Travis Johnston and Jade Nicole headline the top elite athletes that will take part in what is arguably, SA’s most iconic half tri distance event at the scenic Midmar Dam this coming Sunday. If one looks back at the archives of previous winners, it can be noted that the very best of the best have laid down the challenge sometime or another over the tough 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run.
Johnston comes into the event having just won an Olympic distance race on the past weekend so he is in top form and will carry the speed heading into Sunday’s event. He has some credible race experience over the 113km distance and will be the form man come Sunday. His closest rival, should come in the form of Donovan Van Gelder. A triathlon veteran not too far from the magical age of 50, who has been around for just as long as us, he still seems to possess that inner drive to succeed and compete at the highest level. That hunger definitely makes him a dangerous contender for the title of MiWay Midlands Ultra Champion 2018 this coming weekend
A known powerhouse cyclist and solid runner, the KZN Midlands terrain suits him to the tee. He has been training on the course of late indicating just how serious he is taking this event. He is still beating a load of hot shot age groupers half his age these days and no doubts, Johnston will have to be on his A Game to ensure Van Gelder does not sneak a golden oldies win. A possible dark horse could come in the form of Eastern Cape based athlete Brad Birkholtz. He has raced this course a good few times in the past and always seems to find himself well within the top 5 overalll. He will be chomping at the bit to take these guys down or at the very least, stand on the podium.
On the ladies side, we have Jade Nicole who comes into the race, fresh off a win at the Indian Ocean Triathlon in Mauritius 2 weeks back. She is on fire at the moment and her self-confidence must be oozing on over-flow. Kirsten Schut however will be hoping to shoot Nicole down and take the win for herself. She has race revenge on her mind having come 2nd to Nicole at the very same Indian Ocean Triathlon race. Schut is now based in Mauritius and she will be eager to take the win away from Nicole when these 2 equally balance athletes go head-to-head. Expect these 2 ladies to be separated by seconds come the final red carpet run down to the finish-line.
Competitors will have their race instructions emailed to them early this week with race numbers coming via sms later on, closer to race time in a few days-time
Late entries will be taken on Saturday at the dam if athletes are wanting to participate at this late stage.
The Midlands Ultra is one of those must-do-events that every athlete should attempt at least once during the tri careers, hence the tag name SA’s Most Iconic Half TRI