stalwarts of the KZN Junior Triathlon Team. Nordengen-Corris took the win with Du Toit 2nd and Steytler 3rd. In the ladies race, Lauren Dance was down from Johannesburg to compete in the event and she wasted no time in putting daylight between her and the local athletes. Veteran Elite athlete Linda Potts was making an appearance over the sprint distance and she did not disappoint either, putting in a solid performance on the day. Dance was victorious with Potts 2nd and Emma Dreyer taking the 3rd and final podium placing
The final race to take place was the Challenge where athletes duelled over the 1km surf swim, 32km road cycle and 10km beachfront run. In the men’s section, Pieter-Jan VD Merwe led out the water with Darryn Purtell and Ross Belman in hot pursuit. The trio made their way around the bike course together with another favourite Mike Cannon limiting the damage by staying well in contention about a minute back. Once onto the run, VD Merwe took off like a house on fire but perhaps slightly over estimated the extreme heat on the day. He was reeled in by Purtell on the 2nd loop of the run with Mike Cannon coming from 4th off the bike to run himself into 2nd spot while VD Merwe had to settle for the 3rd spot.
In the ladies section Lauren Cannon was making good use of her great swim skills and strong bike to take a massive lead in the ladies race heading out onto the run. She coasted to a comfortable victory with Lauren Symmonds taking 2nd and Ilse Van Niekerk 3rd
All in all, a fantastic days racing – with fun the name of the game at the Tinman Series. The new series will kick off in February 2020, ensuring that SA’s most established triathlon series carries on for yet another successful year in the sport of triathlon